Contact Us
Sign In / Sign Up for FREE
Go to advanced search...

Death of a Toad by Richard Wilbur - Book Report/Review Example

Comments (0) Cite this document
The poem, Death of a Toad, was written by Richard Wilbur in the 1950. It describes a toad who is caught in a mower and it dies. This poem about a toad is deliberately ornate. (Bercovitch 58). One has to read in between the lines to derive at the latent meaning…
Download full paperFile format: .doc, available for editing
GRAB THE BEST PAPER98.9% of users find it useful
Death of a Toad by Richard Wilbur
Read TextPreview

Extract of sample "Death of a Toad by Richard Wilbur"

Download file to see previous pages But Wilbur is not so aloof as he seems, and surely not politically complacent.' (Bercovitch 58). This essay attempts the explore the implications suggested in the poem.
is a symbolism of how Man, with his artificial machines, is a danger to Nature. The powerful, cold killer makes Man oblivious to the consequences of his deed. As indeed, Man is unaware of the damage caused by the mower. The poem leaves out the mention of Man, who handles the mower. This makes it all the more poignant. The ruthless injury of maiming contrasts with the toad's dignity of hopping to a secluded spot to pass its remaining time in peace and privacy. Even if the toad has no capacity to know about its impending death, its natural reaction is to escape from the aggressor. Its nervous system must have registered pain with its massive injury and loss of amphibian blood but it struggled on 'with a hobbling hop' to get away. Life is precious when a critically wounded living thing of a low life form struggles to safety. The reader is reminded of how senseless a higher life form can commit the suicide act while this poor toad struggles to reach cover. The verge offers camouflage against further molestation against its body. The poem suggests the natural sanctuary as a reproach against the violation against Nature. The cineraria leaves are ashen because they lack nourishment. This combination of pale color with the heart shape of the cineraria leaves create symbolism of the heartfelt sobriety of the toad's dying moments. When the light of life is extinguishing, it is dim. This is a symbolic allegory to the dying life. The 'final glade' is its grave which it chooses for itself. The toad is now in a transcendental stage. The phrases; 'in a dim, / Low, and a final glade' describe this stage where it hovers in between life and death.
The toad's fatal injury is described in a sterile manner because Wilbur was subconsciously influenced by Edgar Allan Poe and he revised his poem with the objective of erasing Poe's influence. (Wilbur 89). Thus, Wilbur uses symbolism to convey the mortality of the toad without the use of morbid, fatalistic, gruesome vocabulary and literary tools that Poe uses. The poem evokes the tranquil resignation to the destiny and fate of life. All life ends in death. The toad, born of nature, returns to Nature quietly. Poe describes elaborate, tragic and macabre deaths. Thus Poe and Wilbur contrast in writing styles. Michelson says that Wilbur does not use words that invoke disorder because; 'Order, chaos, success, failure - none of these words has worked well to describe the status of modern verse, and this array of poems about poetic art suggests its anomalous, plasmic nature, its state between states, neither deception nor truth, neither empty puzzle nor inspired art.' (Michelson 152). Wilbur prefers evoking symbolism to allude to the themes in the poem.
The toad in its dying stage is in the transcendental stage. Wilbur is saying that all living things are born into the transcendental stage leading to death. The encounter with mortality only forces an earlier retirement to face imminent death in seclusion. The life of the toad that is taken suddenly is the 'rare original heartsbleed' that is written in the second verse's first ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
Cite this document
  • APA
  • MLA
(“Death of a Toad by Richard Wilbur Book Report/Review”, n.d.)
Retrieved from
(Death of a Toad by Richard Wilbur Book Report/Review)
“Death of a Toad by Richard Wilbur Book Report/Review”, n.d.
  • Cited: 0 times
Comments (0)
Click to create a comment or rate a document

CHECK THESE SAMPLES OF Death of a Toad by Richard Wilbur

Richard Branson

...? Richard Branson The leadership styles adopted by leaders worldwide are related to a series of factors; usually the personal perceptions on business– as a commercial and a social activity – and the social environment are likely to influence the leader’s decisions either in the short or the long term. On the other hand, most leaders worldwide tend to adopt leadership styles, which have been already tested in practice – referring to the practices used by the leaders of well known organizations; furthermore, leadership policies reviewed in the literature may also be used by leaders who aim to secure the effectiveness of their decisions, i.e. to reduce risk in their business choices. There are also leaders who do not follow existing...
8 Pages(2000 words)Research Paper

