George Herbert's "The Pulley" means that man is always restless and striving for more, and that this is necessary to force mankind to seek God and be good. The first stanza talks about how God wanted to bless mankind as much as possible. The second is one of the keys of the poem, and it states that God blessed man with everything except rest.
The first part reads, "When God at first made man, / Having a glasse of blessings standing by; / Let us (said he) poure on him all we can." God pours wisdom, pleasure, honor and other blessings on man in the second stanza. The last line of the second stanza, "Rest in the bottome lay," means that the only blessing God did not give to man was rest. In the third stanza, God becomes concerned that man "would adore my gifts in stead of me." As a result, in the fourth stanza, God decides to "keep them with repining restlesnesse." He concludes, "If goodnesse leade him not, yet wearinesse / May tosse him to my breast." So, essentially, God wants to keep man restless and weary in order to force him to turn to God for peace, since man cannot find it anywhere else.Learn More
Rudyard Kipling's poem, "White Man's Burden," is a praise of American colonialism in the Philippines after Spain relinquished control in 1898. Kipling believed that American colonialism would improve conditions in the Philippines, despite many American's believing it was a burden, and he wrote the poem to encourage Americans to participate in colonialism.Full Answer >
The poignant poem "Cross of Snow" is an expression of writer Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's personal pain over the tragedy of his wife's death. The theme relates the view of a cross carved into the side of a mountain to the long burden of his grief.Full Answer >
There are a few excellent and touching poems about foster children available both online and in print. Perhaps two of the finest are "To My Foster Parents With Love" by Karen Cummings and "For All That You Have Given Me" by Dimitri Shostakovich.Full Answer >
"Lochinvar" is a study of human relationships and the moral struggles involved in correct roles and duties. In both form and content, the language of the poem creates an ongoing theme of conflict and challenge between the different characters.Full Answer >