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World Poetry Essay On Ta'o Ch'ien

9 Pages 2199 Words

Essay #1

I have decided to do a close reading on the poem “I RETURN TO THE PLACE I WAS BORN.” The poem is an Ancient Chinese poem by T’AO CH’IEN. In my essay I will unpack the poems meaning by the comments that the speaker makes throughout the poem and make an argument for what I feel the poem expresses and how the poem achieves expression.
The first thing I will do is break the poem down section by section, the poem is not broken up into stanzas but I feel that the poem is however broken up into four different parts. The first section of the poem the speaker talks about two totally different periods of time in his life.
From my youth up I never liked the city.
I never forgot the mountains where I was born.
The world caught me and harnessed me.
And drove me through dust, thirty years away from home
(T’AO CH’IEN, 2003, 25).
The poem is very straightforward in its language, that is the language doesn’t trick the reader and allows the reader to get a clear picture of the speaker’s world with little confusion. The speaker in the first line is describing his dissatisfaction of the time that he has spent living in the city. The speaker then says that he has never forgot the mountains, never and mountains are key words in that sentence. Never meaning ever since the speaker has left the mountains, he has never forgotten them. The word never gives the reader a sense of how much the speaker thinks of the mountains where he was born. The word mountain shows how much the home of the speaker meant to him. Mountains usually stand above everything that surrounds them, which is what the speaker is saying the home where he was born stands above everything else in his life. The speaker then talks about the city, he uses the words such as: caught, harnessed, drove me, dust, and away when describing the world that he has grown to hate ever since leaving his mountain home. A harness is something that...

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