Richard P

6. This book has lots of details about the remarkable people who were inducted into slavery forcibly but subsequently asserted their independence. 7. Assimilation of the ethnic minority/black race into the American Mainstream society cannot be achieved though legal provisions only. All-round efforts at every level are required. 8. African culture is the intangible heritage of humanity and suitable steps need to be taken to preserve it. 9. The intrinsic value of the traditional/holistic medical practices need to done on scientific basis. 10. The white race should give up the concept that they are the superior race. All men are created equal by god. Order#: 522517 Topic: Richard P What, if any are the lessons to be learned by stude...
5 Pages(1250 words)Essay

Metaphysical Poetry: Richard Wilbur

...? Metaphysical Poetry: Richard Wilbur Introduction Beginning with his first book, The Beautiful Changes, published in 1947, Richard Wilbur attracted the attention and praise of poets and New Critics such as T.S. Eliot and Cleanth Brooks who deemed Wilbur representative of mid-century poetics and declared him one of the most promising voices of the young post second-world-war poets. The formal, witty and impersonal poems deliberately marked by a highly stylized rhetoric-elaborate wordplay (especially puns and paradox), extended conceits, and intricate argument-­seemed to signify the full fruition of the New Critical style. However, the popularity of Wilbur's poetry, has generally suffered-although his technical skill, unparalleled...
11 Pages(2750 words)Essay

Richard Wright

...? Racial prejudice in the Jim Crow South Racial prejudice in the Jim Crow South In Black Boy, Richard Wright explores the questions of power, authority and freedom in the twentieth century America. He also explores the issues social, historical and cultural aspects that were existent at that time. The issues of racism were so widespread especially in the southern part of America. The white settlers had taken blacks to be their workers in the plantations. In Black Boy, Wright writes eloquently and passionately about what it feels like to suffer when one is oppressed and exploited. Wright brought into picture the sufferings he himself passed through as a black. In the book, Wright expresses racial prejudice in Jim Crow’s South, how...
4 Pages(1000 words)Essay

Author Richard Wilbur Poem

...John Q. Doe English 344 8 May 2000 Richard Wilbur. Love Calls us to the Things of this World. Wilbur's poem is a remarkable blending, or intermingling, of wit - joke, even - with high seriousness. The tone is difficult to pin down; meanings and attitudes glance off the reader in a manner which is exhilarating and provocative, but the final destination is clearly defined, and there is much wisdom in the vision and speculation that emerge. The title comes from the Confessions of St Augustine, where Augustine tells God that "The beautiful things of this world kept me far from you" (Augustine, Book X, Ch 27, 231-2). This is the Augustine who struggled to achieve a balance between the spiritual and the fleshly, who confessed that his early...
4 Pages(1000 words)Essay

Richard Nixon

...Richard Nixon Causal Explanation For Nixon's Watergate Co-conspiracy Richard Nixon made many achievements during his presidency specially those pertaining to foreign ties and diplomatic relationships, as a result of which he had succeeded to gain a strong political position. However, as the 1972 elections approached, he grew paranoid about his position and got very much concerned about his chances for re-election. At the outset of Richard Nixon's presidency, his supporters had already begun to make plans for his re-election. For this purpose, the Committee to Re-elect the President (CRP), sometimes referred to as CREEP, was established. Officially, the group was a fundraising venture but they also carried out some missions of espionage...
7 Pages(1750 words)Essay

Richard Nixion

...Richard Nixon of the Name of the Concerned Professor August 24, 2009 Richard Nixon The world community in general and the Americans in particular certainly lost a great leader with the passing away of Richard M. Nixon in May 1994. There is no denying the fact that the late President was guided throughout his life with an immense passion to serve his nation. Sadly speaking, many people tend to remember Nixon for Watergate, irrespective of the fact that this matchless leader possessed many remarkable qualities and strengths, which helped him serve the American interest in the troubled times that defined his...
4 Pages(1000 words)Essay

