Poem - Essay Example

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The poem ‘The Judgment of Paris’ by Merlin is a recreation of an ancient Greek mythical story, where three goddesses of Greek places a young prince with an ordinary mind Paris in position that defines the future of troy. It is a position where even intelligent individuals…
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Carrier of Ladders: the Judgment of Paris by W.S. Merwin The poem ‘The Judgment of Paris’ by Merlin is a recreation of an ancient Greek mythical story, where three goddesses of Greek places a young prince with an ordinary mind Paris in position that defines the future of troy. It is a position where even intelligent individuals placed under the same circumstances could not be able to make a rational decision. However, the criticality of the decision is because Paris` decision would either save troy or result in war essentially leading to the doom of troy. Therefore, the poem is characterized by stress in the end lines of some stanza, ‘you will forget anyway’, ‘you will suffer anyway’ and ‘you will lose her anyway’. The author of the poem (Merlin) applies the technique to point out that the contest was not fair, probably rigged and whichever decision Paris makes leads to the destruction of the city of Troy.
Accordingly, Merwin’s point is to demonstrate the idea that human beings are naturally imperfect and avoidance of self-destructive conduct is not an easy task. The imperfection and self-destructive trait is an essential component of human behavior that makes their actions exciting and unpredictable. The self-destructive behavior is an essential factor that implores individuals to seek redemption after the consequences of their actions. The poem ends with a picture of Helen picking up a yellow flower with roots that relieves pain. The essence is that humans often bring pain and suffering on themselves but the grief prompts compassion that upholds unity. The yellow flower is an indication of human’s effort to relieve anguish and pain.
According to Brunner (1991), the implicit metaphor in the heading “the Carrier of Ladders indicates a change in Merwin’s attitude and orientation. Apparently, only humans are capable of carrying ladders, and their aim to climb or rise to a new level, even if such people are not aware of what they will find the level of elevation. Accordingly, almost of the poems in the volume build from such premise. Similarly, there are those who regard reading the works of Merwin as being similar to reading a puzzle and it is normally beneficial to put an effort to grasp the bottom line of the author’s logic. The carriers of ladders reminds one of the old Icelanders’ Edda Kennings, who authored the objects in a roundabout, and playful manner. However, Merwin applies the approach to an individual’s spiritual and emotional life, with popular themes being loss, isolation, and death (Brunner 1991).
The critically applauded volumes The Carrier of Ladders and “The Lice” (Autheneum) remain powerful collections. Both poems apply classical legends as a technique of exploring both political and personal themes, including Merwin’s opposition of the Vietnam War. Consequently, the author received Pulizer prize for work on the poem “The carrier of ladders” in 1971. Consequently, Auden reacted by way of letter that the judges of Pulitzer had no connection to the American policy and were not a political party (Jean 2003).
Open Questions
How can one incorporate Merwin’s ideas in real life situation?
If you lived in the times when Merwin wrote the Carrier of ladders, would have done things differently? Explain.
Work cited
Brunner, Edward J., Poetry As Labor and Privilege: The Writings of W.S. Merwin, University of Illinois Press. Urbana, IL. 1991. Print.
Jean Follain, Transparence of the World, Atheneum (New York, NY), 1969, reprinted, Copper Canyon Press (Port Townsend, WA), 2003. Print.
"The Carrier of Ladders." Goodreads. Web. 3 Dec. 2014. Read More
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