Poem analysis is an inevitable requirement of any literature or literary studies course. Hence, poem analysis essay example will be of assistance to many writers who are facing this task. Since a traditional poem analysis usually requires the consideration of the wording, verse form, and audial effect of the work on the reader, the given poem analysis essay example will demonstrate how to reach the desired goal.
The Image of Flight in “Easter Wings” by George Herbert
“Easter Wings” written by George Herbert in 1633 is one of the most famous works of the author. The religious poem pictures the poet’s hope for better days that will come due to the victory of Christ’s resurrection from the dead. The image of flight, which has the central role in the poem and is apparently connected with the resurrection, is expressed in the text by the combination of visual, acoustic, and verbal means skillfully implemented by Herbert.
The author’s choice of the form was not coincidental as it added significant value to the meaning conveyed in the work. First, the stanzas of the poem visually resemble bird wings that instantly direct the reader to the sky and evoke the feeling of motion. Second, the length of the lines within a stanza is also an important point since the long lines describe good emotions, while the short ones are full of misery and discontent. Furthermore, to reflect the emotion of the author, the line acquires its initial length again describing a joyful flight:
O let me rise
As larks, harmoniously,
And sing this day thy victories:
Then shall the fall further the flight in me. (7-10)
The visual form of the poem is strengthened by the smooth sounding of the lines that are full of assonance and alliteration. The repetition of the initial consonant or a vowel allows the reader to taste the melody of the poem. “Affliction shall advance the flight in me (20) is full of assonance, while “And still with sicknesses and shame” (12) shows the repetition of consonant “s”. The acoustic level of the poem fuels the feeling of the limitless flight.
The verbal image of the bird’s flight recreates the process of the humanity rising from sin to Christ. Birds are timeworn symbols in literature that trigger associations ranging from hope and peace to death and evil omens. Therefore, this image allowed Herbert to combine the earthly and the heavenly parts of his poems. The simile “O let me rise / As larks, harmoniously, / And sing this day thy victories” (7-9) shows the beauty and harmony of the resurrection. Moreover, the author stresses the power of this phenomenon with a number of airy lexemes. In fact, there is a stable image “O let me rise” (7), which gradually transforms into the moving action of singing and flying “Then shall the fall further the flight in me” (10) and “Affliction shall advance the flight in me” (20).
In conclusion, the poem “Easter Wings” expresses Herbert’s feelings about the resurrection through the image of flight, which is shown visually, audibly, and verbally. The work reveals its meaning by the form of the stanzas that resemble wings, smooth sounding that add the feeling of the gentle gliding in the sky, and the choice of “flying” lexemes. Herbert’s creation, being one of the best examples of the genre, makes the reader believe that God will not leave His people in trouble, as He is always ready to protect them with his wings.