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Variation on a Theme by Rilke

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by

Muhammad Daniyal Maniar

on 16 April 2015

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Transcript of Variation on a Theme by Rilke

By: Daniyal, Mohammad, Adnan, Mahad
Variation on a Theme by Rilke
A certain day became a presence to me;
there it was, confronting me--a sky, air, light:
a being. And before it started to descend
from the height of noon, it leaned over
and struck my shoulder as if with
the flat of a sword, granting me
honor and a task, The day's blow
rang out, metallic--or it was I, a bell awakened,
and what I heard was my whole self
saying and singing what it knew: I can
Motivation can be found in the beauty of things.
Variation on a Theme by Rilke
Levertov, Denise, Breathing the Water (New York, NY: New Directions Publishing Corp., 1987)
Explain how personification is used in this poem. How does it help develop a mood or main message? (Daniyal)
From what point of view is the story told? To whom is the speaker speaking? How does the POV impact the telling of the story? Does the speaker learn or realize anything by the end of the poem? How do you know? (Adnan)
What is the theme of this poem? Why do you think that? What quotations do you have that support that theme? (Mohammad)
The poet starts the poem by talking about this special day, she talks as if it is a life form. She says, “A certain day became a presence to me.” The poet gives the day human characteristics, as she says, “there it was, confronting me--a sky, air, light: a being.” The poem makes it seem like the day is staring into the person’s eyes. This personification starts to develop an optimistic mood which integrates with the message of the poem.
Give an example of imagery used in this poem. Which sense is most appealed to in the imagery of the poem? Why is this effective? (Daniyal)
Describe the setting of this poem? Explain how the setting help develop the conflict and the main message. (Adnan)
Identify and describe the conflict(s) in this poem. Which words or lines best reveal this conflict? Choose ONE literary device and explain how it develops this conflict. (Mohammad)
What is one conflict the narrator experiences? Is he/she successful in resolving it? How do you know? (Adnan)
Theme
There are several examples of imagery in the poem. The imagery used in the poem gives a perfect overview of how the scene in the poem should looks like. “it leaned over and struck my shoulder as if with the flat of a sword, granting me honor and a task,” this is a perfect example of how imagery is used in the poem. The sense of sight is mostly appealed to in the imagery of the poem. It gives the reader a perfect image of how the scene might look like. It helps to increase effectiveness of the message.
What did you visualize?
This story is told in first person. This is shown through the uses of pronouns such as I and me. The first person point of view in the story is crucial in its telling because the narrator describes how she is experiencing this day and this can only be done in first person. The speaker realizes at the end of the poem that she can.



The poem takes place outside on a sunny day.

This develops the conflict (person versus self) AND the main message because the whole poem revolves around the narrators experiences outside on this special day.
The conflict that the narrator experiences is person versus self and the feeling that the narrator isn't good enough to do something. The conflict is resolved when at the end of the poem, the narrator realizes that 'she can'.
I think that the theme of this poem is superiority because the author says it leaned over and struck my shoulder as if with the flat of a sword, granting me honor and a task.
The conflict of this poem is when he is struck with the flat of a sword and it slowly develops into a lot of imagery and symbolism.
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