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Classic and Contemporary Poetry: Explained

NEW YORKER, by             Poet Analysis     Poet's Biography

"New Yorker" is a poem by American poet James Schuyler. It was first published in his 1968 collection "The Crystal Lithium". Schuyler is known for his distinctive style, which combines the everyday details of suburban life with a deep sense of spiritual longing.

Explanation:

"New Yorker" is a poem that reflects on the beauty and complexity of the world around us. The poem is set in New York City, and the speaker describes the sights and sounds of the city in vivid detail.

As the poem progresses, the speaker reflects on the ways in which even ordinary moments - a walk through Central Park, a glimpse of a bird - can take on a deeper significance when seen through the lens of poetry. The speaker also reflects on the ways in which our lives are enriched by the beauty and complexity of the world, and the ways in which poetry can help us to understand and appreciate this beauty.

The poem is full of vivid, sensory detail, with the speaker describing everything from the "bright sun on green treetops" to the "gleaming skyscrapers" of the city. Schuyler's use of rich language and vivid imagery creates a sense of both beauty and complexity, as the speaker reflects on the power of poetry to help us understand and appreciate the world around us.

The poem also explores the theme of mortality, as the speaker reflects on the ways in which our lives are fleeting and impermanent. The poem ends on a note of both sadness and beauty, as the speaker reflects on the transience of life but also celebrates the beauty and joy that can be found in even the most ordinary moments.

Poetic Elements:

  • Form: "New Yorker" is a free verse poem, meaning it does not adhere to a strict rhyme or meter scheme.
  • Imagery: The poem is full of vivid, sensory images, such as the "bright sun on green treetops" and the "gleaming skyscrapers".
  • Tone: The tone of the poem is contemplative, with moments of both sadness and joy.
  • Theme: The poem explores the themes of beauty, poetry, mortality, and the human experience.

Conclusion:

"New Yorker" is a beautifully crafted and deeply moving poem that reflects on the beauty and complexity of the world around us. Schuyler's use of rich language and vivid imagery creates a sense of both beauty and complexity, while his exploration of the themes of poetry, mortality, and the human experience adds depth and nuance to the poem. Ultimately, the poem celebrates the power of poetry to help us understand and appreciate the world around us, and to find meaning and beauty in even the most ordinary moments.

Poem Snippet:

"By noon bright sun on green treetops,

by one gleaming skyscrapers.

And if you look around

everything is there:

the hard, blue sky,

white puffs of clouds,

black-green trees."


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