Marium Saud Japanwala
'Rising Five', the title, of the poem creates an atmosphere of confusion and haste. The word 'rising' signifies continuous movement and hence is symbolizing the upward movement of growth and advancement in the human life cycle. Thus through the title of his poem, Nicholson is trying to express his views on the vulgarity and haste of this movement.
The innocent yet stubborn declaration of the boy that he is 'rising five, not four', shows how even a little boy is impatient to leave his childish body and grow up, hence denoting the impatience, quickness and urgent state of life. The use of the word 'coil', is describing the texture of his hair as being curly, hence implying on his childish nature. On the other hand 'coils' could be representing worry and anguish. This trouble having 'un-clicked' itself upon his 'head' shows that the boy, by wanting to grow up, is inviting trouble to pile itself upon his head and shoulders, and in fact this trouble has already started to unravel itself upon it's tiny mind and body.
At the same time it could be expressing growth. His 'spectacles' is a synecdoche of an old man, whose shoulders have sagged down low due to the amount of burden hanging atop it, hence implying that the child is not welcoming adulthood but old age. Nonetheless the spectacles could be magnifying the area and span of the eyes so that it has the ability to ingest more and more, again signifying on the haste of life. The boy is then looking at the 'meadow', which is representing the vast beauty of Mother Nature. The fact, however, that the 'spectacles' has 'reflected' the 'light' shows that the real beauty is being second glanced as...