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Mushrooms by Margaret Atwood
Posted by: Pete (---.proxy.aol.com)
Date: December 27, 2004 09:10PM

Mushrooms by Margaret Atwood (NOT Sylvia Plath)

i have to do an analysis of this poem...but i also need to find referecnes and websites on this to cite as required ..i can not find any..i have used every search engiine i think and nothing! please help!


Re: poem analysis
Posted by: Denise (---.c3-0.arl-ubr1.sbo-arl.ma.cable.rcn.co)
Date: December 27, 2004 09:21PM

Have you actually done the analysis yet?

It might be better to start with that and then to look for citations.

Usually, a citation should support your line of thought/reasoning.

I wouldn't start with the citation. I'd start with analysis.


Re: poem analysis
Posted by: lg (---.ca.charter.com)
Date: December 27, 2004 10:53PM

Pete, post the poem and we will look for the references.


Les


Re: poem analysis
Posted by: Noy (218.111.34.---)
Date: December 29, 2004 12:05AM

ermm....mind to share your assumption about poem 'the sorrow of love' by wb yeats?


Re: poem analysis
Posted by: lg (---.ca.charter.com)
Date: December 29, 2004 01:20AM

Perhaps one of our readers has an opinion:

The Sorrow Of Love
by William Butler Yeats

THE brawling of a sparrow in the eaves,
The brilliant moon and all the milky sky,
And all that famous harmony of leaves,
Had blotted out man's image and his cry.
A girl arose that had red mournful lips
And seemed the greatness of the world in tears,
Doomed like Odysseus and the labouring ships
And proud as Priam murdered with his peers;
Arose, and on the instant clamorous eaves,
A climbing moon upon an empty sky,
And all that lamentation of the leaves,
Could but compose man's image and his cry.

Les


Re: poem analysis
Posted by: Hugh Clary (---.denver-02rh15-16rt.co.dial-access.att.net)
Date: December 29, 2004 12:11PM

Was Odysseus doomed? Priam was the father of Paris (who abducted Helen of Troy), and was killed when the Greeks finally sacked the city. Is the girl with the red lips Maud Gonne?

It might be of value to compare an earlier version of this same poem:


The Sorrow of Love - 1892 (The other was 1925)

The quarrel of the sparrows in the eaves,
The full round moon and the star-laden sky,
And the loud song of the eversinging leaves,
Had hid away earth's old and weary cry.

And then you came with those red mournful lips,
And with you came the whole of the world's tears,
And all the sorrows of her labouring ships
And all the burden of her myriad years.

And now the sparrows warring in the eaves,
The crumbling moon, the white stars in the sky,
And the loud chaunting of the unquiet leaves,
Are shaken with earth's old and weary cry.


Re: Mushrooms by Margaret Atwood
Posted by: ns (202.88.172.---)
Date: December 31, 2004 01:01AM

WOW - A Yeats' work-in-progress!!!!!!!
Hugh, thank you!

I spend an hour on the earlier one trying to find out why Priam was proud. Couldn't.

Now I am thinking - how does this:
Doomed like Odysseus and the labouring ships
And proud as Priam murdered with his peers;

Inprove upon this:
And all the sorrows of her labouring ships
And all the burden of her myriad years.

Is the change only because of better alliteration and assonance, at the cost of getting the point across better? Or does this get the point across better?


Re: Mushrooms by Margaret Atwood
Posted by: Hugh Clary (---.denver-05rh15-16rt.co.dial-access.att.net)
Date: December 31, 2004 12:23PM

Yes, the rhymes are identical, except for the switch from years to peers.

1.
eaves/sky/leaves/cry
lips/tears/ships/years
eaves/sky/leaves/cry

2.
eaves/sky/leaves/cry
lips/tears/ships/peers
eaves/sky/leaves/cry


I think the scansion is better in the 2nd version, as well as showing how Yeats solved some of the problems inherent in the first. Too many 'ands', for example. The frequent repetitions become overpowering.

If one can (once again) infer that he is talking to/about MG, then we could interpret it so that,

The brawling of a sparrow in the eaves,
The brilliant moon and all the milky sky,
And all that famous harmony of leaves,
Had blotted out man's image and his cry.

