Responses to the Poems

Posted: November 27th, 2013

Responses to the Poems










Responses to the Poems

The Painter – John Ashbery

This poem is a reflection of what is going through the author’s mind as he tries to figure out how to express his thoughts on paper. To achieve this, Ashbery uses a painter’s experience because he feels that the concept is similar to his incidents; therefore articulating his ideas more clearly to the audience. I think that the author is trying to experiment and discover various endpoints before he actually describes the actual outcomes. This shows that the author is keen enough to understand his thoughts before inputting them because he is interested in its inner significance rather than how its outward form.

The poem appears to include symbols that have been metaphorically used to represent the author’s thoughts. I believe the author saw it as an innovative and significant way in giving the readers a clear picture of what went through his mind as he is writing the poem. For example, one of the symbols in the passage identified as the sea symbolizes the unlimited possibilities of ideas and thoughts that could be used in writing the poem. In addition, the buildings represent the traditional audience that does not understand the purpose and the connection between modern art and poetry. However, this does not stop the writer from expressing his ideas about life because he believes he has the power to create the art piece and define its boundaries.

The author’s confidence shows that he strongly believes in the influence of art to the extent that it cannot be interfered with by thinking limitations set by traditional critics. This is a strong point because it encourages the artist to be confident of his full innovative potential instead of being shuttered by the boundaries that control or change the purpose and meaning his idea. The poem emphasizes on the responsibility of artists to revive creativity and art that is hard to be taken seriously in reality through prayer. I think the author’s purpose in this poem was to empower different artists to be proud and stand for their individuality despite resulting to differences with other peoples’ common beliefs.

One Art – Elizabeth Bishop

            The author seems to have gone through many experiences involving loss. Bishop is therefore trying to express her understanding of the same by applying it in real life situations. This creates a negative outlook on life from the author especially when she explains that the reaction of loosing things should not be as surprising since it occurs regularly. In addition, it leaves a mark of lost hope and doubt especially in people who have lost something important in their life. The author describes her experiences with much straightforwardness creating emotional influences within the poem. However, as she depicts items that are of more importance such as the house and the city infuse more pain as sensed by the way she describes the experience.

I think that Bishop is in denial because she refuses to accept how she really feels about the situation and instead acknowledges it as a normal incident that ought not to be exaggerated. In addition, the author seems to be unwilling to accept that she lost items of great value and uses this avoidance mechanism to escape pain. It is evident that Bishop may also have also wanted to encourage a significant strategy in dealing with her loss. Bishop’s strategy holds that if anyone goes through experiences of loss, then he should not view himself as a special case since it is a universal experience. I also noticed that the author was being unrealistic in the last line of the poem because she tries to convince herself that the experience of loosing her mother was not a tragedy despite the fact that it actually is. This is the reason why she has the phrase ‘write it’ in brackets, because it gives her the motivation to deny that it really affected her. It is therefore a challenging poem necessitating a reader’s analysis in acquisition of the desired meaning and positioning of the poem’s importance in one’s life.

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