Poetry Analysis

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1. What are the unfamiliar words for you in the poem’s context? (remember connotation, slang, dialect) Please define all unfamiliar words.
2. How is the Poem being told? (First person, etc)
3. Who do you think the Author wants to read this/these poem(s); who do you think he wanted to read it?
4. What is the underlying theme of the poem(s)?
5. What is the setting of the poem(s)? (Time and Place, if known)
6. Briefly summarize what happens in your poem(s).
7. What is the climax of the story?
8. How does this story relate to your life?

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1. Strictly speaking, Whispers In The Wind does not present any unfamiliar words – but a considerable part of the poem’s effectiveness is due to Martindale’s use of familiar words in unfamiliar ways. A key example is the poem’s use of “truth”. Martindale uses this seemingly very familiar word to refer to something quite distinct from the connotations the word usually holds for us, something along the lines of “how things are”. Instead, the poem works to make truth mean, first, a goal of greater importance for a spiritual journey than the self (though one could still see traces of our usual, intuitive notion of truth in such an interpretation). Then, Martindale establishes the (seemingly) intangible, unreachable nature of truth, on equal footing with—or even one and the same as—the past, despite the echoes and murmurs and ripples of that truth/past in the present – and in the present person. Then, ultimately, we have the truth quite literally personified, in long-deceased ancestors reaching out...
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