"Neither a believer, an unbeliever nor agnostic, but oddly all three at once", with reference to two or three poems, consider how this aspect of Stevie Smith is reflected in her poetry.

Essay by daniiHigh School, 12th gradeA+, June 2004

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In analyzing Stevie Smith's poetry, it is difficult to decide what spiritual belief she falls under. Most of her poems question the function of God rather than his existence, yet it would be too simplistic to categorize her as an agnostic. In fact, her religious commentaries are more towards humanity and their "folly" rather than being bitter towards God.

In the poem "God and the Devil", Smith's language is particularly sarcastic and child-like in telling the story of how man was created. It is also rather significant to notice the qualities she gives the Devil in the poem and dismissing the overall goodness of God is supposed to possess according to Christian main-stream belief. The Devil is an important character in the poem, because it is unusual how she does not demonize him, he only plays the role of opposition to God, not necessarily being an evil character. "The Devil said: No,/Prove it if you can."

The poem is more a mockery on man-kind rather than a disbelief in the existence of God. This mockery is apparent in the conversational and casual tone in the poem, for example, "so and so", "ages and ages", "God said" and "The Devil said". Also, the repetition is the language reflects the childish feel to the poem.

"Mother, Among the Dustbins" is also a poem that reveals a glimpse of Stevie Smith's views in regards to God and like "God and the Devil" it is specifically targeted to the ignorance of man believing in such mythical beings. A theme in this poem that is rarely used in her others is of the afterlife. Typically her poetry discusses the "ecstasy" of death, but rarely mentions any life after it. She describes man kind of having a mind that "would not die", questioning God and the...