Showing 221 - 230 of 298 annotations contributed by Aull, Felice
Summary:The narrator delineates the needs of a human heart and soul: "pleasure," relief of pain, and finally, "the liberty to die."
Summary:The narrator distinguishes between madness and sanity: the beliefs of the majority constitute sanity, whereas those who dissent are considered insane.
Summary:From centuries beyond the grave, the narrator describes the peaceful process of her passing, in which Death is personified and escorts her in his carriage. During the leisurely ride, she passes many ordinary sights: a school house, fields--but finally realizes that the ride will last for all eternity.
Summary:Shakespeare considers the destructive power of time: it can ruin "lofty towers" and destroy land and bodies of water. He realizes that time will eventually tear him from his beloved, and mourns her death to come.
Summary:Picturesque autumn and evening imagery is an analogy for the changes that occur during aging. These changes are "perceiv[ed]" by one's beloved, whose love grows stronger in the face of the knowledge that death will come "ere long."
Summary:Shakespeare compares the directionality and rhythmic quality of waves to the natural life cycle: "nativity . . . / crawls to maturity", and to the relentless nature of time. Although death is eventually inevitable, the poet's tone is not one of fear or frustration, but of calm acceptance and the hope that his "verse shall stand."
Summary:The aging narrator identifies strongly with his apparently young and beautiful love. He also believes that the love within his heart keeps his beloved youthful. The sonnet considers how humans perceive the aging process in themselves by observing it in those they love.
Summary:A child recalls waltzing with his drunken father. His papa's breath stank of whiskey, his moves were clumsy and borderline abusive, and the son's love and fear caused him to cling to his father "like death."
Summary:The narrator observes an old, poor woman "who used to be the best looking gal in Georgia." now in a state of advanced deterioration. The poem expresses the poignancy of watching a decayed life from the perspective of memory; it ends with an affirmation of human dignity.
The life cycle of a townspeople and of one ignored couple, lyrically rendered in nine short stanzas. To stunning effect, Cummings employs reversed word order, almost-but-not-quite-nonsense sentences, play on words, and repetition. We get the coming and going of the seasons; the leading of lives, circumscribed, sometimes small-minded, monotonous.
But there is also yearning and dreaming, marriage, children, joy and hope. It may take several readings to realize that woven into the description of the townsfolk is the tale of a man and a woman, "anyone" and "noone", ignored or even reviled by everyone else. Only "children guessed" that they were falling in love--that "anyone’s any was all to her . . . . " Time passes, they die, they are buried next to each other, they become part of the earth and of the cosmos, "all by all and deep by deep . . . Wish by spirit and if by yes."