Richard Smallwood

... Richard Smallwood In the modern music business there are many outstanding personalities, but only few of themcan be called inspirational. Inspirational artist has an amazing capability of arousing the best feelings in human souls. In the given paper we will talk about one of such personalities, a musician Richard Smallwood. Richard Smallwood is a famous American musician. He is an artist of gospel music. In 1977 the artist created Richard Smallwood Singers. Smallwood is deservedly called a legend. Many people like his compositions, “Center of My Joy;”, “I Love the Lord” and “Total Praise;” are among the favorite. As a child Richard liked pop music and gospel motives very much, so it predetermined his destiny. Many musicians do...
2 Pages(500 words)Research Paper

The Writer by Richard Wilbur

...The Writer by Richard Wilbur In Richard Wilbur’s creation of “The Writer”, the extended metaphor commences at the realization that the daughter of the speaker along with her passion for writing is altogether conveyed to resemble a sailing traveller whose first venture on the sea is bound to take place. As the father watches from outside of her daughter’s room where it is only possible to hear the sound of the keys and look at a faint view of lights at her window, so is a quiet observer who can only see the moving ship from afar. By extended metaphor, the course of analyzing the girl’s journey in life as a writer-in-the-making leads a reader to figure out the points of analogy between writing and sailing, wherein Wilbur utilizes the terms...
2 Pages(500 words)Essay

Death Penalty Subject of Debate in United States

... for child murder in Texas, was released. His release immediately resulted in nine more innocent deaths (Marquis, 2005). Another convict released on parole, murdered the man who gave him a job as soon as he was out of the prison. Sentenced to life for abducting and dismembering women, Richard Marquette repeated his activities of abducting, killing, and dismembering women again when released. Such criminals endanger the society when released and endanger other inmates and the prison staff if confined with life imprisonment. This only reinforces the opinion that death penalty is the only justice, the ultimate punishment that should be given to the criminals. Those against death penalty prefer to name justice as ‘vengeance’. ‘Retribution...
7 Pages(1750 words)Case Study

D.H. Lawrence and Other Views on Death - How They May Help Us Deal with Death in Context to Healthcare

Lawrence graduated from University College, Nottingham in 1908, devoted himself for a time to teaching at a boy’s school, but not long after, decided to quit teaching and spend his time at freelance writing instead. In March of 1912, he met and fell in love with a married woman, Frieda Weekley, nee Richthofen; then six weeks later eloped with her to the Continent.

Frieda was a sister of the famous German World War I flying ace and wife of Lawrence’s French professor at Nottingham. This elopement marked the start of Lawrence’s lifetime war with existent moral standards as well as the beginning of a continuous wanderlust prompted by Tuberculosis which induced him to seek warmer and more healthful climes....
9 Pages(2250 words)Essay

Dreams in Arthur Millers Death of a Salesman

From the play’s dialogues and descriptions, the reader sees that the Loman knows the weakness of believing in half-truths about the circumstances but they choose to continue on the wrong paths. Willy, the head of the family, is not a good leader as he leads his family into believing that the road to success is based on a set of ideas that do not work in his American society. For example, he thinks that Biff should not be made to study because having spirit and personality is more important than being a ‘worm’ (bookworm). He condones his sons’ theft of property, cheating at examinations and other wrongs. The Loman sons, Biff and Happy, discuss how Willy has had a few car accidents because he had difficulty c...
6 Pages(1500 words)Essay

The Controversies in the Death Penalty in the US

In 2003 Amnesty reported 1,146 executions in 28 countries, 88% of them in just 5 countries: The People’s Republic of China 726, Iran 108, the U.S. 65, Vietnam 64, and Saudi Arabia 52 (, 2006). The U.S. went on to carry out 59 executions in 2004, 60 in 2005, 53 in 2006 and 11 until March 2007 (Death Penalty Information Center, 2007). Today, the death penalty has been abolished in the vast majority of democracies in Europe and Latin America, while it is still retained in most democracies in Asia and Africa, the U.S., Guatemala, and the countries of the Caribbean (, 2006).

