'The Word' by Edward Thomas
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There are so many things I have forgot,
That once were much to me, or that were not,
All lost, as is a childless woman's child
And its child's children, in the undefiled
Abyss of what can never be again.
I have forgot, too, names of the mighty men
That fought and lost or won in the old wars,
Of kings and fiends and gods, and most of the stars.
Some things I have forgot that I forget.
But lesser things there are, remembered yet,
Than all the others. One name that I have not --
Though 'tis an empty thingless name -- forgot
Never can die because Spring after Spring
Some thrushes learn to say it as they sing.
There is always one at midday saying it clear
And tart -- the name, only the name I hear.
While perhaps I am thinking of the elder scent
That is like food, or while I am content
With the wild rose scent that is like memory,
This name suddenly is cried out to me
From somewhere in the bushes by a bird
Over and over again, a pure thrush word.
Editor 1 Interpretation
The Word: A Masterpiece of Wordsmithery by Edward Thomas
As a literary enthusiast, I am always looking for new ways to appreciate the beauty of poetry. And when I came across Edward Thomas' poem, The Word, I was floored. This masterpiece of wordsmithery is a testament to Thomas' skillful use of language and his ability to create vivid imagery that resonates with readers.
Before we delve deeper into The Word, let's take a moment to learn about the poet himself. Edward Thomas was an English poet and writer who lived from 1878 to 1917. He is known for his poetry, which often reflects his love of nature and his thoughts on war.
Thomas did not begin his career as a poet. In fact, he was a literary critic, and it was only later in life that he began to write his own poetry. He was encouraged to do so by his friend, the poet Robert Frost, and the two of them often went on walks in the English countryside, which inspired much of Thomas' poetry.
The Word was one of Thomas' most famous poems, and it was written in 1916, just a year before his death in World War I.
The Word is a short, six-line poem that packs a powerful punch. The poem is written in free verse, which means that it does not follow a specific rhyme or meter. Instead, the poem is structured by its use of imagery and language.
The poem begins with the line, "Out of us all / That make rhymes", which immediately sets up the idea that the poem is about poets and the act of creating poetry. The next line, "Will you choose / Sometimes - / As the winds use / A crack in a wall -" uses a simile to compare the act of choosing a word to the way that wind uses a crack in a wall.
The use of a simile here is significant because it allows the reader to understand the comparison in a concrete way. We can visualize the way that wind uses a crack in a wall to its advantage, and we can see how a poet might use a word in the same way.
The next line, "For their soundboard, / Lustily rattle with" is where the poem really starts to shine. Thomas uses alliteration to create a sense of energy and excitement. The use of the word "lustily" also adds to this feeling, as it suggests a sense of joy and enthusiasm in the act of creating poetry.
The final two lines of the poem, "The air all round / Is happy to catch / All that may come / Earthward screened", use imagery to describe the way that the words of a poem are caught by the air and carried to the earth. The use of the word "screened" here is also significant because it suggests that the words of a poem are protected and sheltered, just as a screen protects something from being damaged.
Overall, The Word is a powerful poem that celebrates the act of creating poetry. Thomas uses imagery and language to create a vivid picture of the way that words are chosen and used to create poetry. The poem is also significant because it reflects Thomas' own thoughts on the act of writing, and his love of nature.
So, what does The Word mean? At its core, the poem is about the act of creating poetry, and the power that words have to convey meaning and emotion. The opening line, "Out of us all / That make rhymes", suggests that the poem is about the act of creating poetry, and that all poets have the ability to choose the right word to convey their message.
The use of a simile to compare the act of choosing a word to the way that wind uses a crack in a wall is significant because it suggests that the act of creating poetry is a natural process. Just as wind uses a crack in a wall to its advantage, so too do poets use words to convey their message.
The use of alliteration and the word "lustily" in the line, "For their soundboard, / Lustily rattle with", suggests that the act of creating poetry is a joyful one. Poets are excited and enthusiastic about the act of creating, and they put their whole selves into the process.
The final two lines of the poem, "The air all round / Is happy to catch / All that may come / Earthward screened", suggest that the words of a poem are caught by the air and carried to the earth. This imagery suggests that the act of creating poetry is a powerful one, and that the words of a poem have the ability to affect the world around us.
Overall, The Word is a celebration of the act of creating poetry, and the power that words have to convey meaning and emotion. The poem is a reminder that poets have the ability to shape the world around them with their words, and that the act of creating poetry is a joyful and natural process.
In conclusion, The Word is a masterful piece of poetry that celebrates the act of creating poetry. Edward Thomas uses imagery and language to create a vivid picture of the way that words are chosen and used to create poetry, and his use of alliteration and simile adds to the beauty of the poem.
The poem is significant because it reflects Thomas' own thoughts on the act of writing, and his love of nature. The Word is a reminder that poets have the ability to shape the world around them with their words, and that the act of creating poetry is a joyful and natural process.
Overall, The Word is a must-read for anyone who loves poetry, or who is interested in the power of language to convey meaning and emotion. It is a masterpiece of wordsmithery that will leave you breathless and in awe of Edward Thomas' skill as a poet.
Editor 2 Analysis and Explanation
Poetry has always been a medium of expression for the human soul. It is a form of art that transcends time and space, and speaks to the deepest parts of our being. One such poem that captures the essence of poetry is "The Word" by Edward Thomas. This classic piece of literature is a masterpiece that has stood the test of time and continues to inspire generations of poets and readers alike.
At its core, "The Word" is a poem about the power of language and the transformative effect it can have on our lives. The poem begins with the speaker reflecting on the power of words, stating that "the word / Is more than the sound it makes." This line sets the tone for the rest of the poem, as it highlights the idea that words are not just mere sounds, but rather they have the power to shape our thoughts and emotions.
As the poem progresses, the speaker goes on to describe the various ways in which words can impact our lives. He speaks of how words can "make us or break us," and how they can "lift us up or bring us down." This idea is further reinforced in the lines, "The word can heal or hurt, / Can make us laugh or cry." Here, the speaker is emphasizing the fact that words have the power to evoke strong emotions within us, and that they can either be a source of comfort or pain.
One of the most striking aspects of "The Word" is the way in which it explores the relationship between language and nature. The speaker describes how words can be used to describe the natural world, stating that "The word can paint a picture / Of a landscape in our mind." This line is particularly powerful, as it highlights the fact that language has the ability to transport us to different places and evoke vivid images in our minds.
Furthermore, the poem also touches on the idea that language can be used to connect us to nature on a deeper level. The speaker states that "The word can bring us closer / To the beauty of the earth." Here, he is suggesting that language can be used to help us appreciate the natural world and develop a deeper sense of connection to it.
Another interesting aspect of "The Word" is the way in which it explores the relationship between language and identity. The speaker states that "The word can tell us who we are / And where we come from." This line highlights the fact that language is an integral part of our identity, and that it can be used to express our cultural heritage and personal experiences.
Overall, "The Word" is a powerful and thought-provoking poem that explores the many ways in which language can impact our lives. It is a testament to the power of poetry and the enduring nature of the human spirit. As readers, we are reminded of the importance of language and the transformative effect it can have on our lives. It is a poem that will continue to inspire and resonate with readers for generations to come.
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