Poetry Analysis Paper
Emily Brontë, born in Yorkshire, the fifth child of six children. Growing up, she always had a keen interest in writing poetry. With her collection of different poems, “At Castle Wood” was one. In Brontë’s poem, “At Castle Wood,” she establishes a sorrowful theme through the use of imagery, Brontë’s tone of somber throughout her poem and also her use of end rhyme, for the purpose of creating a simple yet powerful grief stricken meaning.
Brontë’s use of imagery in her poem, “At Castle Wood” establishes a dreary setting making the reader deem that the place is cold and empty. Brontë writes, “The day is done, the winter sun, is setting in its sullen sky.” (l 1-2). Saying that the day is done is inferring to the end of a day, of course, and the winter sun, as in it is a cold day but the sun is setting from creating the small source of warmth on these cold winter days. Usually a winters sun presents a some what pleasant setting of delectation. Although, the reader might think the poem will be based off of a blissful setting and theme, Brontë elaborates on the day of the warm winter’ sun. Assuming one has not read the poem before, it is what they might expect and conclude, but continuing on the reader realizes what Emily is stating. Continuing on with reading about the “sullen sky” makes the reader envision a gloomy and fretful winters sky rather than a more delightful one. All together, with just the first two stanzas at the beginning of “At Castle Wood”, Brontë creates the context of a relatively bleak day. She also says, “No star will light my coming night; No morn of hope for me will shine.” (l 5-6). I believe she states that no source of light, such as a star, will make her matters better. Matters as in, her life or a situation she could be going through. Nothing can help or stop her from feeling so pessimistic and no kind of light will make any of her feelings towards this situation exceptional. Going on to the second stanza, she says there is no kind of hope, nothing that can make her feel as if a light is in her presence, nothing that can make her feel better about this “situation.” It is rather sorrowful to think of someone not finding the source of “light” that they need to create a sense of happiness, and to me, that is what Brontë is expressing in this poem. I assume she is using this type of imagery to establish her belief in an afterlife. She believes that death is the door way to eternal rest and an escape from the work, trials and tribulations of life, so yes, be sad that she is no longer here on earth, but be happy that she is dead because that means that she had suffered her share and worked her load and now she is done and receiving her reward.
Brontë has such a somber tone to “At Castle Wood,” and so deeply and mournfully written to express her sorrowful thoughts on death. I assume she was depressed and she’s welcoming death because she hates life so much and nothing is going well for her and to not feel sorry for her because she’s not leaving anything behind. But either way, she’s welcoming death with open arms. I think she sets the entire mood of the poem with the line “the grief that pressed my aching breast was far heavier than earth can be” (l 13-14) because your heart is in your breast and the grief she had was so insurmountable that it took over her heart entirely and physically pained her thus allowing her to feel it in her breast, also because she says that the grief is “far heaver than earth can be.” (l 14) She is showing that she feels like her suffering is more intense than everybody else by choosing those words as opposed to a more articulate version of “I’ve got the weight of the world on my shoulders”. Humans typically have a more difficult time dealing with emotional pain than physical. Brontë opts to express that she is feeling a grief in her heart, and not a weight on her shoulders to convey that she feels she is suffering more than most or all people. She enforces this idea by sort of converting her pain into a physical measurement and saying that the grief she’s suffering is “far heavier than the earth can be” while everybody else is merely suffering the “weight of the world.”
With her use of end rhyme, Brontë creates the mood and tone of the poem. It adds a sad rhythm throughout the poem creating the emphasis of the wistfulness. She writes, “No sighs for me, no sympathy, no wish to keep my soul below; The heart is dead in infancy, unwept-for let the body go.” The end of the poem, she explains that she does not want anybody’s sympathy for
when she departs she does not want anyone to feel her pain in this separation from humanity. She does not want her loved ones to dwell on her departure. I believe she is trying to say “let it be” she does not want people to feel her pain and suffering of leaving them but wants them to feel happy that she is no longer in that kind of state. As in she wants them to see that she will be fine and she will make good out of the bad and she wants her loved ones to do the same. Her use of end rhyme throughout this poem establishes a solid creation of a deep and meaningful mood that captured my attention nonetheless. Her solid end rhyme makes the poem have a vast significance and once again, creates a “larger than what it seems” interpretation.
Emily Brontë created so many beautiful poems, such as this one “At Castle Wood” and created such a wide range of emotions with all of them. This poem in particular caught my eye because it seemed much more than it really is. As in the reader can feel her anguish and feel the so called “weight on her shoulders.” Brontë used much more that just imagery, tone and end rhyme, but she captivates it all by such a powerful message in this heart-felt poem. I believe that this poem was made specifically for those have created the feeling of depression and are not afraid of death but do not want their loved ones to feel the pain they have. Brontë captured this emotion immensely and made a graceful yet melancholy execute creating it.