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Where Lies the Land? by Arthur Hugh Clough

Essay by   •  December 9, 2011  •  Essay  •  771 Words (4 Pages)  •  4,213 Views

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In, "Where Lies the Land?" by Arthur Hugh Clough, he describes the excitement of uncertainty on sunny days and stormy nights aboard a ship. The author's message is to live your life and be happy with it. With his use of language in the poem, he was able to carry out this message to his audience. Other necessities like the structure and tone also carried out the author's meaning. All of the things he did in this poem allowed us to understand his message and here's why.

First off, the shape and pattern in this poem contributed in the poem's message. This poem had four stanzas with four lines per stanza. These two things referring to shape allowed the poem to flow as you read it allowing us to understand the message. There was also an end rhyme scheme with the pattern a,a,b,b. The rhyme scheme allowed us to realize the feeling the author was trying to give. Finally, there was repetition in this poem. This occurs in stanza one and four. Both these stanzas basically express uncertainty. The sailors in this poem don't know where they are going and it also doesn't tell us where they are coming from. This poem begins and ends with the fact that the sailors are uncertain where they are going to go. How we know there is uncertainty is the lines "far, far ahead is all her seamen know." and "far, far behind, is all that they can say." His use of structuring the poem is one key factor in expressing his message to the audience.

However, the author's use of language in the poem was more of a key factor. His use of language obviously gave us the message. One line "Where lies the land to which the ship would go" describes that the sailors don't know where they are going. This line from stanza one again emphasizes the fact that this stanza was about the idea of uncertainty. Another line "Linked arm in arm how pleasant here to pace" shows that the sailors are united. The line, from stanza two, basically describes that this stanza was about them being happy. They are carefree and these sailors have no worries. The use of language also gives us the fact that there was no shift in tone in this poem. Although stanza three talks about stormy nights, the sailors aren't scared or worry, they fight it. Without his use of language, the message would have never been given out.

Nevertheless, this further shows that the imagery used in this poem describes the scenes happening in each stanza. In stanza one, we could see a ship travelling somewhere that we don't know about. But in stanza two, the sailors are pictured to be happy and free. Most of all, the imagery in stanza three was most important. One line "On stormy nights when wild north-westers rave" describes that the place is rainy and very dark. This would describe a scared mood but these sailors "exults to bear" or face it. Their strength is described

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