Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Teatime Tuesday Poetry

By Sara Teasdale

Alone in the night
On a dark hill
With pines around me
Spicy and still,

And a heaven full of stars
Over my head,
White and topaz
And misty red;

Myriads with beating
Hearts of fire
That aeons
Cannot vex or tire;

Up the dome of heaven
Like a great hill,
I watch them marching
Stately and still,

And I know that I
Am honored to be
Of so much majesty.

We discussed the imagery in the first two stanzas. Imagery is when an author appeals to one or more senses.

Then, we looked at the third stanza and I asked what had the beating hearts. We discussed the personification, a figure of speech where human qualities or abilities are given to inanimate objects or abstract notions, of stars.

In the fourth stanza we discussed the paradox of stars that march and are still. A paradox is a statement that seems to contradict itself, but on closer inspection, does not. Stars are still in that they continue to occupy the place in space and yet because the earth turns on its axis they appear to march across the night sky.

After discussing literary terms, we briefly discussed how this poem can mean different things. On the surface, this poem is about stargazing and well suited for reading aloud to young children. However, a mature person may see the night as dark as dark periods in a person’s life and the stars as hope, reassurance, or divine guidance.

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