The Amulet by Ralph Waldo Emerson Explication

Topics: Ralph Waldo Emerson, Transcendentalism, Self-Reliance Pages: 4 (827 words) Published: June 10, 2011
Poem Explication
Ralph Waldo Emerson – The Amulet

Your picture smiles as first it smiled,
The ring you gave is still the same,
Your letter tells, O changing child,
No tidings since it came.

Give me an amulet
That keeps intelligence with you,
Red when you love, and rosier red,
And when you love not, pale and blue.

Alas, that neither bonds nor vows
Can certify possession;
Torments me still the fear that love
Died in its last expression.

Point of view – The speaker of the poem is a person who has just lost a loved one. He feels that she still remains with him through all the keepsakes he has of her, and that the mementos keep their love strong. He wants to know how she is feeling and if she still loves him. He’s trying to admit to himself that he lost her. The speaker’s attitude is typical for a person who has lost someone. Always thinking about that person, wanting to know if they’re watching over them. Figurative language – In paragraph one, the picture of the girl smiling is symbolism. The smile represents the only thing that he has left of her because there is no living smile that changes. In the second paragraph there is symbolism. The amulet symbolizes remembrance, spirituality or energy force of the girl’s existence. In paragraph three there is imagery. Torment symbolizes the love and lost in death and how a person deals with a great loses. Versification – There are three stanzas in the poem. The rhythm pattern is 2-line last line rhyme. The general metrical scheme is 1-2, 1-2, 1-2. There are no breaks of rhythm in the poem. The word choices used in the poem are common words used to make rhyming pattern. The words chosen are common everyday ones and are not unusual; they are just used uniquely in sentences. Theme - The theme for this poem is love, lost, cooping. The poem express the love that the man had for the girl was very strong.

‘The ring you gave is still the same’

He’s saying even though she is physically...
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