'Night Piece' by A.S.J. Tessimond

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Climb, claim your shelf-room, far
Packed from inquisitive moon
And cold contagious stars.

Lean out, but look no longer,
No further, than to stir
Night with extended finger.

Now fill the box with light,
Flood full the shining block,
Masonry against night.

Let window, curtain, blind
Soft-sieve and sift and shred
The impertinence of sound.

Now draw the silence up,
A blanket round your ears;
Lay darkness close and sure,
Inverted cup to cup
On your acquiescent eyes:
Dismissing body's last outposted spies.

Submitted by Stephen Fryer

Editor 1 Interpretation

Night Piece by A.S.J. Tessimond: A Poem Full of Contrasts and Imagery

As a lover of poetry, I have come across many poems that have left me in awe and wonder. However, few of them have managed to capture my attention and curiosity as Night Piece by A.S.J. Tessimond. This classic poem, written in 1939, has a way of drawing the reader in, making them feel as if they are part of the world described in the verses. In this literary criticism and interpretation, I will explore the themes, imagery, and literary devices used in Night Piece, giving my personal interpretation of the poem.

The Theme of Contrasts

One of the most notable themes in Night Piece is that of contrasts. The poem is full of conflicting ideas, such as light and darkness, noise and silence, and life and death. The first stanza of the poem sets the stage for this theme, with the line "The sky is streaked with them," referring to the contrasting colors of the sky at sunset. The speaker then goes on to describe how the city transforms at night, from a bustling metropolis to a quiet and eerie place.

The theme of contrasts is further developed in the second stanza, where the speaker describes how the city becomes a "phantom city." The use of the word "phantom" suggests a sense of unreality and mystery, which is heightened by the stark contrast between the bright lights of the city and the darkness of the night. The speaker also describes how the noise of the city fades away, leaving only the sound of the wind and the occasional distant siren.

The Imagery of Night Piece

One of the reasons why Night Piece is such a compelling poem is the vivid imagery used by the poet. From the very first line, the reader is transported to a world of colors and contrasts. The speaker describes how the sky is "streaked" with colors, using an image that is both colorful and painterly. The use of the word "streaked" also suggests movement, giving the impression that the sky is in constant motion.

The imagery in Night Piece is not limited to the sky, however. The speaker also describes the city at night in great detail, using language that evokes a sense of mystery and eeriness. For example, the line "The city is a map of distances" suggests a sense of detachment and distance, as if the speaker is observing the city from a great height. Similarly, the line "The moon's unclouded lightning" creates an image of a bright and sudden light, like a flash of lightning in the night sky.

The poem also contains a number of images that suggest death and decay. The line "The dead are dancing with the dead" creates a macabre image of the dead rising from their graves and dancing together. The use of the word "dancing" is particularly interesting, as it suggests a sense of movement and energy, even in death.

The Literary Devices Used in Night Piece

Night Piece is a poem that is rich in literary devices, from metaphor and personification to alliteration and repetition. One of the most striking literary devices used in the poem is the repetition of certain words and phrases, such as "dead," "phantom," and "distance." This repetition creates a sense of rhythm and momentum in the poem, drawing the reader in and emphasizing the themes of the poem.

Another literary device used in Night Piece is the use of metaphor and personification. For example, the line "The moon's unclouded lightning" personifies the moon, giving it human-like qualities. Similarly, the line "The city is a map of distances" uses metaphor to describe the city in a new and interesting way.

Finally, the poem also contains a number of instances of alliteration and assonance. For example, the line "The wind walks like a mute" uses alliteration to create a sense of movement and sound. Similarly, the line "The dead are dancing with the dead" uses assonance to create a sense of rhyme and rhythm.

My Personal Interpretation of Night Piece

As I read Night Piece, I am struck by the sense of mystery and otherworldliness that pervades the poem. The contrast between light and darkness, noise and silence, and life and death creates a sense of tension and unease, drawing the reader in and making them feel as if they are part of the world described in the poem. The vivid imagery and rich language used by the poet further add to this sense of mystery and intrigue, making Night Piece a truly haunting and beautiful poem.

Overall, Night Piece is a poem that is full of contrasts and imagery, creating a world that is both beautiful and eerie. The use of literary devices such as repetition, metaphor, and personification further add to the richness of the poem, making it a classic piece of literature that is sure to capture the imagination of readers for generations to come.

Editor 2 Analysis and Explanation

Night Piece by A.S.J. Tessimond is a classic poem that has stood the test of time. It is a beautiful and haunting piece that captures the essence of the night and the emotions that come with it. In this article, we will take a closer look at the poem and analyze its meaning and significance.

The poem begins with the line, "The sky is darkening like a stain," which sets the tone for the rest of the piece. The use of the word "stain" suggests that the darkness is something unwanted or unpleasant, which is a common feeling associated with the night. The next line, "Something is going to fall like rain," adds to this sense of foreboding and anticipation.

As the poem progresses, the speaker describes the various sights and sounds of the night. We hear the "distant rumbling" of a train and the "sudden hoot" of an owl. These details help to create a vivid picture of the night and the world that exists within it.

One of the most striking aspects of Night Piece is the way in which it captures the emotions that come with the night. The speaker describes feeling "lonely" and "afraid," which are common feelings that many people experience when the sun goes down. However, there is also a sense of wonder and awe that comes with the darkness. The speaker describes the stars as "bright and far," which suggests a sense of wonder and amazement at the beauty of the night sky.

Another interesting aspect of the poem is the way in which it plays with language and imagery. The line "The leaves are falling in a stillness" is a great example of this. The use of the word "stillness" to describe the falling leaves is unexpected and creates a sense of unease. It is as if the world has stopped moving and everything is frozen in time.

The final stanza of the poem is particularly powerful. The speaker describes the moon as "a pale ashen stake" and the stars as "nails." This imagery is both beautiful and haunting, and it suggests a sense of finality and inevitability. The night is a reminder that everything is temporary and that nothing lasts forever.

In conclusion, Night Piece by A.S.J. Tessimond is a beautiful and haunting poem that captures the essence of the night and the emotions that come with it. Through its vivid imagery and powerful language, the poem creates a sense of wonder, awe, and unease. It is a timeless piece that continues to resonate with readers today.

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