Various Notes

Topics: Gerard Manley Hopkins, Poetry, Sprung rhythm Pages: 15 (5626 words) Published: February 26, 2012
The alalysis of poem «March» by Edward Thomas

The poem 'March', as the most of Thomas's poems describes the state of nature. The mood of March days is briefly described through subtle details such as behavior of birds and plants and weather changes (from snow and rain to warmth and sunshine).  In terms of structure and verse form, the poem isn’t divided into separate stanzas, but it can be logically parceled out in three parts. The first part (from the beginning to the line “As if the mighty sun wept tears of joy”) depicts the first signs of coming spring that is ousting the winter. The second part (from “But ‘twas too late for warmth. The sunset piled” to “Had kept them quiet as the primroses”) recalls that “yet ‘twas cold” and that winter is still here. In the last part (from “They had but and hour to sing. On boughs they sang, ” to the end) author returns to the idea of the arrival of spring, finishing the poem with the hope that “Spring returns, perhaps tomorrow”. The metre of the poem is iambic pentameter, thus the number of syllables differs from line to line, which sounds very natural and creates a feeling that the writer is talking to you.   The use of blind rhyme further enhances this effect. In the first part of the poem writer personifies the sun (“As if the mighty sun wept tears of joy”), opposing the sun to cold and dead winter. The idea of death is traced throughout the poem. At the very end of the poem Thomas uses different connotations of death, such as “silence” and “darkness”, as if winter is holding back the start of spring and the new life. Also, author is using antonyms as “sang or screamed”, “hoarse or sweet or fierce or soft” to emphasize the contract of spring and winter. Using alliteration (“they sang, on gates, on ground they sang”) and assonance (“hoard of song before the moon”). adds sonority and dynamic to the poem and helps to create an imitation of birdsong. As well, describing winter, writer resorts to the use of metaphor (“mountains on mountains of snow”) and enumeration (“rain, snow, sleet, hail”).  The poem is penetrated by the idea of onset of spring (“Spring will come again/spring would come again/spring returns”). The idea, giving reader a hope that soon the colds will pass and the nature will be restored to life and filled with new, live colors and sounds.


As The Team’s Head-Brass is set in English countryside although the war was taking place in France and Belgium. The poet Edward Thomas was an English Soldier in the war and wrote the poem while he was home on leave.  The poem is about a team of horses and a farmer ploughing his fields ready for the spring. However there is a deeper meaning to the poem. It is symbolising the war although it is hardly mentioned at all. Each year the farmer plants new crops, grows them, harvests them and then ploughs his fields. This, as well as the lovers, symbolises rebirth and shows that after the war new ones will replace all the people that were lost.  Half way through the poem there is a dialogue where Thomas and the farmer discuss the war: “In France they killed him. It was back in March, The very night of the blizzard, too. Now if he had stayed here we should have moved the tree.” This shows the effects of the war on the people still in England. They need the men that have been lost in the war. It helps to show how destructive the war was on the English society. The mood of Edward Thomas is reflected in the poem by the calm, sombre rhythm. Now that he is home from war he can see the effects that the war has caused. The style of the poem also reflects the mood. The poem is just one long section of writing. It has no rhyme, which makes it slow. The conversation in the middle of the poem also slows it down.  The Mood of the poem is gloomy and sad: “Only two teams work on the farm this year. One of my mates is dead.” The way he says that one of his friends has died so casually in the conversation...
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