Memory by Anne Bronte

Posted: November 27th, 2013






Memory by Anne Bronte

The gender of the narrator cannot be precisely determined but it can be established that the narrator is an adult who happens to be reminiscing on the good old days. From the way the speaker describes we can guess that it is probably a lady. This is in the way she has a strong emotional attachment to flowers. In the first stanza, she mentions of the how the soft winds were blowing around the beautiful flowers that were hue in color. In the third stanza, she also mentions how she fancies one little flower in particular. This flower is a primrose fair that is just beginning to bud. The narrator is very emotional and sensitive to her past memories. This is seen in her vivid description of the scenery and feelings that she has.

The poem is dramatic monologue where the narrator is not addressing anyone in particular. She is simply reminiscing on her past childhood moments and experiences.

I respond to the speaker favorably on the first part because childhood memories are usually full of innocence and beauty. I however, disagree with her conclusion that childhood experiences are not so divine but are filled with pangs of grief.

The speaker does not give a clue on the specific period in time that the poem is set in. however, it is possible determine the place that the poem is set in. the poem is set on a countryside because the speaker vividly describes the natural environment and there is no mentioning of any man made buildings or infrastructure. The speaker describes the place as having green fields with lush vegetation. The place is also forested because she mentions the wind blowing by the waving woods.

Reading the poem aloud helps the reader identify the speaker’s tone or voice. When the poem is read aloud, it becomes evident that the poet has not employed or speaking in character. The poet personally conveys her deep feelings concerning her past. Reading the poem aloud enables one to appreciate the sound and rhythm of the poem. The sound and rhythm created also gives the reader pleasure as the poem becomes more enjoyable. It is through reading it aloud that the various rhyme schemes employed in the poem become alive. The poem seizes from being just any other writing but becomes a song. Reading the poem aloud also helps the reader have a clear understanding of the message that the speaker was trying to pass across. This also helps the reader to more vivid and cognitive memory to the poem.

Paraphrasing entails rewriting the poem in prose form. This means that the poem seizes to be a work of art or a song with rhythm and into a piece of writing. When the poem; Memory by Anne Bronte is paraphrased. The reader is able to get literal or superficial meaning of the poem. This is however essential as it is the foundation in coming up with the intended purpose and real meaning of the poem.

The title of the poem highlights on underlying topic of the poem. The title of the poem is memory. This is in concurrence to what the speaker is doing through out the poem. The speaker is speaking of the memories she has of her childhood experiences. This has the effect preparing the reader in advance on what to expect inside the poem before commencing to read it.

The underlying theme in the poet is the theme of childhood innocence. This theme is presented to the reader indirectly. This is because it is embodied in the poem and the reader has to deduce it by implicitly analyzing the poem. Theme is gotten by analyzing how the writer explains the events and places, the underlying mood of the poem and the images presented by the speaker. Through this, the reader is able to realize that the speaker is narrating of her innocence as a child as she viewed the world as a perfect place without its hustles and sufferings.

Anne Bronte, like other poets, uses allusions in her poem; “memory” by including words or phrases borrowed from other poets. This serves a significant purpose as it displays her literary knowledge. It gives her poem a place among other similar works of art thus the poem does not seem isolated. This makes her works have a notion of literary excellence and adds historical depth to the phrases and words used.

Diction refers to how the poet chooses the words and orders the same words in the poem. Careful ordering of words and word choice reveal the meaning by leading the reader on what words to put more emphasis on. The word flower is repeated close to four times in the entire poem.

There are several figures of speech that are present in the poem. The poet uses similes when she writes, “Just opening into sight; as in the days of infancy” (Chitham 172). This comparison gives a vivid description of him blossoming of the primrose fair. There is also personification where the speaker says, “When one sweet breathe of memory- Came gently wafting by?” (Chitham 172). This adds beauty and emotional intensity to the literary work of art.

The shining of the sun is a symbol of the bright ideas and beauty that depict childhood life.

