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Here is the poem: When I was a child the stones were living. Hot under my hand, they felt like flesh, and sands slipped through my fingers with a caress. Yes, everything was alive; the clumsy, roaring wind stepped on the flounched pink dress of the apple-tree, tearing it to shreds the puffed cheeks of clouds the brook with its pebbled tongue and the hoarse old grave old sea its gravelly song and eath itself a brown warm girl turning and tanning in the sun. All false, all wrong, somebody told me: winds are not lovers clumsy or gentle. There's no blood in stones, no tears in water. Nevertheless sometimes lately when I touch a chair or table I think I feel atoms stir under my fingers and at night in dreams I hear the small remote voices of grains of dust or the inaudible whispers of stars as they will speak to me some time when i lie with the living grass about me and the wind my old lover singing me to sleep and to wake
First of all I think it's important to know what pathetic fallacy is. Are you already familiar with this phrase as it pertains to literature?
Yes I am.
Well there are numerous examples of pathetic fallacy throughout this poem, which I think plays a part in the theme, but before I tell you my thought's tell me yours. WHat do YOU think is the theme of the poem?
I think that much of it obviously revolves around the whole idea of attributing human emotions emotions to an inanimate object, which is just pathetic fallacy. But then I think that it also revolves around the idea of how one's perspective will keep changing throughout thier life. As a young child, one has a very innocent mind and believes everything they see, but as you get older one's sense of wonder decreases because you've experienced so much more and learnt of the harsh realities of life. I'm not sure how to potray that whole idea as a theme or if what I'm saying is even a theme?
You are pretty much right on the money. The poem is about how we lose the naivety of childhood. How things no longer seem alive like they did when we were kids, but also how a part of us tries to hold on to that: Nevertheless sometimes lately when I touch a chair or table I think I feel atoms stir under my fingers and at night in dreams I hear the small remote voices of grains of dust or the inaudible whispers of stars as they will speak to me some time That even as we age and become serious adults we long for and reach out for that child naivety. Now we could sit and discuss alday whether this is true or why, but it won't help us come up with the theme. So, a theme is simple, usually only a few words at most, and since we agree on the interpretation of the poem, how do you think you could put that interpretation into just a few words?
Okayy... I'm thinking somewhere along the lines of how in our lives, sometimes we can come to value the little things in life, and those are the ones that we have brought along with us since we were young. Im really having a hard time putting this into a few simple words though in theme form. Usually Ive learnt that themes consist of a word abstract concept, so like love. So I want to say nature, but I know that thay's wayyy off. Ummm... Maybe, naivety vs. fantasy?
Or maybe reality vs, fantasy
You've got the right idea. There would be more than one way to state the theme of this poem, but I would say, "Innocence lost to age." Something like that.
I think with more thought you could probably do better than that.
Okay thanks so much for your help. Is it okay if I can maybe contact you in the future if I have more questions?
Sure. If you want to alert me to a question, just enter @jagatuba at the beginning or the end of your question.
Welcome to OpenStudy by the way.
Okay, that's great to know! Thank you!