James L Rosenberg's 'The Wasps' Nest' is a compelling poem that captures the fierce devotion of two wasps frantically constructing their nest within the unglorified confines of the speaker's mail box. The poem describes the wasps' "hummed devotions" as they go about their work obvious that they are under the watchful eye of the speaker who with "one blow could crush them". The speaker observes the wasps from an omnipotent viewpoint that alternates between an arrogant consciousness of their vulnerability and admiration for their tenacity and strength. The poem engenders these ideas through the representation of the wasps, but also explores other concepts such as the fragility of life, the purpose of existence and the enduring power of love. These concepts take on a greater significance in light of when this poem was composed. Written in the mid-twentieth century, a time plagued by war, paranoia and uncertainty, the power of humanity to endure in the face of adversity and futility was never more important, and this message is indeed conveyed in this intriguing poem.
'The Wasps' Nest' by James L Rosenberg is a free verse poem rich with visual imagery. This poem describes wasps and how they build their nests in often-inconvenient places. The poem ends with Rosenberg drawing parallels between humans and wasps. Here lies the true essence of the poem and highlights the adversities in life. Rosenberg uses the wasps building the nest as a microcosm of the human reality to explore the fragility of our existence in a world where we think ourselves masters over all. The poem was written post War creating an underlying contextual concern for war through the war-like diction.
In "The Wasps Nest" there is an underlying theme describing the fragility of life. This is shown from...