For the union dead poem explication

Then the speaker imagines a moment further back in time, when the philosopher William James stands at the dedication of the monument, thinking of the black soldiers of the regiment who are being honored.

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When he snaps out of that daydream, he recalls a more recent past "last March" specifically when he witnessed the construction of what would become an underground parking garage. Senate went around the clock from February 29 to March 5, with southern senators delaying a vote on a civil rights act that would authorize federal referees to watch polling places where blacks had been discriminated against.

What heroic qualities does that person possess? This image of rising bubbles presents the fish as trapped and submissive. Then he sort of pops back into the present, with a somewhat critical eye. The ode, by nature, considers its subject matter and plucks both consolation and elevation from the process.

Both the elegy and the ode seek to redeem; yet there is little that Lowell can perceive as redemptive in the modern world. This image suggests both ascension and delicacy; the bubbles rise yet quickly break apart.

A child might enjoy seeing obedient animals at an aquarium or zoo, but as an adult revisiting these memories, the image of wild animals obedient to and contained by humans is slightly unnerving.

For the union dead theme

NEXT We get to do some time-traveling in this poem. Indeed, President Eisenhower, despite his initial reluctance, sent national troops to Little Rock in order to protect those students and keep order. The lines are deliberately mismeasured and irregular in their metrics and, where possible, Lowell gives them a falling cadence through the use of a clipped and abrupt syntax. In fact, Lowell takes the reader from the s to the s when the poem was published , crossing not only a hundred years of actual time but also a century of changing attitudes and values. Instead of tingling from excitement, however, the Statehouse is being shaken by nearby excavations. However, this pared-down declaration suggests that technology has brought mankind closer to a giant void, not a new frontier of knowledge. The speaker returns to the Colonel, commenting on how time is wearing away at these monuments. It is an occasional poem, composed for and first read at the Boston Arts Festival in June, Analysis The first stanza of this poem is in the passive voice, and its imagery is straightforward and descriptive. Truly, we cannot assume that every soldier of the Civil War nor every American at the time was so fervent in his or her beliefs. The ode elevates and raises its matter by profound consideration and by deep philosophical penetration of the issue at hand. The publication of For the Union Dead was a major literary event. In many ways the poem repeats an earlier ceremony, the dedication of the Shaw Memorial in He wanted no monument but the location of his son's grave. Often what someone thinks of as construction actually spells destruction for someone or something else.

The line also might be self-referential, a way for the speaker to point out how the character, a statue, has leaped back into life for this poem. That is taken to represent the destruction of order in a deeper civic and moral sense. In fact, Lowell takes the reader from the s to the s when the poem was publishedcrossing not only a hundred years of actual time but also a century of changing attitudes and values.

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Modern American Poetry