Well, the title is the Sorrow of Love, so I would think man's cry is a lamentation for love lost, or unattainable. Yeats is possibly sitting in his study, listening to the complaining bird and watching the (full) moon outside. He is not unhappy at this moment, but then he remembers Maud.

A girl arose that had red mournful lips
And seemed the greatness of the world in tears,
Doomed like Odysseus and the labouring ships
And proud as Priam murdered with his peers;

A girl who had greatness in her soul, sparking Yeats's recollection of Greek myths/history. Maud is compared to Odysseus and to Priam, all the while being much like Helen who was the cause of those events. And the mere thought of his lost love gives him heatache once again.

Arose, and on the instant clamorous eaves,
A climbing moon upon an empty sky,
And all that lamentation of the leaves,
Could but compose man's image and his cry.

Are his thoughts better communicatated in the final version? Your call.


Re: Mushrooms by Margaret Atwood
Posted by: IanB (203.61.98.---)
Date: January 01, 2005 02:26AM

Can our benevolent moderator kindly split this thread into two, so that the interesting comments about Yeats' 'The Sorrow of Love' have a proper thread name and aren't located at the end of a thread about Margaret Atwood's 'Mushrooms'?

It's bad enough having the 'Mushrooms' thread name mutate into 'poem analysis'. How can that happen?!


Re: Mushrooms by Margaret Atwood
Posted by: Hugh Clary (---.denver-03rh16rt-04rh15rt.co.dial-access.att.ne)
Date: January 01, 2005 10:17AM

Hey, twenty years from now, who will care? We will look back on this thread and laugh.


Re: Mushrooms by Margaret Atwood
Posted by: ns (---.bng.vsnl.net.in)
Date: January 02, 2005 01:54AM

I hate scanning Yeats. It makes me feel like I don't know how to scan a poem ..... which is probably true.
I hate it and yet here I am ..... giggling through all the difficult bits.

1.
the QUArrel of the SPArrows in the EAVES,
The FULL round MOON and the STAR-LAden SKY,
And the LOUD SONG of the EVerSINGing LEAVES,
Had HID aWAY earth's OLD and WEARy CRY.

And THEN you CAME with those RED MOURNful LIPS, (????)
And WITH you CAME the WHOLE of the WORLD'S TEARS,
And ALL the SORrows of her LAbouring SHIPS
And ALL the BURDen of her MYriad YEARS.

And NOW the SPArrows WARring in the EAVES,
The CRUMBling MOON, the WHITE STARS in the SKY,
And the LOUD CHAUNting of the UNquiet LEAVES, (?)
Are SHAKen with EARTH'S OLD and WEARry CRY.


2.
the BRAWling of a SPARrow in the EAVES,
The BRILliant MOON and all the MILKy SKY,
And ALL that FAMous HARmony of LEAVES,
Had BLOTted out MAN'S IMage and his CRY.
A GIRL aROSE that had RED MOURNful LIPS
And SEEMED the GREATness of the WORLD in TEARS,
DOOMED like oDYsseus and the LABouring SHIPS
And PROUD as PRIam MURDered with his PEERS;
aROSE, and on the INstant CLAmorous EAVES,
A CLIMBing MOON uPON an EMPty SKY,
And ALL that LAmenTAtion of the LEAVES,
Could BUT comPOSE man's IMage and his CRY.

I think the scansion is better in the 2nd version,
Yes I would agree. I cannot say exactly why, though. It just looks like it is scanned better.

The frequent repetitions become overpowering.
Do you mean the frequent repetitions of little words like 'in the', 'of the', 'and all the'; or the stronger words like 'earth's old and weary sky' and 'in the eaves'; or both?



Post Edited (01-02-05 01:01)


Re: Mushrooms by Margaret Atwood
Posted by: Hugh Clary (---.denver-03rh16rt-04rh15rt.co.dial-access.att.net)
Date: January 02, 2005 08:47PM

Most of your scanned lines lack the required 5 beats, which I would force in my reading, even if it causes words like OF to get a boom, or even HARmonY. He intended pentameter, instead of tetrameter, that is. Any time you hear more than two unstressed syllables in a row, it is wise to seek another interpretation. That is to say Yeats uses almost 100% iambs, trochees, anapests and dactyls. Yeah, mebbe an occasional spondee as well, but I cannot decide whether a spondee is two stressed syllables as one foot, or two separate single-foot syllables. No such thing as a single-syllable foot, you say? I have heard that as well.

