"To a Waterfowl" by William Cullen Bryant describes a waterfowl flying alone through the sky and conveys the thoughts stimulated by this sight. By the end of the poem, the lone waterfowl becomes a metaphor for the speaker's soul going through life.Know More
The poem begins with the speaker asking a solitary waterfowl flying through the sunset where it is going. In the next stanza, the speaker discusses how a hunter might see the bird flying but wouldn't be able to hurt the bird because it is so distant. The subsequent stanza returns to the opening question, asking the bird whether it is headed toward the sea, a river or a lake.
The speaker then muses on how the bird knows where to go. He mentions that "a Power" is guiding it. Even though the coast along which and the air through which the bird is flying is "pathless," this power helps the bird find its destination. The speaker then marvels at the bird's stamina, mentioning how it continues to fly even though the land looks like such a welcome resting place. He knows that it can soon join its fellow birds in a safe nest at the end of its flight.
As the bird disappears, the speaker then turns to his own situation, comparing his life to the flight of the bird. He ends the poem by saying that the same power that guides the bird so surely also guides the speaker's "steps aright."Learn more about Poetry
Kelly Cherry’s poem “Alzheimer’s” is about the poet’s father, a former professional musician who develops the disease. A study of memory, the poem walks the old man through familiar surroundings only to confront him with something he doesn’t recognize – his wife, the white-haired woman standing in the doorway.Full Answer >
The summary of "The Wife's Lament" is that the narrator has been disowned by her own relative and her husband, and she is doomed to finish her life in poverty and all alone. Not only is the husband mean to her, he is mean to others as well, which cuts her off from society.Full Answer >
Rudyard Kipling's poem "If--" is a poem that advocates confidence, honesty and fortitude, laying out for the reader the things he must do if he is to maintain his self-control and become a man. The poem lays out a list of situations in which the reader is challenged in many personal areas, meeting with "Triumph and Disaster" and overcoming both. Each situation is paired with Kipling's concept of the right response to the challenge.Full Answer >
In the poem "Life Is Fine" by Langston Hughes, the speaker talks about things he might do if other circumstances did not exist. For one, if the water in the river was not so cold, he would stay in and drown. If his apartment had not been so high, he might have jumped from it and died.Full Answer >