As on April 2, 2007, there were 38 states in the U.S. with the death penalty and 12 without. Between 1976 and 2007 there...
14 Pages(3500 words)Case Study

Analysis of Richard Wright's The Man Who Lived Underground

The protagonist of this story, Fred Daniels, is accused of a murder that he did not commit and, therefore, is forced to inhabit the underworld, where he does not want to live. This is highly symbolic of how African Americans have been treated in society throughout history, as they have been forced out of the conscience of the country as a whole and pushed into ghettos where their stereotypes continue to evolve. Daniels is the personification of Wright’s ideas on American society and its attitudes towards American Americans in general. The fact that he is forced to run underground because of the charges against him shows that he does not believe that he will be given a fair trial. He knows that his only chance for survival is...
6 Pages(1500 words)Book Report/Review

Law Studies: Disposition after the Death

One of the first things that Abelard needs to do is to make sure his wishes are expressed in his will. He may also want to name a close and trustworthy friend to be the executor of his will such that that individual may interview the children of Abelard at the time of his death in order to make a subjective judgment as to whether the children are in fact followers of the Christian faith or if they are only claiming to be. In the event that the children have deceased, then Abelard’s furniture is to go to a museum that may also be executed by Abelard’s chosen executor. In addition to naming the executor, it is critical that Abelard ensure that communication regarding his exact intentions is in detail, within the will and...
7 Pages(1750 words)Assignment

Death Penalty: Does it Serve as a Deterrent to Future Crime

Animal instincts are directed towards self-preservation and it is the law of nature that a stronger and healthier individual has more chances of living than his weaker counterpart. The survival of the fittest has now been established as a ground reality according to Darwinian philosophy. If we eliminate our civilized thought process, it emerges as a stark reality that we would not desist from attacking another living person or animal when we are overcome by the basic needs of food, shelter, and clothing. In times of natural disasters like earthquakes, wars and floods, and manmade disasters like war, it is not uncommon to witness ravaged populations shedding the façade of civilization and resorting to violence in order to fu...
9 Pages(2250 words)Case Study

Death of a Salesmen: Tragedy or Not

The diversity of the issues that have been subtly raised in his work and the way each of them has been treated in his various works have helped the author achieve the literary acclaim that he rightly deserves. The author has succinctly shown through the protagonist of the novel, Willy Loman, that the life is not a bed of roses but fraught with tragedies that force one to realize that mortality and pain are part and parcel of life It is a sensitively written play that depicts the dual nature of the life of a common man. While the play can be treated as a tragedy in the context of modern literature, some critics have contested the same under Aristotle’s interpretation of tragedy. 

Aristotle in 330BC had defined...
6 Pages(1500 words)Essay

The Theme of Death in Shakespeares Hamlet

The play goes ahead to question whether kings do possess a heaven’s free pass. The theme of death in Shakespeare’s Hamlet, therefore, has an influence on the lives of living human beings (Bloom 45).
In Hamlet’s mind, the idea of death did not seem awful. However, despite the fact that he became obsessed with the notion, the afterlife uncertainty frightened Hamlet from committing suicide. Hamlet’s turning point took place at the scene of the graveyard in the fifth act of the play. It was before Hamlet became revolted and shocked by the living’s moral corruption. However, when he saw the skull of Yorick whom he loved and respected propelling, he realized that death does eliminate the differences th...
8 Pages(2000 words)Literature review

The Life and Death of Alaska

The protagonist called Miles Halt who is later nicknamed Pudge by his closest friend Chip –a name that strikes us as ironical considering that he was skinny and very tall is caught in his own web of the labyrinth(HapperCollins:2014). The story sets off as brought to us in the prologue at a lonely scene in his small town. The author paints a desolate and lonely picture of the character as he plans to move from his hometown school to Culver Creek Preparatory high school in Alabama (Greene: 2007). Many people are puzzled by his move to the latter as he was all along known for his academic preoccupation at his former school. His mother perhaps more intrigued by the surprising turn of events seeks to find out the motivation behin...
7 Pages(1750 words)Literature review
sponsored ads
We use cookies to create the best experience for you. Keep on browsing if you are OK with that, or find out how to manage cookies.

Let us find you another Book Report/Review on topic Death of a Toad by Richard Wilbur for FREE!

Contact Us