Irony is used in the poem in the way the body of the poem contradicts with its ending. The speaker starts and continues to show how the childhood memories are pure and the way life is beautiful during these moments. The descriptions of the events show that indeed child life albeit filled with naivety, is glorious in all its sense. However, at the end, the speaker contradicts all this by asking a rhetorical question on whether it is true that childhood is divine or its memories full of glory. She answers that the above is negative and that it is not at all divine but is filled with pangs of grief.

The poem’s tone in the beginning and middle part is luxuriant and contented. The speaker gives vivid descriptions of the natural beauty she encountered as a child. Paradox is employed in the poem where the speaker gives opposite views regarding childhood experiences. She describes the childhood experiences as full of beauty, stress free and filled with excitement. She later describes the same as filled with pangs of grief. The speaker’s description of the beauty of the spring as divine could be considered as an overstatement. This is because divinity is associated with heavenly beauty.

The poem depicts the employment of consonance in the first stanza where the speaker says, “sun of summer shone” (Langland 71), where there is a repetition of the consonant sound “s”. Assonance is also employed where the speaker says, “When one sweet breath of memory” (Langland 71); here there is a repetition of the vowel “e”. The employment of these literary techniques on the poem helps in creating auditory imagery for the reader.

The poet employs rhyme in the poem to make have a rhythm. Rhyme is seen in the first stanza where the words ‘shone and upon’ rhyme words; ‘Blue and hue, by and eye’ (Langland 71). The poem seems to have a rhyme scheme but it is not very conspicuous. The first stanza has a rhyme scheme of a, a, b, c, c, b. The second stanza has rhyme scheme of a, b, b, b, b. The rhyme is not natural but forced because it involves creatively changing the order of words to create rhyme.

The line in the poem seems to have regular meter of a Tetrameter with lines having four feet. There are variations in the poem like the third stanza that has a trimester. The rhythm in the poem complements the tone of the poem.

The poem, “Memory”, by Anne Bronte follows a regular form. The poem is a sestina as it has six lines on each stanza. The poem employs rhymes to create rhythm and follows a regular rhyme scheme of a, a, b, c, c, b. for the first stanza and a rhyme scheme of a, b, b, b, b. for the second stanza and so on. Having a regular form is a suitable vehicle for the poem’s meaning and effects as it helps establish the tone of the poem and give rhythm to the literary work of art.

The language in the poem is concentrated because the words in the poem perform several functions at the same time. The first function is that they convey a certain meaning and at the same time, their sound helps to create rhythm. The word “shone” in the poem gives imagery on how the sun gives it light. At the same time, the same word has a sound that rhymes with the word “upon” in the second line. This helps in creating rhythm in the poem. The poem warrants more than one reading in order to deduce the real meaning of the poem. This is because it is not written in prose form.

I personally enjoyed the poem. This is because it highlights on one of life’s mystical realities. When one is a child, one does not consider the beauty that surrounds him or appreciate the innocence of life. It is only after one has become older that one starts reminiscing on the so-called good old days. The speaker begins by highlighting the beautiful thoughts and memories of her childhood. She later negates from this fact as says that childhood is not so glorious after all but has some instances of grief.

Knowing the biographical information of the author will enable one to deduce the central concerns of the poem. Literature is the mirror of the society and helps to highlight the social concerns of the society at the time the literary works are written. Writers tend to focus on the social and economic issues that the society is facing and incorporate this in their works as a way of passing information.

Historical information about the poem will provide useful context for interpretation because it gives useful background information on the underlying issues at hand when the literary work was being crated. The poem will usually reflect on the current issues at hand. It will also be based on the context that precedes that time that it is created.

Societies have several aspects that are similar regardless of the time and place. My innocent experiences as a child have also influenced the way I interpret the poem. As a child, one tends to be more concerned with nature and play, but these changes later on and one is more concerned with more pressing economical and financial matters. This is evident in the way speaker only reminisces on images of the natural world in her childhood memories.


Works Cited

Chitham, Edward. A Life of Anne Brontë. Oxford, UK: B. Blackwell, 1991. Print.

Langland, Elizabeth. Anne Brontë: The Other One. Totowa, N.J: Barnes & Noble, 1989. Print.

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