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The Ball Poem Analysis

Author: Poetry of John Berryman Type: Poetry Views: 257

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Collected Poems 1937-1971What is the boy now, who has lost his ball,

What, what is he to do?I saw it go

Merrily bouncing, down the street, and then

Merrily over-there it is in the water!

No use to say 'O there are other balls':

An ultimate shaking grief fixes the boy

As he stands rigid, trembling, staring down

All his young days into the harbour where

His ball went.I would not intrude on him,

A dime, another ball, is worthless.Now

He senses first responsibility

In a world of possessions.People will take balls,

Balls will be lost always, little boy,

And no one buys a ball back.Money is external.

He is learning, well behind his desperate eyes,

The epistemology of loss, how to stand up

Knowing what every man must one day know

And most know many days, how to stand up

And gradually light returns to the street

A whistle blows, the ball is out of sight,

Soon part of me will explore the deep and dark

Floor of the harbour . . I am everywhere,

I suffer and move, my mind and my heart move

With all that move me, under the water

Or whistling, I am not a little boy.


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

.: ball poem :.

I think that "ball poem" is about ageing. the ball is a metaphor for childhood and as the ball is lost in the harbour (which could be symbolic of his memories) the boy starts learning the responsibilites of growing up. Essentially the poem is about the swiftness of time and how once childhood is lost, it will never return.

the poem using many poetic devices to communicate the message. Metaphor is an example, which would have to be the most used device in the poem. Discourses of age, time, youth are all portrayed through the text of this poem

| Posted on 2004-10-25 | by Approved Guest

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