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The Italian poet Dante

scheme of a-b-a , b-c-b, and has no specific amount of lines. The Italian poet Dante` first used this rhyming scheme in his Divine Comedy; the first English poet to use it was Geoffrey Chaucer. Frosts’ use of this scheme gives the poem a steady rhythm, much like that of someone walking slowly and steadily down a street. His use of “I have” repeatedly lets the reader know that he is solitary in this walk, and it gives no doubt that there is no one accompanying him.

It also makes it sound “heavy” – like the steady clumping of boots or the slow pounding of a saddened heart. It projects a general feeling of world-weariness, as if his very soul is being trod upon. It is very effective in projecting these feelings when read out loud. 2. This poem whose form is known as a picture poem shows us by word and picture the slow but steady softening of a man as he settles slowly into marriage. As his girth grows, the poem talks more of decay and underlying softness- until there is nothing left but a soft underbelly ready to be ripped open.

The title In Medias Res is Latin for “in the middle of things” and is rather a pun considering the middle of this poem juts out like the middle-aged paunch it talks about. Interestingly, too, in the middle part it talks of the upending of a house and a sidewalk and looking at the poem it looks as though it is about to tilt over- a very effective way of drawing us in to the meaning. Perhaps the final and albeit saddest thing this poem reminds us of is the bloating of a corpse as decay sets in- not a pretty image but one that fits with the mood of the poem.

3. The speaker is trying to goad his father into fighting death by giving examples of how other men have fought it. He shows that wise men, while they know death is inevitable and that all their knowledge has been in vain to stop it, will still fight it to the end. There are the good men whose righteous ways give them a place in heaven and yet they too fight death. There are the wild men, the ones who defied the odds and stared death in its face only to find they had done that once too often but who still do not give in.

Finally, there are those grave men who studied life and death and contemplated the meanings of both, who still when death comes near stave it off with all their power. These four encompass all people; if the reader looks closely he will find himself as one of these “men”. 4. The several paradoxical statements in the poem are a literary device that Thomas is using to convey that, while we must fight death, our death is inevitable. It defines that ultimate twist of life in that whether we study death, defy death or understand death we will still die but that does not mean we should not fight it.

The statement “dark is right” reminds that while we see death as a closing or darkness falling, it is still a part of life and living, something that is correct or right. In using the term “blinding sight” he is reminding us that while we do not know what is beyond death – hence being blind- our eyes should be wide open to the new possibilities beyond it. “Curse, bless me now” shows us that we may be cursed with dying but are blessed in living until we die- a true paradox.

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