A Comparison Of The Poems “Beauty And Sadness” and “The Force that Through the Green Fuse Drives the Flower
Good poetry is usually written in sensual language to stimulate the readers’ senses; “Beauty and Sadness” and “The Force that Through the Green Fuse Drives the Flower,” are poems that describe the human body in vivid figurative language.
Song’s poem is a description of beautiful women. In her first stanza she describes the women’s beauty; “He drew hundreds of women/ in studies unfolding/ like flowers from a fan” (lines 1-3). These lines suggest that there is a certain kind of innocence in these women until the unknown man touches them, then they begin to bloom but not in the general process as regular flowers do; these women’s maturity is hurried, hence the simile in line three. The reader is able to see the image of a fan blowing flowers. The poet shows that this invisible man is not partial in his choice of women, beauty is his criteria not status; “ Teahouse waitresses, actresses,/”geishas, courtesans and maids” (lines4,5). She describes these women with well choice words: “delicate as the skin-white paper,” “poised like porcelain vases,” “slender, erect, tall,” “beautiful iridescent insects.” The images show the women as beautiful but fragile. Rodrigo B. Liwanag Jr. Says; “The second stanza masses luxuriant images of sight, smell, and touch that transform women into ‘beautiful iridescent insects, / creatures from a floating world.”
The melancholy mood of the poem begins when these women realize that the only reason they are even notice is only for their beauty. At this point the title of the poem becomes clear; despite these women’s beauty they are sad because they are aware that their beauty is fleeting and when it goes they will have nothing left, they will be toss away. They are just models for the artist who will be forgotten one their jobs are done. These women are brought for a glorified moment to great sadness.
Whereas Song uses figurative mostly as comparison, Thomas use nature as metaphors and to produce images of the human body. This is not an easy poem and if the reader does not know how the human body works it is even more complicated. Each stanza holds an image of nature and juxtapositions it with the workings of the human body, the cycle of life. In the first stanza the beginning of the human life is symbolic to the way a plant grows. Just as the flower has no power over the way its growth is determined by nature, so does the human body has no power over the development of his body.
Stanza two shows a different aspect of the human body at work. The “water through the rocks” is the flow of blood through the veins. “Turns mine to wax“ (line 8) blood flows and congeals. The mouth of the mountain where the streams begins is the same mouth that sucks it it back when the stream dries up. Even though the third stanza continues to talk about water, the mood changes; the water now represents dying. “The hand that whirls,” meaning the wind that blows the water and makes ripples; “stirs the quicksand,” the quicksand is growing old and the inability to halt the process. The word “shroud” is an allusion to death, one ages and then one dies. “Despite the various readings that may be read out of some words and phrases, the idea of this poem is fairly simple. The poet claims that the energies of the universe and those by which he lives are identical. This statement is repeated, with variations, in each stanza” (Nuu Nezinau)
The two Poems by Cathy Song and Dylan Thomas are poems lace with figurative language and although at times they may seem hard to understand the reader can see, touch, and feel like the poets. In different ways they use nature to illustrate their conception of life.
Liwanag, Redrigo B. (n, d) “Beauty and Sadness” web. 23 Nov. 2012.
Nezinau, Nuu. (2011). “The Force that Through the Green Fuse Drives the Flowers.” web. 23 Nov. 2012