introduction to poetry - level 4
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 3rd assignment

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Manal Al-Hagbani

Posts : 11
Join date : 2010-03-12

PostSubject: 3rd assignment   Fri Apr 30, 2010 4:15 pm

The poem '' Prayer before Birth '' is written by the Irish poet Frederick Louis MacNeice ; famous for his obvious opposition to totalitarianism .The poem is rich in the various kinds of figures of speech which were successfully used by the speaker to convey his message and envision his inner feelings toward the pathetic state of the world around him. The whole poem is a picture of the sorrowful conditions of the world. MacNeice in his poem expresses his fear at what the world's tyranny can do to the innocence of a child and blames the whole human race ''for the sins that in me the world shall commit''. The poem also contains many religious themes and overtones through the use of double – imagery; the child could be seen as a metaphor for Christ, making reference to certain themes and events said to have occurred during his ministry on earth. MacNeice talks of being a ''cog in a machine'' – this shows that he feels that society will mould the child to become part of everything else around him, he will be worthless, insignificant and merely a part of an entire collaboration. This also links in with the first and Second World Wars, where soldiers were '' dragooned'' into being an automaton.

The poem is an agonized plea from the mouth of an unborn infant in its mother's womb. The speaker starts off by asking God to protect him from various dangerous animals that could harm such as blood sucking bats and land rates. Furthermore, the speaker tries to emphasize the fears of the unborn infant through many metaphors such as human race may with tall walls wall him, being afraid of being taken control by other people who use very strong tools like wise lies to make believe something that is not true.

The speaker depicts the world as a desert that calls the unborn infant doom referring to dangerous adventures that he might be tried to lure into. The fetus desires to be protected from people who think they are better than others, the man who is beast. Or who thinks he is God. The Stanza before last is more detailed in the fetus's description of fears about human life which implies to his unwillingness to be turned into a person who does not think for himself being brainwashed by other people and performing act that they want him to perform, a cog in a machine. He does not want to be used by others in anyway, thither.

The marvelous variety of figures of speech in the poem helped MacNeice to reveal his deep sadness and horrible fear and to give reason to his fear by exposing the huge amount of evil on earth . The whole poem is full of metaphors, personification and similes. He likens water, trees, sky mountains ; the desert and waves to a human being ; all this personification helped to show the innocence and the harsh and harmful world around him. '' blow me like thistledown hither and thither '' , '' spill me and fear of the speaker from the fierce and dangerous world. All in all, the whole poem is like a very expressive portrait with dark and black colors . It is not a pleasant image that depicts the feelings of fear, gloom and sadness from the surrounding evil in a very excellent and expressive manner.

SO sorry Mrs.Ouhod for the late. scratch
I hope you accept it
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