Close Reading Assignment: "Samuel Hearne in Wintertime"

Essay by ThisKidHereUniversity, Bachelor'sA, May 2006

download word file, 4 pages 0.0

Downloaded 16 times

"Samuel Hearne in Wintertime" is a poetic documentary of the undeclared mayhem of Canada's past. Newlove uses Samuel Hearne, a figure from the past, to capture the past in a true and genuine state. This poem expresses ideas of truth, loss, isolation, feelings of defeat, and internal conflict. Throughout the entire piece, the author is deromanticizing, demythologizing and debunking both Samuel Hearne and early northern exploration.

The clipped terse epigram, clipped syntax, the style of language, and fragmentation throughout the poem are free of imagery for the most part. The simplicity of the division of ideas and words gives a feeling of frustration and mixed feelings which in turn alludes to the idea that the speaker is an outsider trying to make sense of things that he or she cannot seem to wrap their head around. At times, Newlove's work seems nearly "antipoetic" but at the same time very pure and raw.

Laconic in verse, the tone is almost controlled, though varying in style; Newlove is consistent with his message. Much of this poem is consistent in its grey tonality.

In the opening stanza, Newlove uses "I remember" , which invites readers to identify with him and the subject of which he writes. He writes "It is a romantic world to readers of journeys to the Northern Ocean-especially if their houses are heated to some degree" , indicating that Canadian life was romanticized by those who read the journals and heard the tales. The writer uses subtle irony.

Within the beginning of the poem, one can sense pessimism and darkness. The repetition of the word hell in lines 13 through 16, "Meat-hell, fear-hell, hell of cold" is Newlove's elegiac instrument used to strip the romantic image of early explorations in the North. The repetition itself makes a...