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Classic and Contemporary Poetry: Explained

THE WARNING, by         Recitation by Author     Poet Analysis     Poet's Biography

"The Warning" is a poem by Robert Creeley that was first published in 1962. The poem explores the theme of human mortality and the ways in which our lives are shaped by the inevitability of death.

Explanation:

The poem begins with a description of a "warning" that the speaker has received, which causes them to reflect on the brevity and fragility of human life. The poem goes on to explore the ways in which the inevitability of death shapes our experience of life, and the sense of urgency that this awareness can create. The poem touches on the themes of mortality, impermanence, and the human struggle to find meaning in the face of the transience of life.

Poetic Elements:

  • Form: The poem is written in free verse, with no set rhyme scheme or meter. The poem is structured as a series of short stanzas that build on one another.
  • Imagery: The poem contains vivid sensory imagery that evokes the speaker's awareness of mortality and the fleeting nature of life. The poem also uses metaphorical imagery to explore the themes of impermanence and the human struggle to find meaning in the face of death.
  • Tone: The tone of the poem is introspective and contemplative, with a sense of urgency and immediacy underlying the speaker's words.
  • Theme: The poem explores the themes of mortality, impermanence, and the human struggle to find meaning in the face of the transience of life.

Conclusion:

"The Warning" is a powerful and poignant poem that explores the ways in which the inevitability of death shapes our experience of life, and the sense of urgency and immediacy that this awareness can create. The poem's use of vivid imagery, metaphor, and tone create a sense of emotional depth and complexity, while its underlying themes invite the reader to reflect on their own experiences of mortality and the human struggle to find meaning in the face of the transience of life. The poem is a reminder of the importance of cherishing the present moment and living life to the fullest, even as we grapple with the reality of our own mortality.

Poem Snippet:

"The warning is

there is no warning.

Love breaks on the shore

even as you watch."


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