19 Jan ode to the confederate dead theme
There are suggestions of a system of rewards and punishments, such as might make up some mythical order of justice, but nature offers only the salvation that comes with total effacement. The agony of his tragic end is all the more terrible because, unlike a leaf, he struggles to perform heroic deeds, yet like a leaf he passes away to extinction. Tate's adaptation of the ode form implies that if modern man is trapped by his personal conception of the world, so is the very character of the ode transformed by this view. Tate's final question to Spengler, "How shall we set about restoring the values that have been lost?" The heroic vision, as Tate presents it poetically, is composed of heroic action based on a view of the world which is objective, whole, and unchanging. He is aware of the changing seasons—he can see the falling leaves of autumn—but he has lost the faculty of explaining mystery through myth. . It, too, is a poem that dramatises the mythologising process, the creation of an idea, a complex of possibilities, out of historical fact. The first stanza shows a natural order that is dominated by the closed system of "the seasonal eternity of death." The airy tanks are dry. Tate's poetry, she observed, "speaks of the present only in relation to the past, and his view of the past is the epic view, heroic, exalted, the poet's past rather than the historian's." The ritualistic gestures are still carried on, though perhaps as a "grim felicity" that is a distinct decline from heroic action. It is the theme of heroism, not merely moral heroism but heroism in the grand style, elevating even death from mere physical dissolution into a formal ritual: this heroism is a formal ebullience of the human spirit in an entire society, not private, romantic illusion—something better than moral heroism, great as that may be, for moral heroism, being personal and individual, may be achieved by certain men in all ages, even ages of decadence." . Shiloh, Antietam, Malvern Hill, Bull Run, Lost in that orient of the thick-and-fast, And yet these lines suggest how unlike Ransom Tate is, even while he appears to echo him. Shall we take the act, To the grave? "Be a man," says one warrior to another. Like the Iliad, the "Ode" is "a certain section of history made into experience." Caught in his own naturalistic vision of existence, the speaker presents images illustrating the ravages of time, eventually ending the first strophe with his blind crab image of the "Locked-in ego," signifying his inability to move beyond his solipsism and reconnect himself with the objective world: "You shift your sea space blindly / Heaving, turning like the blind crab." Good luck in your poetry interpretation practice! THE structure of the Ode is simple. first edition 1952. by Tate, Allen. For it is at this point that one becomes aware of some sort of community standing behind the protagonist, those "who count our days and bowl Our heads with a commemorial woe" during the public ceremonies offered for the dead. The end of Tate’s "Ode" is as complete an image of isolation as can be found in modern poetry, as the speaker leaves the Confederate cemetery behind him, with its "shut gate and . It universalizes from the situation of the South in the middle and late twenties to the larger condition of the modern world. know the unimportant shrift of death, Rank upon rank, hurried beyond decision--, These heroes of an "immoderate past," however, cannot become a permanent part of the modernist vision or poem. Glaucus replies: "Great-souled son of Tydeus, why do you ask about my lineage? 1930), the dead symbolize the emotions that the poet is no longer able to feel. The gate and the wall separate the living from the dead, but the two important "sounds" in the poem—the screech-owl's call and the rioting "tongue" of the "gentle serpent"—are appeals to some kind of life. In the "Ode" the image of the leaves provides the answering strain to the quest for heroism in history, in man himself, and vainly, in society. Dead, but feed the grass row after rich row. The result is a constant tension between texture and structure: the language, packed and disruptive, the multiple levels of allusion and bitter ironies of feeling, are barely kept in control by the formal patterns of the verse. But, as in Homer, we are struck by the dissimilarity. Start This article has been rated as Start-Class on the project's quality scale. While the poem carries "Ode" in its title, Tate insisted that he wrote it to demonstrate that the form is no longer accessible to the modem poet.
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