Analysis of “Forgive My Guilt” by Robert P. Tristram Coffin The poem “Forgive My Guilt” by Robert P. Tristram Coffin has a religious framework and diction as the poet committed a sin and is asking for forgiveness. The title gives the idea that the poem may be a prayer. The theme is one of regret. It has a remorseful tone and a sad, solemn mood. In the poem, a man regrets shooting two birds in his youth. They did not die immediately but suffered for a long time. In the first line, the poet notes that he does not know the true meaning or definition of a sin neither the actions which qualify as sins. However, he is sure that one of his actions as a boy qualified as a sin.
In the fourth line, an image is painted of the boy lying with his gun among the frostflowers as he prepares to shoot the birds. There is a simile in the fifth line, “the air ran as blue as the flowers” comparing the blueness of the air to that of the flowers. The clouds also moved and the sky appeared to be running. This is a personification. There a simile in the following line: “slim as dream things”. The persona then held his breath showing that he felt the suspense of the moment. He wanted the shot to be precise and waited for the moment to come.
In line six, the word “golden” is used to accentuate and exaggerate the beauty of the birds. They were “slim as dream things”. This means that they were dainty like something only imaginable in a dream. It did not seem as though it could be real. In the next line, the movement of the birds are compared to quicksilver. They ran from the persona extremely quickly. Like quicksilver, they could not be caught or touched. It also suggests that the birds were extremely beautiful. Again, the word “golden” is used to accentuate beauty. However, it was referring to the sand. From lines four to seven, there is a good example of visual imagery. The poet effectively used comparisons to enable an accurate picture of the scene to be painted in the reader’s mind....
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