Sunday, April 12, 2009

Free Verse

Morning at the Window - T.S. Eliot

THEY are rattling breakfast plates in basement kitchens,
And along the trampled edges of the street
I am aware of the damp souls of housemaids
Sprouting despondently at area gates.

The brown waves of fog toss up to me
Twisted faces from the bottom of the street,
And tear from a passer-by with muddy skirts
An aimless smile that hovers in the air
And vanishes along the level of the roofs.

Free verse is very self-explanatory. It is the basis of which all poems are created on. Free verse is the bare minimum a poem needs to be considered poetry. All the poem needs is to have it's parts equal the whole of the poem. No rhyme scheme or pattern is needed. Free verse can range from a one line poem to an essay almost. There is no limit for free verse. It just needs to have a story.

In T.S. Eliot's "Morning at the Window" the chaos of a morning breakfast is being described. This poem can also be considered imagism because it conveys a certain image. In this poem, many literary elements are used to enhance the poem. Caesura which is used in almost every poem I have done, is used to separate two different thoughts and images in the speaker's perspective. He mentions streets then girls. His stream of consciousness type of poetry has a certain cacophonic rhythm to it. The short, broken up words are used to intensify the chaos of breakfast and the streets of the city. There never is a soothing flow in the poem because of the cacophony used.

Eliot uses conceit in this poem to compare with the daily lives that we live. The chaos of the daily life of a human being is demonstrated by the breakfast, and the brown fogs indicate sins and mishaps that we all face, and the unclean nature of the streets indicates our unclean views on society. Lastly, the vanishing smiles depicts the superficial society that we live in vanishing behind closed doors or the "roofs". This description can be called "euphemism" because it is describing our secret desires and society's faults in a less condescending manner.

This can be interpreted differently depending on how the reader views the mood and tone. I couldn't find a video or reading of it, so I just assumed it was a very dark and solemn tone and mood.

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