Song For Simeon Essay, Research Paper
Prayer for Tradition
In the verse form & # 8220 ; A Song for Simeon, & # 8221 ; T.S. Eliot uses ambiguity and spiritual allusion to convey decay and decease of the old order to do room for modernness. Analyzing the imagination in the verse form and the tone used allows for a better thought of what the talker & # 8217 ; s attitude is toward these alterations, and possibly a intimation of how the writer himself feels. The position the talker takes toward the alterations he believes are to come is one of fright. He feels threatened by the idea of the manner of life he knows stoping and seems to prefer that his life, which he feels to be complete already, terminal before he can witness that terminal.
Looking at the verse form as a whole, two chief subjects stand out. First, the focal point of it changes from get downing to stop. The first stanza of the verse form gives a wide position of the universe itself with small focal point on the talker, while the last stanza & # 8217 ; s focal point is about wholly on the talker and what he does or does non desire. This alteration toward egoism may be an effort to convey that people in the hereafter will be more concerned with themselves than the universe as a whole. The 2nd subject is the alteration off from traditional ways that occupies the talker & # 8217 ; s head. It is as though the traditional ways are a rope that the talker feels is get downing to frazzle. As the rope of tradition disturbances, a new rope will be created ( modernness ) that provides a different path to mount through life. Peoples will go on to mount the rope of tradition until merely one strand of the rope is left to back up the really few people left cleaving to the old ways while the new rope continues to be strengthened leting more people to mount it.
In Song for Simeon T.S. Eliot uses many images to stand for the alteration from the traditional to the modern. In the first stanza the talker presents an image of jacinths blossoming, but so speaks of the winter Sun lifting. This at first seems contradictory, flowers do non blossom in the winter, but upon looking closer we see the jacinths are blossoming in bowls. Where the talker says, & # 8220 ; The stubborn season has made base & # 8221 ; ( 3 ) , the stubborn season ( winter ) represents the old ways, and the jacinths blossoming represents the beginning of what is to come. Like the jacinths, these new ways have non yet taken root, they are still in bowls, but the thoughts are present plenty that the talker has an thought of what is traveling to go on. Another image presented is that of dust and memory waiting for the air current ( 6-7 ) . This suggests that the air current, like the jacinths, may stand for the alterations to come because the air current will brush away the dust and the memories of old. The usage of images allow the reader to construe the significance of the verse form in a assortment of ways as opposed to coercing them to see it in the same manner as the writer or talker.
The verse form besides uses allusions to religion to make images for the reader. Get downing in the 2nd stanza the talker says & # 8220 ; Who shall retrieve my house, where shall populate my / kids & # 8217 ; s kids / When the clip of sorrow is come & # 8221 ; ( 13-15 ) . Here he is demoing concern about the hereafter. In the present, when the traditional ways are still prevailing, the talker feels his good workss are appreciated, in the hereafter he is non so certain people will retrieve what a good individual he was. Another spiritual allusion, every bit good as another illustration of a clip of alteration, occurs when the talker refers to & # 8220 ; the Infant & # 8221 ; ( 23 ) with a capital missive I. This is most likely a mention to Jesus Christ. The 2nd portion of line 23, & # 8220 ; the still unspeaking a
nd mute Word, ” farther leads us to believe the Infant is Christ, but he has yet to execute the actions and give the addresss that changed the face of faith everlastingly. As those alterations were on the skyline at the clip of his birth, the alteration toward modernness is on the skyline at the clip “A Song for Simeon” was written. The image of inquiring God to comfort the people of Israel ( the Jewish people ) before the birth of Christianity, is a metaphor for the manner the talker would wish to be consoled before the alterations in his hereafter. The 4th stanza besides begins with a scriptural mention. “According to thy word / They shall praise Thee and suffer in every coevals / With glorification and derision, / Light upon visible radiation, mounting the saints’ stair.” ( 26-29 ) . Here the talker attempts to convey to God that he does non desire martyrdom, he does non desire to mount “the saints’ stair” ( 29 ) . He merely wants God to allow him peace. Religious allusion in the verse form gives it a feeling of a privation for peace, at the same clip as a feeling of uproar.
The talker leaves a batch of room for reading in the verse form by utilizing equivocal linguistic communication.
The line & # 8220 ; My life is light, waiting for the decease air current, & # 8221 ; ( 4 ) could be interpreted in two ways. Light may mention to light we see, as in a taper, in which instance the decease air current would do darkness by blowing out the visible radiation. When read with & # 8220 ; Like a plume on the dorsum of my manus & # 8221 ; ( 5 ) , visible radiation could besides be interpreted as weight. There may be so small of the talker & # 8217 ; s life left, that a & # 8220 ; decease air current & # 8221 ; would merely blow it off as it would a feather. This reading of the decease air current is supported subsequently in the verse form every bit good where the talker says he has & # 8220 ; no tomorrow, & # 8221 ; connoting he is on the threshold of decease ( 25 ) . & # 8220 ; Fling from the foreign faces and the foreign blades & # 8221 ; ( 17 ) besides is equivocal to go forth room for reading. What are the foreign faces and the foreign blades? They foremost create an image of war, but blades were no longer used in war at the clip the verse form was written. The foreign faces are more likely mentioning to the modern thoughts that are foreign to the talker. The foreign blades would so stand for those modern thoughts trying to contend their manner into the traditional universe. The fact that the people are flying from the faces and blades show that the universe was non ready for what is to come. Lines 34 refers one time once more to a blade, but unlike in line 17 it is non a blade people are flying from, but a blade that pierces God & # 8217 ; s bosom. If looked at in the context of lines 20 & # 8211 ; 24, the blade here could stand for the Judeo-christian split after the decease of Christ. Possibly the talker is conveying that he believes the alterations in the hereafter are likely to hold an impact every bit big as the birth of Christianity. It besides may stand for that the talker believes the people in the epoch to come will non believe in God, and faith will decease or go much less common. The deficiency of concrete statements in the verse form allows for many different readings of what it may intend.
The reading of & # 8220 ; A Song for Simeon & # 8221 ; presented here is merely one of the many possible. The tone could be seen as one of fright toward the hereafter, defeat with the present, or discontentedness with faith. The ambiguity of linguistic communication allows the verse form to take on about any intending the reader wishes to give it, and because T.S. Eliot uses imagination to convey his thoughts there is non one concrete reading everyone will see. For these grounds, the verse form says every bit much, if non more, about the reader as it does about both the talker and the writer.