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The Retreat Analysis

Author: Poetry of Henry Vaughan Type: Poetry Views: 640

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1Happy those early days, when I

2Shin'd in my angel-infancy!

3Before I understood this place

4Appointed for my second race,

5Or taught my soul to fancy ought

6But a white, celestial thought;

7When yet I had not walk'd above

8A mile or two from my first love,

9And looking back (at that short space)

10Could see a glimpse of his bright face;

11When on some gilded cloud or flow'r

12My gazing soul would dwell an hour,

13And in those weaker glories spy

14Some shadows of eternity;

15Before I taught my tongue to wound

16My conscience with a sinful sound,

17Or had the black art to dispense,

18A sev'ral sin to ev'ry sense,

19But felt through all this fleshly dress

20Bright shoots of everlastingness.

21O how I long to travel back,

22And tread again that ancient track!

23That I might once more reach that plain,

24Where first I left my glorious train,

25From whence th' enlighten'd spirit sees

26That shady city of palm trees.

27But ah! my soul with too much stay

28Is drunk, and staggers in the way.

29Some men a forward motion love,

30But I by backward steps would move;

31And when this dust falls to the urn,

32In that state I came, return.


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

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Vaughan\'s The Retreate is a longing for retrogation to regain perfect innocence in this world of rat-race.The poem voices a yearning of a pious soul aware of his gradual degeneration .The soul writhing in the clutches of overpowering maturity,desperately groping for a breather, a respite and the one & only solution that he finds is the retreat into his childhood,to his long-lost innocence. by KEM.

| Posted on 2012-05-19 | by a guest

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unlike a common man who likes a forward motion,Vaughan likes a backward motion.The mundane world is full of pollution,noise and corruption and by living here one cannot but be polluted,noisy and corrupted.Vaughn pines for the blessed state that he had left off while he used to reside with the God during his \'angelic infancy\'.The drunk soul can get rid of its drunken state only after reaching into heaven.As he is alive,so the only option available to Vaughan to reach there is via death as he says \"And when this dust falls to the urn/In that state I came,return\".

| Posted on 2012-03-16 | by a guest

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Experiences are just shadows of life when we take it to the perspective of mundane world it will never leave you, it will restrict your heart .As we grow from child to a man we gain experience which is just like a snake tightly winding the heart and spreading the venom all over the it which kills all its purity.Like a flower time and over fades its colour we too time and over loose our purity.We leave the life of no creation ,we leave life of burden, we just miss our childhood when heart was a winner, emotions were the language and transparency was the medium.Knowing fakeness of the world poet sir Henry Vaughan wants gallop reverse in time when he was innocent , unconscious of the fakeness of the selfish outside world and was fearless.HEART is the manifestation of GODS LOVE,as it is said a child is always connecteted to the god it lies on fact that a childhas the purest heart in the world!!!!

| Posted on 2011-05-14 | by a guest

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Vaughan\'s THE RETREAT is considered to be a metaphysical poem,but deep down one can see it comes out with an amalgam of religious message and purity of childhood.Vaughan has divided life into two phases i.e.innocence an experience.until we are a child we are innocent and near to god but as we grow up our taste drastically changes in accumulating mundane things without thinking of its result.Vaughan through THE RETREAT peep in the past where he could find sanctity of thought,purity of heart,comfort of brain and above all Innocence.The poet is sad some time stating that now he is mature and he has lost his connection with God.There is only one motive behind the poet\'s RETREAT and that is to present a clear difference between the two. Innocence is DIVINE but maturity is like WINE which steals our senses.ROHINI JHA,MA ENGLISH

| Posted on 2011-04-26 | by a guest

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The Retreat by Vaughan is a retrospective of innocence staying in a stage of fully conscious of the vices of the mundane world. the poet wants to go back to the early infancy only to have the same transparency with God that once he had but lost in the matured stage.he misses all the heavenly purity on earth.vaughan still remembers the blazing face of the Almighty when he looks at the clouds or any beautiful flower.since the poet loves the past white transparent life, he peeps in the past but there he finds only \"the shadows of eternity\" because he has already entered into the planet of black deeds and lashing tongue.
the poet wants to have a voyage again to the track of the past although he knows quite well that most people loves to proceed. there is only one intention behind the poet\'s attempt to retreat,and that is his desire to coincide with the God. vaughan confirms that he can achieve his aim only after the end of his life and then he can return again to the celestial pleasant life.
posted by Epsita,West Bengal.

| Posted on 2011-02-24 | by a guest

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The core meaning of the poem is that innocence of a child is divinity in itself.The more experienced and mature we are evil things enter our mind and body.We start from where we are.The final stage is the second childhood.

| Posted on 2010-10-04 | by a guest

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Vaughan's The Retreat ( The Retreate) is a religious metaphysical poem . It refers to a period of seclusion when one withdraws one's mind from the world in order to meditate and contemplate . A forward motion in time propels one to sin, but a backward movement or retreat here signifies a spiritual regeneration . So the title of the poem is significant. The theme of the poem relates to the emotional reaction to the loss of innocence associated with infancy and an attempt to recapture the state when the soul had not incurred the taint of material existence. Thomas Calhoun traces the origins of the poem to Boethius' idea of a happy childhood. The poet here seeks to move backwards to journey into lost childhood and innocence.
Dr. Ratan Bhattacharjee ,Chairman Post Graduate Dept of English, India

| Posted on 2010-06-30 | by a guest

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