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Beauty Analysis

Author: Poetry of Edward Thomas Type: Poetry Views: 481

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WHAT does it mean? Tired, angry, and ill at ease,
No man, woman, or child alive could please
Me now. And yet I almost dare to laugh
Because I sit and frame an epitaph--
"Here lies all that no one loved of him
And that loved no one." Then in a trice that whim
Has wearied. But, though I am like a river
At fall of evening when it seems that never
Has the sun lighted it or warmed it, while
Cross breezes cut the surface to a file,
This heart, some fraction of me, hapily
Floats through a window even now to a tree
Down in the misting, dim-lit, quiet vale;
Not like a pewit that returns to wail
For something it has lost, but like a dove
That slants unanswering to its home and love.
There I find my rest, and through the dusk air
Flies what yet lives in me. Beauty is there


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||| Analysis | Critique | Overview Below |||

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the tree marks the coming of happiness. the poet decides to accept things the way they are. such beauty sustains. the perception of beauty depends on each person and is a state of mind.
when the poet says 'cross breezes cut the surface to a file' he means that so much is happening in his life and mind that it feels like someone is chipping his heart.
p.s 'hapily' hear is a spelling error.

| Posted on 2017-09-14 | by a guest

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Has it been noticed that it's 'hapily'? Is it meant to be spelt that way and means happily or is there another reason?

| Posted on 2015-05-27 | by a guest

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Edward Thomas’s poem “Beauty” celebrates the power of beautiful things to uplift us even when we feel most depressed and most distracted. The poem opens with question: “What does it mean?” (1). At first we probably assume that “it” refers to beauty. In that case, the rest of the poem try to answer this question, not by giving a dictionary definition but by showing, through an example, how deeply meaningful beauty can be in and to our lives.
However, it is also possible that the “it” refers to life – as in “what’s the meaning, point, or purpose of life?” This reading makes some sense when the speaker explains how unhappy he is. He is plagued with displeasure that absolutely no human company can alleviate. He even jokingly imagines his own death and a sardonic epitaph on his gravestone. Yet the epitaph may not refer to all of him but only to that unhappiness that now disgusts him and that would displease any potential companion. These thoughts of death, though, quickly vanish (6-7).
In the second half of line 7, both the poem and the speaker begin to change: the speaker now begins to compare himself to a part of nature, even if the river to which he compares himself seems cold and dark. At least, however, he has begun to move beyond himself and escape his earlier fatigue, anger, and discomfort. By the time we reach line 11, the speaker now imagines himself – indeed, the most vital part of himself (his heart) – floating freely, ike a dove, out a window and down a valley to a tree. He begins to escape not only his earlier dark mood but even confinement in himself or in human creations (such as rooms). He is having a Romantic epiphany: he imagines himself coming into renewed contact with natural beauty.
It is not, after all, the beauty of a woman or a child that consoles him. It is the beauty of a recollected tree. Significantly, it is not an actual vision of a present tree that is consoling: it is the remembrance of a tree. One need not be in constant, literal contact with nature for nature to be reassuring and reviving; one need only to be able to recall the beauty of nature to experience that beauty again in one’s heart and mind. Thomas presents us with intimations of beauty recollected in tranquility, to borrow some phrasing from Wordsworth.
The poem’s final lines are especially rich:
There I find my rest, and through the dusk air
Flies what yet lives in me. Beauty is there. (17-18).
Where, exactly, is “There”? Does the speaker mean literally in or at or near the tree? Or does he mean, instead, in his thoughts of the tree? Is the reference to what “yet lives in me” a reference to his metaphorical heart, mentioned earlier, or does this phrase refer to his thoughts, his revived spirit when he thinks about the tree as a symbol of all natural beauty, perhaps of all beauty entirely?
A poem that began with a brief, intriguing question now concludes with a brief, definitive, yet also intriguing assertion: “Beauty is there.” Again, does “there” refer to the simple tree or to thoughts of the tree? The speaker doesn’t clearly say, and so the poem ends on a note of certainty that also contains an element of mystery.
The simple, paraphraseable meaning of this poem is that beauty can revive and sustain us even when we are most worn down and worn out. But the true meaning of the poem lies not in any simple paraphrase but in the experience of how the poem works.

| Posted on 2013-10-12 | by a guest

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