Analysis of Robert Gray”s Poems

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28 November 2021

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Through Robert Gray’s poems Diptych and Late Ferry I even have really learnt that remembering past events and revealing a brand-new fact or factor to them can encourage discoveries. These recollections spring to mind via the fond recollections revealed by the speakers in each poem. Although the poems differ within the sense that one speaker deliberately keeps in mind the previous, quite than the other persona that simply thinks of the past since they are looking with fear into the long run, both poems nonetheless illustrate that discoveries can be made via retrospection.

In Diptych, Gray (the speaker) is pondering again about his youth and his parents, and by doing this he starts to have a a lot better understanding of them. Whereas, in Late Ferry the speaker is watching the demise of warmth related to earlier occasions, by taking a look at a ferry leaving port and venturing into the unidentified. Through Gray’s usage of different strategies together with; sensory photographs, tone and the plurality revealed by way of his alternative for similes, he enhanced my understanding of the concept of discovery.

In Diptych, Gray explores the idea of discovery through his recollections of his mother and father, the motive force for this was the fond reminiscences for past experiences. The message I assume Gray is conveying by way of his didactic writing is that relationships are an integral a part of discovery. The consciousness that Gray comes to on the end of the poem is that he evaluated his dad and mom too roughly and that they have been doing as best as they may.

Gray uses the thought of the diptych (the 2 panels collaborated by a hinge or clasp and linked by way of a standard concept or style) because the inspiration for the kind. The effect of that is to offer the portraits of both his moms and dads individually and to check and contrast his sensations in the path of both of them. The first words of his poem “My mom” utilizes a possessive pronoun and alliteration to show the person level that this poem operates on. Gray intends this to create a connection to his audience and himself. Gray utilizes similes in his poems to supply the plurality of his imagery and this is intended to assist the reader understand Gray’s relationship together with his parents and his emotions in the course of them.

In Diptych Gray paints the portrait of his mother emphasizing her caring nature, that is evident when he states “Her care you can watch reappear like the edge of tidal water in salt flats”, this simile notably illustrates his mother’s resurging, caring angle in a visible image, which shows how Gray makes use of similes in order to better his audiences understanding of summary ideas. Gray’s use of anecdote instantly after this simile highlights the reality that he engages the reader via non-abstract ideas. Gray additional proves his mother’s protecting instincts by claiming “It was this made her drive out the neighbor’s bull fro our backyard with a broom”, she did this to protect “her seedlings”. I believe that this anecdote is a metaphor and that “her seedlings” actually refers to Gray himself and his mother’s protecting nature over him. Gray slowly begins to know his mother’s angle was just her means of exhibiting her incorruptible look after him.

This leads him to find that his mother was doing one of the best she might for him, nevertheless this realization differs to the one Gray has relating to his father. Gray describes his father as being “a drunkard”, a pathetic loner when Gray acknowledged he “often drank alone” and even a racist and misogynist when Gray claimed he read “Nothing by New York Jews; nothing by girls, particularly the French”. Despite all this atrocious qualities Gray nonetheless says “I had long accepted him…he’d given me, shown me, the most effective advice”. Gray makes use of his conversational tone and language throughout the poem to imitate a stream of consciousness. The tone is used all through the poem as if Gray was himself was explaining these recollections of his previous personally.

The effect of that is to once more connect to the audience, but in addition as that is close to the tip of the poem, it shows he’s reaching a conclusion about his parents. Even with all his faults, Gray cared for his father. Gray ends his poem with “My pocket-knife slid sideways and pierced my hand – and so I dug with that one into the ashes”. The visible imagery of his blood mingling together with his father’s ashes signifies that he’s the link between his parents and his blood is the unifying element. Overall Gray has shown how discovery can be about having a renewed perception of the past and that the impression of these discoveries can be remodeling for the individual. Through the nostalgia proven by Gray on this poem he is ready to uncover a different perspective on his mother and father and this could only happen by looking back at his life with retrospect.

In Gray’s Late Ferry, the concept of discovery differs slightly to Diptych. In Late Ferry the speaker is trying with worry and uncertainty into the future, which ends up in them longing for the past. Through this nostalgic angle the speaker reflects on the long run and discovers that he should move on from the past. The ferry that the speaker is observing is an icon of a bygone era and is associated with earlier instances. In the primary stanza the speaker describes the ferry going into “the huge darkish harbour”, this visible image uses the adjectives “huge” and “dark” which carry connotations of uncertainty and the unknown.

This highlights the vulnerability of the ferry and symbolizes the fragility of individuals as we move out past our safe moorings and into the unknown. This is why I believe the speaker had a direct affinity with the ferry, as they’re moving forth from the heat and safety they associate with the past. The speaker all through the poem juxtaposes pure and man-made imagery. This is evident in the third stanza when “street lights’ fluorescence over the dark water” is compared to “like chromosomes uniting and dividing”, this simile uses a natural exercise to show the effect of artificial lights. This juxtaposition reveals the speaker’s apprehension to progress and modernity, which again shows his concern of the longer term.

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"Analysis of Robert Gray”s Poems" StudyScroll, 28-Nov-2021. [Online]. Available: [Accessed: 4-Jun-2023]

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