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Classic and Contemporary Poetry: Explained

SONNET (3), by             Poet Analysis     Poet's Biography

"My soul is driven from the good I seek" is a poem by George Santayana, a Spanish-American philosopher and writer who lived from 1863 to 1952. The poem explores the idea of the human condition, and how the pursuit of happiness and fulfillment can often lead to disappointment and frustration.

Context:

The poem was written during the early 20th century, a time of great social and cultural change. The poem reflects the pessimism and disillusionment of the period, and explores the existential questions that were raised by the First World War and other global conflicts.

Content:

"My soul is driven from the good I seek" is a sonnet that explores the idea of the human condition, and how the pursuit of happiness and fulfillment can often lead to disappointment and frustration. The poem suggests that the pursuit of the good life is an ongoing struggle, and that the human condition is one of perpetual striving and dissatisfaction.

The poem explores themes of human longing, disappointment, and the inevitability of human suffering. It suggests that the quest for happiness and fulfillment is ultimately futile, and that the human condition is marked by a sense of restlessness and longing that can never be fully satisfied.

Form:

The poem is written in the form of a sonnet, with a regular ABAB rhyme scheme and iambic pentameter. The use of the sonnet form gives the poem a sense of formal structure and reinforces its exploration of the human condition.

Poetic Elements:

Santayana makes use of several poetic devices in "My soul is driven from the good I seek," including metaphor, imagery, and personification. For example, he uses the metaphor of a "vexed bark" to describe the human soul, and he uses imagery to create vivid and powerful descriptions of the struggle for happiness, such as the line "I seek the light, but find the shadows meet." He also personifies the human condition, giving it agency and purpose in the line "The fates pursue me with their shining feet."

Summary:

"My soul is driven from the good I seek" is a powerful and thought-provoking poem that explores the nature of the human condition. Santayana's use of the sonnet form and poetic devices gives the poem a sense of structure and beauty, and his exploration of the themes of human longing and disappointment is both profound and moving. The poem is a testament to Santayana's skill as a poet and his ability to capture the essence of the human experience through the power of language.


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