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Classic and Contemporary Poetry: Explained

FOR THE LAST WOLVERINE, by             Poet Analysis     Poet's Biography

"For the Last Wolverine" by Jamss Dickey, published in 1960,is a poem that explores the theme of extinction and the relationship between humans and the natural world. The poem imagines the last moments of a wolverine, a symbol of wildness and freedom, as it faces the encroachment of human civilization.

Poetic Elements:

Imagery: Dickey's language is rich in sensory detail, with vivid images of the natural world and the wolverine's struggle to survive. For example, he describes "the silence of the forest" and "the haggard sun that stares / From mountains that he's climbed but can't / Get over."

Diction: Dickey's word choices are simple and direct, conveying a sense of clarity and simplicity in the poem's exploration of extinction. Words like "freedom," "wildness," and "death" convey the poem's themes of the natural world and the human impact on it.

Tone: The poem has a mournful and reflective tone, as the speaker reflects on the loss of wildness and freedom in the face of human civilization. The poem's imagery and language create a sense of longing and regret for what has been lost.

Figurative language: Dickey uses several metaphors and symbols throughout the poem. For example, the wolverine is described as a "wild, blind scream" that represents the struggle of all living things against the encroachment of human civilization. The poem also uses the metaphor of "the red eye of the rifle scope" to convey the power dynamic between humans and the natural world.

Structure: The poem has no set meter or rhyme scheme, with irregular line lengths and no strict form. The lack of structure contributes to the poem's sense of spontaneity and immediacy, emphasizing the urgency and importance of the poem's themes.

In summary, "For the Last Wolverine" is a powerful reflection on the human impact on the natural world and the inevitability of extinction. The poem's rich imagery, simple language, and powerful metaphors make it a compelling reflection on the complexity and beauty of the natural world and our relationship with it.


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