I thought the scan was better in the 2nd because the (rhythm) pentameter comes through stronger.

For your other note, I thought too many lines began with 'and'. Sure, he only lost three of them (7 to 4), but at least they don't tumble one after the other.


Re: Mushrooms by Margaret Atwood
Posted by: ns (202.88.172.---)
Date: January 03, 2005 04:29AM

Yes, thanks. Now it's working better.
Just one more question. In an adjective-noun pair would you demote the otherwise stressed adjective as in:

A GIRL aROSE that HAD red MOURNful LIPS

Or would you keep it as an anapest that leads on to a trochee?

A GIRL aROSE that had RED MOURNful LIPS

Both ways, the lines are in pentameter so it does not matter, I guess. But would you have kept "red" stressed or unstressed?

There are quite a few instances of similar lines.

Had BLOTted out MAN'S IMage AND his CRY.
Could BUT comPOSE man's IMage AND his CRY.

More so in the first version, interestingly enough.

---
2.
the BRAWling OF a SPARrow IN the EAVES,
The BRILliant MOON and ALL the MILKy SKY,
And ALL that FAMous HARmoNY of LEAVES,
Had BLOTted out MAN'S IMage AND his CRY.
A GIRL aROSE that had RED MOURNful LIPS
And SEEMED the GREATness OF the WORLD in TEARS,
DOOMED like oDYsseus AND the LABouring SHIPS
And PROUD as PRIam MURDered WITH his PEERS;
aROSE, and ON the INstant CLAmorous EAVES,
A CLIMBing MOON uPON an EMPty SKY,
And ALL that LAmenTAtion OF the LEAVES,
Could BUT comPOSE man's IMage AND his CRY.



Post Edited (01-03-05 06:04)


Re: Mushrooms by Margaret Atwood
Posted by: Hugh Clary (---.denver-04rh16rt.co.dial-access.att.net)
Date: January 03, 2005 01:16PM

Without having heard WBY read it himself, we can but speculate about those instances where the intent is ambiguous. The general rule is that nouns and verbs get primary stresses, but adjectives are so often seen stressed before nouns that the lines get blurred. Giving prepositions and conjunctions a hard stress seems to contradict, but it happens a LOT.

As you mention,

A GIRL aROSE that HAD red MOURNful LIPS

fits the pentameter, but is unlikely.

A GIRL aROSE that had RED MOURNful LIPS

This is the way I would hear it.

The rest I hear as you do, except the last line where,

Could BUT comPOSE man's IMage AND his CRY.

would be changed to,

COULD but comPOSE ...


Re: The Sorrow of Love
Posted by: Marty (---.247.72.102.up.mi.chartermi.net)
Date: January 03, 2005 03:23PM

Sorry to butt in....Can I ask.....Who changed William Yeats' poem in 1925, from its 1892 version?

Marty


Re: Mushrooms by Margaret Atwood
Posted by: Hugh Clary (---.denver-04rh16rt.co.dial-access.att.net)
Date: January 03, 2005 07:16PM

You have reason to suspect it was someone other than Yeats?


Re: Mushrooms by Margaret Atwood
Posted by: JohnnySansCulo (---.dyn.optonline.net)
Date: January 03, 2005 08:35PM

Yeah, it was those espresso-swilling Yeatniks i suspect


margaret atwood :select poems
Posted by: petty smith (216.110.115.---)
Date: February 11, 2005 03:15PM

what is the gist of her poem habitation


Re: Mushrooms by Margaret Atwood
Posted by: Hugh Clary (---.denver-03rh16rt-04rh15rt.co.dial-access.att.net)
Date: February 11, 2005 04:17PM

Habitation

Marriage is not
a house or even a tent

it is before that, and colder:

The edge of the forest, the edge
of the desert
the unpainted stairs
at the back where we squat
outside, eating popcorn

where painfully and with wonder
at having survived even
this far

we are learning to make fire

Margaret Atwood




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