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American Literature and Poetry are some of the finest and most deep, passionate and compassionate works available for educational, vocational and understanding purposes. It might be a touch under-rated as per the prevailing standards but the depth and knowledge that it has to offer is simply too much to grasp for majority of the personnel on the sheer basis of the co-relation with human values and relationship driven studies and analogies.
For simplicity sake we will be restricting ourselves to "The Emperor of Ice Cream" by Wallace Stevens, "Thanatopsis" by William Cullen Bryant & "The Children's Hour" by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. We will assess each case study in depth so as to build towards the key requirements of the essay.
The Emperor of Ice-Cream by Wallace Stevens
This poem was first published in 1922 and this is probably one of the only pieces of poetry and definitely one of the finest written by Wallace Stevens because it is something written in a letter format and yet has all the beauties and prose and rhyme of poetry. The theme of the story revolves around a person who is called in to make ice cream for the people and relative and friends of a female who are attending latter's funeral. The environment is reflective of the worries of the alive along with the reminder of those who die and the worries that they take with them to the next one. Writer's own intuition as reflective in the poem also creates an ambiguous thought about the writer being an atheist as he never provides a very conclusive cover of religious backgrounds and accomplishments.
he use of language is extraordinary and the setting of the scene suggests a lot for the readers. It needs to be borne in mind that the dead woman covered in embroidered clothing lies there as the world gathers and not worried about her passing discuss and talk over food and ice cream. While the worldly things remain the cloth covering the dead leaves her feet open to the viewers and that is the irony that death which is so obvious and eternal and in a way a beauty in its own rites stands at par with the beauty and the taste of something which serves the purpose of the person as and when needed. Therefore it is a mere matter of perception because human prefer things in life and when the time is late and they are passing over it is already too late to make amends or to enjoy what was left behind. The language is too eloquent and the writer encourages and ridicules the alive and the dead at the same time.
Thanatopsis by William Cullen Bryant
This is a beautiful piece of poetry written in 1811 by a great writer about life and death, history and future and reflects very closely on what the life of the western world holds for its own people and the rest of the world. The poem not only talks about love but also about death and maybe was inspired by some love detail from the personal life of the writer.
It is worth mentioning here that the writer is known to have had sexual relationships of sorts during his life and many of his works are reflective of the same. There is a similar side attached to this poem as well but since it is subjective and is dependent on the approach of the reader it will be discussed at a later stage. Writer does mention time and again that death is inevitable and awaits us all and we will all end up meeting it one way or the other. Since death is so sure everyone who does die does join the world in some different form and hence as per writer that is not something that should be feared by humans. Many still argue that the real meaning is meditation on death and if that is true then the theme of the poem is talking about the mix and balance between this life and the life after death because both are as certain and although one ends as the other begins but they do exist for all.
It is often argued that this was the only true piece of poetry that the writer ever wrote but even we take that to be true then as far as American literature is concerned then this was a very detailed and inspiring piece of simple and metaphorical prose as compiled by the writer. The meanings were aspiring and simple for all those who wanted to get involved. For those who seek god they will find god in this poem while for those who seek morality they will find morality and those who wish to find neither can take the details at face value.
The Children's Hour by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
Longfellow wrote most of his work during the mid 1850s and is truly labeled as the writer for the children. Writer had a very soft corner for children and that was inspired by the fact that he was very close to his own children. Like most of the other works the poem is rated and considered to be overly sentimental at times. The poem is very pictographic and the detailed prose and rhymes and stanza reminisce and remind one of the 3 daughters of the writer with whom he was very close.
For a child the poem is like a sing a song happy time but in effect it has a much more deepened meaning and connotation attached to it. A children's hour is not exactly a happy time and is not dedicated to all fun. The poem in depth does imply that the time given to the children is not just for their fun and games but also for their learning and education. That is imperative because that is the time where the children learn to change and groom themselves and from that point onwards they shape their very own future. There is a moral and worldly connotation attached to all of this. It has to be understand and followed and although the children directly may not know about any of this but it is up to the rest of the world and especially on the seniors and the parents and teachers to ensure that children learn the importance of fun and learning together and at the same time.
Children are in that age where they can learn and they and their lives need to be shaped accordingly. For that time is needed and although for the time being the children's hour especially from the perspective of the children would reflect the play and fun time. But in effect this is the time where fun activities are to be used to refresh while education and career shaping of the children is carried out.
The poem is not overly sensitive but it does speak of love and mentions that love shapes everything. The specific mention of dungeons and doors and the traps and the power of love can be seen in many lines which show that the power of family is there which prevents one from being trapped. It is also mentioned clearly that life is not about all funs and games which most children perceive to be true.
American literature is very rich when it comes to poetry, prose, rhymes and rhythm and there is an abundance of writers and poets produced by American culture over the past 5 centuries which have contributed very deeply to the lives of those living there. There is a reflecting of family values such as the reliance on love for children, life after death and the importance of morality as well as on the ethical standards to be followed. The American anthology is very deep and there is multitude of meanings with a multifaceted approach. It is subjective and dependent on how one is looking at the details. But in order to study, assess and analyze the American anthology it should never be looked at in isolation. That is why it is recommended to draw a comparison and for us to do that we need to look at number of cases together. When it comes to texts, poems, poetry or literature in general it would serve all of us best if the articles are considered in tandem and studies together so as to get the clear picture and assessment. The bearings do get correct with detailed and more conclusive studies. The cultural values are deep rooted in the American literature and one has to study with a very independent view point.