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To E. T. Analysis

Author: Poetry of Robert Lee Frost Type: Poetry Views: 316

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I slumbered with your poems on my breast

Spread open as I dropped them half-read through

Like dove wings on a figure on a tomb

To see, if in a dream they brought of you,

I might not have the chance I missed in life

Through some delay, and call you to your face

First soldier, and then poet, and then both,

Who died a soldier-poet of your race.

I meant, you meant, that nothing should remain

Unsaid between us, brother, and this remained--

And one thing more that was not then to say:

The Victory for what it lost and gained.

You went to meet the shell's embrace of fire

On Vimy Ridge; and when you fell that day

The war seemed over more for you than me,

But now for me than you--the other way.

How over, though, for even me who knew

The foe thrust back unsafe beyond the Rhine,

If I was not to speak of it to you

And see you pleased once more with words of mine?


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

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Written as an elegy to Frost\'s close friend Edward Thomas who was killed fighting in WW1,France, on Easter Monday, 9 April 1917.
In his poem Frost feels alone,it\'s an honest poems with its meaning right at the surface rather that portrayed through metaphors of nature like many of Frost\'s other poems. Like the apple\'s thrown to the \'cider apple heap\'\'no matter not bruised or spiked with stubble\' in After Apple picking, Frost feels violently cut off from Edward at his death, as if it wasn\'t his time to go, symbolised by the poems decribed as only \'half-read through\'.
This is a poem of memories of which Edward Thomas said was \'the only dead thing that smells sweet\', and it\'s romantic tone softens the pain of what was probably a horrible death. Similarly to the eerie description from Stopping By Woods on a Snowy Evening juxtaposing \'lovely\' with \'dark and deep\', so too does the \'embrace\' of \'fire\' show how Frost is becoming \'weary of considerations\' (quote from Birches) and so is accepting the cruel truth and birden of death that nature\'s placed on him.
This brokeness and incomplete feeling at missing a good friend is shown when the Iambic pentametre throughout the poem that mirrors conversation is suddenly broken off at line 10 with 11 sylabols, to stress how Frost feels incomplete without his friend, having something that \'remained--\' to say. Unlike most of Frosts poetry, To E.T finishes abruptly with a question, greeted only by cold hard silence, again emphasising Frost\'s feeling of lonliness.
Liek any good friend would, Frost wants to meet him again if he could, even if it were in a dream - exploring once more Frost\'s motif of reality vs. illusion and imagination, as explored too in Black cottage and Neither Far out Nor In Deep. After Edward\'s death, Frost considers - as he does in After Apple Picking with the \'apple I didn\'t pick upon some bough\', the oppertunities he \'missed in life\'. With still much more to say that he never thought to speak when he was alive, Frost is left with an unanswered question, and with the memories of the ended war to which Edward never saw the end.

| Posted on 2011-05-11 | by a guest

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Nothing to do with T.S. ELLIOT Frost was like a mentor to Edward Thomas, a close friend. The poem is an Elegy dedicated to E.T. who died in the first war before victory.

| Posted on 2011-05-08 | by a guest

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Frost wants to be reunited with his friend Edward Thomas in dream, as he is now dead and they can not be physicaly reunited. This is enforced by the HALF read poems (which he keeps close to heart), perhaps he wanted ET to come and finish what he has half started (basically wants to see him again). This also fits nicely with the theme of closure which he tries to gain by writing this poem. He also describes the thoroughly read pages (that are falling apart and \"dropping\") as dove wings - doves resemble peace showing that Frost wants his greif to end and obtain the peace that ET has in death. Dove wings could also be seen as angel wings, also enforcing the fact that ET is dead.

| Posted on 2011-03-14 | by a guest

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the poem is about Frost's grief of the loss of his friend Edward thomas. he is searching for an end and final closure to their close friendship through writing him a poem. the poem also deals with the theme of incomplete knowledge and the search for a fulfilment. Frost portrays his "brother" as a noble self-sarifice to the war through romantically describing "the shell's embrae" that edward thomas went to "meet". the wrod meet suggests that e.t accepted the war and "fell down" heroically".

| Posted on 2010-06-04 | by a guest

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Frost is wishing he could say what he never got to say to Thomas.
It has a similar personal tone to "Two look at Two", perhaps in a sort of "One look a One" way.
There is unintentional irony in the line "The foe thrust back unsafe" as the word unsafe could parallel WW2, which obviously Frost didn't know about when the poem was written, hence making it unintentional irony.
Frost wants the poem to be like closure for Edward Thomas who he feels died without any.

| Posted on 2010-06-01 | by a guest

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All Those who are saying that it wasn't about Edward Thomas need to read up on their poerty history.
Also It is not about any"Extra terestrial" and it isnt about Frost feeling alianated to his friend.

| Posted on 2010-03-25 | by a guest

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3 of these comments are so ridiculously wrong I have to comment. Firstly, ET was a movie made after Frost's death so in no way can this linked to it. And TS Eliot is not being mocked in this poem when it is clear that Frost is showing grief and regret for his dear friend EDAWRD THOMAS. Unlike his other poems, nature is not used.

| Posted on 2010-02-09 | by a guest

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This poem is about the death of Edward Thomas who was Frost's british friend and he was a poet and Frost published a volume of E.Ts poems in the US. THe second stanza is about how Frost regrets what he did. Edward THomas died on the 9th April 1917 Vimy ridge. He died on the first day of the battle. "You went to meet the sheels embrace of fire" is politeness/meeting with a friend. It doesn't say that he was blown to pieces or burnt to a crisp. The way it is written makes it seem as if it is a meeting over coffee.

| Posted on 2009-10-30 | by a guest

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'E.T.' was Frost's friend and poet, Edward Thomas. He died in World War One, as part of the British and Canadian capture of 'Vimy Ridge', as stated in the poem, in 1917.

| Posted on 2009-10-14 | by a guest

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This poem is about T.S Eliot who Frost feuded with. E.T is Thomas Elitot backwards. It is satire because T.S Eliot always thought frost was an overrated poet.

| Posted on 2009-09-27 | by a guest

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The title "To E.T" is not about the well known character that many of us have seen on television. It is the initiails of Frosts best friend. Although E.T does not stand for "Extra terestrial" it could be interpreted as his friend being this alienated figure, because his friend is now dead.

| Posted on 2009-05-19 | by a guest

.: :.

The title "To E.T" is not about the well known character that many of us have seen on television. It is the initiails of Frosts best friend. Although E.T does not stand for "Extra terestrial" it could be interpreted as his friend being this alienated figure, because his friend is now dead.

| Posted on 2009-05-19 | by a guest

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