1 I chose Ellen Bryant Voigt’s poem My Mother

Topics: DrawingPoetry

1. I chose Ellen Bryant Voigt’s poem “My Mother” and for its comparison, I selected “Sunlight and Shadow – The Newbury Marshes”. It is an illustration by Martin Johnson Heade, who created this piece of delicate artistry from 1871 to 1875. The art is a drawing of a landscape using oil paints on a canvas, showing a plain field and marshes with horses grazing them and some hills in the distance.

2. The present day has become a whole out of the mixture of the purities and impurities that can be seen in all places.

There are uncountable flaws, uncountable purities if the world is looked at from different angles, but the purest of all creations is deemed to be a mother’s love. Thus, I chose this poem, which is about the poet’s mother, who she lost and writes her words which resonate resentment and pain.

3. Some similar literary elements which could be discerned in both the poem and the illustration were ‘Foreshadowing’ and

4. Foreshadowing

First Similarity: Tone shifting

This can be found in the poem when the poet starts explaining what her mother was like and what she used to do. She describes everything while giving a subtle hint of remembrance. Her choice of words is not explicitly similar to sadness, but they convey sorrow in a manner as if the things being explained are what she ‘used to do’ as if things changed later on. As it was being hinted, things do change later on, as the poet announced in the fourth stanza in the words “the sun gone down on her”.

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Here the poet’s tone shifts to resentment, still apprising the readers what her mother did, how she kept on doing what she could do for her children, and what level she gave herself in performing those tasks. Similarly, looking at the illustration for the first time, the viewer sees a placid, beautiful piece of artistry, and would probably keep admiring the time and value the creation of the drawing might have taken. While in fact, the image has an underlying meaning, or it seems as if has. Clouds in the background are clearly visible, and they are of such a size that they show that a storm is yet to come, to take over the peace which resides in the foreground of the picture. Thus, foreshadowing is being represented by the image, that if it had the ability to show its changes and move, it would show a thunderstorm falling over the peaceful landscape.

Second Similarity: Imagery

In the poem, Ellen uses gradual darkening of her tone to show the slow shifting from a normal atmosphere to a dark, dolorous one. In the last stanza she tells how her mother shows herself she lacked when she knew that her children were ‘self-canceling’. She always loved her children and did the minor acts the poet had explained before, but in the end, she gave herself a ‘C grade’, looking at what her children were now. Even while giving herself this level, she stood tall, steadfast and continued what she had forever been doing. Coming to the illustration, we see the color shifting from a light blue to a slightly darker shade as we go from the frame of the drawing to where the clouds are. The shadows produce a contrast with the sunlight falling on the ground and the darkness at the background of the drawing. It is the slightest shifts in color which tell what is bound to come after the present. If the whole of the sky had been colored the light blue it initially was, we could assume that the aura of the drawing would remain tranquil. This can be compared to the poem in a way that the poet’s life was tranquil like the foreground of the image, but a storm was soon to follow, which formed in the form of her losing her mother.

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1 I chose Ellen Bryant Voigt’s poem My Mother. (2019, Dec 08). Retrieved from https://paperap.com/1-i-chose-ellen-bryant-voigt-s-poem-my-mother-best-essay/

1 I chose Ellen Bryant Voigt’s poem My Mother
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