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Classic and Contemporary Poetry: Explained

A BOY IN CHURCH, by             Poet Analysis     Poet's Biography


"A Boy in Church" is a poem by Robert Graves, a British poet and novelist who lived from 1895 to 1985. Graves was known for his use of innovative techniques and themes in his poetry, and "A Boy in Church" is no exception. The poem reflects on the theme of religious faith and its impact on the individual.


"A Boy in Church" was written in the mid-20th century, a time when traditional religious beliefs were being challenged by scientific and cultural changes. The poem reflects the broader cultural and intellectual movements of the time, particularly the questioning of traditional religious beliefs. At the same time, the poem also reflects Graves' own experiences and concerns, particularly his own struggles with religious faith.


"A Boy in Church" is a poem that reflects on the experience of a boy attending church. The poem describes the boy's feelings of boredom and discomfort, as well as his longing for escape. The poem also suggests that the boy is struggling with his faith, and that he is unsure of his place in the world.


"A Boy in Church" is written in free verse, which allows Graves to create a sense of spontaneity and naturalness in the poem. The poem is divided into stanzas of varying lengths, and Graves makes use of poetic devices such as repetition and imagery to create his effects.

Poetic Elements:

Graves' use of repetition and imagery in "A Boy in Church" creates a sense of rhythm and musicality, while also emphasizing the emotional impact of the poem. The poem also makes use of vivid descriptions of the boy and his surroundings, such as the image of the "whispering air," to create a sense of the atmosphere of the church.


"A Boy in Church" is a thought-provoking poem that encourages its readers to reflect on the theme of religious faith and its impact on the individual. Graves' use of free verse and rhetorical devices creates a sense of naturalness and immediacy in the poem, while his use of poetic techniques such as repetition and imagery adds to its emotional impact. The poem also suggests that the struggle with religious faith is a universal experience, and encourages its readers to embrace their own doubts and uncertainties. Overall, "A Boy in Church" is a memorable and thought-provoking poem that challenges its readers to think deeply about their own beliefs and experiences.


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