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Summary of the poem “Beauty” by John Edward Masefield
The poem, “Beauty” is written by a nature cherishing writer John Edward Masefield. In this romantic poem, the poet compares his beloved to every one of the bounties of nature. But, he discovers her the most beautiful. The poet says that he has seen the magnificence of dawn and dusk of fields and slopes, daffodils, and the growing grasses. He has heard the song of the blossoms and serenade of the ocean. Moreover, he has seen surprising lands while remaining under the curved sails of boats. However, the poet says that the loveliest thing that God has ever shown to him are his beloved’s voice, her eyes, her magnetic hair, and the pricey red curve of her lips.
Literary Analysis of Beauty
Beauty is a romantic poem written by John Edward Mayfield. The poem compares what is beautiful and what one loves in the world. The poet seems to be enslaved by the beauty of his beloved. He compares his beloved to all the beauties of nature but finds his beloved the most beautiful.
I have seen dawn and sunset on moors and windy hills
Coming in solemn beauty like slow old tunes of Spain
In the first two lines, the poet says that he has seen dawn and dusk on moors and windy hills which bestow the great happiness and satisfaction like the wonderful tunes of Spain. The time of dawn and dusk are as pleasing and soothing as the wonderful music of Spain.
The poem in which the entire situation is shown is dawn, afternoon and dusk. The poem opens with a depiction by the poet of his encounters with nature that demonstrates the impact of romanticism on him by discussing nature and scenes -“Have seen dawn and sunset on moors and windy hills”. The reference to Spain brings an exotic to this poem.
Their poet has used several poetic devices in this poem. In the second line, the poet employs a simile “Coming in solemn beauty like slow old tunes of Spain”. In this line, the speaker makes the readers understand the great happiness and satisfaction he feels with the arrival of his beloved by comparing such event to wonderful music.
I have seen the lady April bringing in the daffodils,
Bringing the springing grass and the soft warm April rain.
In the third and fourth lines, the poet says that he has seen the month of April ( spring season) which brings the daffodils, fresh grass and soft warm rain.
Here, the month of April (spring season) has been personified by endowing it with the ability to “bring” something. It has been also called “lady April “.
I have heard the song of the blossoms and the old chant of the sea,
And seen strange lands from under the arched white sails of ships
In these, the poet continues his praise of beautiful things. In these lines talks about musical beauty in combination with natural beauty. He says that he has heard the song of blossoms and chant of the sea. In addition to this, he has witnessed the surprising lands from under the arched sails of the ship. The song of blossoms alludes to soft rustling music of the blossoms produced when the breeze blow through them. The chant of the sea refers to the music created by ripples in the sea.
But the loveliest things of beauty God ever has shown to me
Are her voice, and her hair, and eyes, and the dear red curve of her lips.
In these ending lines of the poem, the poet’s focus of praising beauty shifts from the beauty of nature to the beauty of a woman. He expresses that the beauty of his beloved surpasses all other beauties. The poet expresses that the loveliest things of beauty God has ever shown to him are his beloved’s voice and her magnetic hair and dear red curve of her lips. The slow old tunes of Spain, The song of blossoms, chant of the sea have been compared to the voice of the poet’s beloved. Her hair has been compared to the natural beauty and ‘dear curve of her lips’ I think have been compared to ‘arched white sails of the ship’ from where one can see strange lands. The poet perhaps alludes to touching the crimson lips of his beloved where from he witnesses the amazing experiences that make him forget all other beauties.
The questions of Beauty by John Edward Masefield
1. What are the various things of beauty the speaker has seen?
Answer: The speaker has seen the wonderful sights of dawn and dusk, the charming beauty of daffodils and the magnificence of growing grasses. He has also seen some surprising lands from under the arched windows of the boats.
2. What are the loveliest of all these things God has shown to the poet?
Answer: The loveliest all of these things God has shown to the poet are his beloved’s voice, her hair, her eyes and the red curve of her lips.
3. To whom do the words in the last line refer to?
Answer: The words in the last line refer to the poet’s beloved.
4. Why does the poet compare dawn and dusk with slow old tunes?
Answer: The poet compares dawn and dusk with slow old tunes of Spain because the time of dawn and dusk on moors and windy hills has a harmonious and soothing effect. It is pleasing to the senses like the wonderful tunes.
5. How does God’s creation appear to the poet?
Answer: God’s creation seems extremely lovely to the poet. He is satisfied with every wonderful thing of nature. However, he considers his beloved’s features more beautiful than everything else.
6. What does the poet mean by the song of the blossoms?
Ans. The song of blossoms implies the rustling music of the blossoms produced when the breeze blows through them. This stirring music of the blossoms has been considered as the song of the blossoms
7. What is the difference between the last line and the rest of the poem? What does it suggest?
Ans. The whole poem except the last line praises the beauties of nature. The last line praises the beauty of the poet’s beloved. He thinks about that her melodious voice, her vast eyes, and her pricy curved lips are the loveliest things God has ever shown to him. While the rest of the poem praises nature’s beauty and clarifies its marvels but the last line focuses on the poet’s beloved.
It suggests that the writer is certain that there is no correlation between his beloved’s magnificence with the rest of wonders.
Tone of The Poem ‘Beauty’
This sonnet utilizes figurative and rhetorical devices. The tone is romantic, exotic and speaking to the senses. The use of expressions and words, for example, “slow old tunes”, ” song of the blossoms” and “chant of the ocean” discuss musical beauty and “April rain”, springing grass” and “daffodils” touch the feeling of the smell of the readers of this poem.
Structural Analysis of Beauty
There are two stanzas in this poem. Each stanza has four lines. The rhyme scheme is used uniquely in this poem, which is ABAB CDCD, rather than typical AABB rhyme scheme.
A Typical Poetic Device- Enjambment
Enjambment is used all through the poem, for example, “I have seen the lady April bringing the daffodils, /Bringing the springing grass and the soft warm April rain”, where the entire meaning of a specific line is only comprehended after the reader associates it to the line before it or after it.
The diction of The Poem
The diction of this poem is both denotative and connotative. Denotative style includes the symbolic dialect, for example, “But the loveliest things of beauty God ever has shown to me/are her voice, and her hair, and eyes and dear red curve of her lips”.In these lines, the poet refers his beloved. While connotative language can be found in the accompanying lines, “I have seen the lady April” which is a backhanded reference to his girlfriend or beloved.
Alliteration and Assonance
The writer has additionally made sound impacts by repeatedly using expressions as “I have seen”, which is used in the first and the third line. There is also alliteration in “s” sound, for example, in “seen”, “sunset”, “solemn”, and “Spain”. On the other hand, assonance is used in the accompanying words as in “windy hills” (I sound), “slow old” (o sound), and “song of the blossoms” (o sound).
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