ContextWarren Pryor was one of Alden Nowlan's early poems, he wrote it when he was first starting out. Warren Pryor could be a reflection of how Aldne Nowlan wished to have lived his life or maybe how he planned to liev his life out. He wanted to become sucessful and well known, like his counter-part in the story, but he knew that no matter what he did in life, his family would always be a big part of it, and control the vast majority of it.
DicitonAlden Nowlan choose to write this poem in a very descriptive yet pompous way. In describing a simple farm family, he used words and expressions in a way that signified his aversion to their situation, but further along in the poem is word choice flows as if though he feels he has enlightened the reader with his brillantness, and wants to dazzle them with is use of figurative language.
Imagery and SymbolismThis poem invokes a lot of imagery, such as sharpenend pencil,-Stanza 1, line 1- a farm with long rolling fields -Stanza 1, line 3-, a graduate recieving his diploma -Stanza 2, lines 2&3-, very proud parents -Stanza 2, line 1-, a passport -Stanza 2, line 3-, the movies "Holes" -Stanza 2, lines 3&4-, pouring a cup of tea and it overflowing -Stanza 3, line 1-, glass of milk -Stanza 3, line 2-, jeans -Stanza 3, line 3-, rosebushes -Stanza 3, line 4-, a rock -Stanza 4, line 2-, a circus bear trapped in a cage -Stanza 4, line 2-, hands holding an axe -Stanza 4, line 3-, a stack of money -Stanza 4, line 3-, and an empty bottle about to explode -Stanza 4, line 4-.
This poem also contains several symbols, such as a pencil for sacrifice -Stanza 1, line 1-, a graduation scroll to represent his escape from his family's way of life -Stanza 2, lines 2, 3, & 4-, the bank to show that family's pride and narrowmindedness toward how the son's life should play out -Stanza 3, line 1-, clothing to represent his social status -Stanza 3, lines 2 & 3-, and a bear to represent the you man's feelings about his mother and father, and the direction his life had taken -Stanza 4, line 2-.
Poetic VoiceAlden Nowlan has written several other poems such as; "A Certain Kind of Holy Man", "The Bull Moose", and "The Mysterious Naked Man". Much of Alden Nowlan's poetry speaks of people or things that come from infortunate circumstances, that rise to an occasion, but still remain miserable.
Rhythm and Rhythmical DevicesThe poem does appear to follow a specific rhyme scheme, in each stanza the second and fourth lines rhyme -Stanza 1, lines 2 & 4, Stanza 2, lines 2 & 4, Stanza 3, lines 2 & 4, Stanza 4, lines 2 & 4-. Whether it has a rhythm or not is unbeknownst to be, as I have no sense of rhythm. The four stanzas do not follow a secific line length per line.
StructureThis poem is definitely closed, there is no lingering unanswered question in the reader's mind, everything is tired up neatly with a bow. I would place it in the sub genre of dramatic.
ThemeThere is an underlying message in this poem, and it is to live your life in your own way, and not to allow others to control, manipulate, or destroy it. A family's struggles and an individual's struggles are never seperate.
Sources"Alden Nowlan." PoemHunter. Web. 10 Dec 2009. .
Oliver, Michael Brian. "THE PRESENCE OF ICE: THE EARLY POETRY OF ALDEN NOWLAN." Studies in Canadian Literature 1.2. (1976): n. pag. Web. 10 Dec 2009. .
"Poetry Explication." Handouts and Links. 2007. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Web. 10 Dec 2009. .
"Alden Nowlan Biography." Alden Nowlan. 2002. Web. 13 Dec 2009. .