Driftwood: Abuse and R. Stanley Peterson

Topics: Abuse, Value, Type Pages: 1 (320 words) Published: March 16, 2011
In the poem “Driftwood,” by R. Stanley Peterson, the poet makes an analogy between the four different types of wood to four different types of people. The first type of “wood is straight… it reached tall in the forest,” (line 1-5) is someone who is very successful in their life. Therefore, they are growing up with all the support from others, they never had any problems in their life, and they never experienced any hardship because they are showing as “close-grown”. However, “A knot to mar the texture,” points out these people can be affected by a little flaw. The poet describes the second type of people as, “more tortured” (line 6). By using the word “tortured”, the speaker states this type of people have many obstacles in their life, but they are still standing strong to overcome all the hardship, as, “It took the wind and wave” (line 8). The third type of person is someone who are at the bottom of society, as, “Flotsam planks and jetsam staves” (line12, 13). This type of person can be born in a poor family, uneducated or not motivated to succeed. They are the left-over by society, and people want to get rid of them like, “throw [them] to fire”. This point explains how society can abuse them. As the speaker says, “driftwood comes a prize to the collector,” (line14, 15) they are the people who have value and experience. These people, “some –tossed, bent” experienced troubles. They gone through hardship, but they are still beautiful. They “cherish well” what they have and what they will become. In conclusion, the four types of people that the poet has been discussing are successful but supported difficult and struggling, people who have had a hard life and are abused, experienced but valuable. The poet’s favourite is the fourth type of person, who gone through hardship becomes valuable and beautiful.
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