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I Have A Rendezvous With Death Analysis



Author: Poetry of Alan Seeger Type: Poetry Views: 943

I have a rendezvous with Death

At some disputed barricade,

When Spring comes back with rustling shade

And apple-blossoms fill the air-I have a rendezvous with Death

When Spring brings back blue days and fair.It may be he shall take my hand

And lead me into his dark land

And close my eyes and quench my breath-It may be I shall pass him still.

I have a rendezvous with Death

On some scarred slope of battered hill

When Spring comes round again this year

And the first meadow-flowers appear.God knows 'twere better to be deep

Pillowed in silk and scented down,

Where Love throbs out in blissful sleep,

Pulse nigh to pulse, and breath to breath,

Where hushed awakenings are dear...

But I've a rendezvous with Death

At midnight in some flaming town,

When Spring trips north again this year,

And I to my pledged word am true,

I shall not fail that rendezvous.






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

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“I have a rendezvous with Death” is repeated four times in this poem; twice in the first stanza and once in stanza two and three. I say, the poet is trying to make it clear to the readers that he [the poet] was not afraid to die. You can’t pick up a phone, dial death and tell him to meet you at Starbucks at 10 A.M. Death isn’t a person, only something that is part of life. The whole poem is pretty much personification. Aside from the idea of “calling death”, what the poet is meaning is that he’s okay with dying. He accepted death when he volunteered to fight in WWI. The connotation of the word rendezvous is supposed to be a friendly thing, but in the poem it’s used with death. As if the poet wants the readers see death as our friend. Spring, love, blissful; these are meant to be positive words, connotation. Since death and spring are the only things that are capitalized (other than God), I would say that spring in this poem doesn’t only mean the season, but it’s supposed to symbolize life. Disputed barricade, lead me into his dark land, and scarred slope of battered hill, I think, would also be symbolism for the poets fear of dying. Even he has accepted death; he still is a bit hesitating about it, but who wouldn’t, really? Line 5-8, I would classify as irony. “I have a rendezvous with Death//When Spring brings back blue days and fair.” (5-6) the poet first speaks about death, something most people naturally don’t want. The next line is about spring, where it’s usually a wonderful time of the year and most people look forward to. “It may be he shall take my hand //And lead me into his dark land” (7-8) Line 7 is where he [death] takes the poet’s hand, letting the poet know that everything will be okay and making sure the poet does not feel alone and lost, but then death lead the poet “into his dark land”. As I said before, death is something most people do not want to think about, it’s more on the negative side of things. Spring is joyful and something a lot people look forwards to, positive thing; therefore, juxtaposition. There is a rhyme scheme throughout this poem. Although the only rhyme I think is worth talking about is in stanza two, line 9 and 11 (breath and death), because breath is something you have when you’re alive and to make breath rhyme with death is ironic.

| Posted on 2014-10-25 | by a guest


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this poem is about a soldier (alan seeger) from america who joined the french military before america joined world war I. it tells of how he knows hecould live \"It may be I shall pass him still\" but will most likly die in battle \"On some scarred slope of battered hill\" \"At some disputed barricade\" \"At midnight in some flaming town\". it talks of how he knows it would be better to die back home with loved onces \"God knows \'twere better to be deep, Pillowed in silk and scented down, Where Love throbs out in blissful sleep\" but he made a promise and will keep it \"But I\'ve a rendezvous with Death\" \"And I to my pledged word am true, I shall not fail that rendezvous\" so thats why i thik this poem is about courage and honour

| Posted on 2012-08-17 | by a guest


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this poem i beleive is an insighful view of death from someone who has seen it, and feels they are soon to have to face it as well.
Poor solidiers? i believe that commenter was referring to the mentally ill soldiers coming back from world war one, not this specific poem.

| Posted on 2011-02-28 | by a guest


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i think it that he knows he is going to die and believes it has been pre-planned (maybe with god) and that he will stick to the plan, and not try to run away, a very patriotic poem

| Posted on 2010-10-18 | by a guest


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I poem was written by an american soldier who joined the French army so he could fight in a war (the Americans had yet to join the war) and as he got closer to his death he became more and more interested with death and glory.
That is what this poem is about Dieing in combat unknown time and place at some. Poor Soldiers? this is what he wanted and where he what to be, he could have be pillowed in silk and sent down but he choose some burning town at midnight. Alan Seeger got his wish and Died encouraging his comrades into a successful charge after getting hit several time by machine gun fire.

| Posted on 2010-06-27 | by a guest


.: rendezvous with death :.

i think the poem is about a soldier and how hard it is seeing so many people dying all around him. I think he sees this and it makes him think he's going to encounter death next. I think this poem is showing the effects of war on a soldier (if you're interested check out All Quiet on the Western Front by Remark) This is just one soldier, in WWI so many soldiers suffered. They were called the "lost generation" because they joined the war right after highschool so they hadn't established lives for themselves. When they came back from the war, so little of them came back in the first place, but those who did didn't have a life established so they were suffering along with the fact that they were mentally ill. Its sad that WWI had to be like that. Poor Soldiers.

| Posted on 2005-06-14 | by Approved Guest




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