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The Chambered Nautilus

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Musa Bradford

on 9 February 2015

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Transcript of The Chambered Nautilus

TP-CASTT - The Chambered Nautilus
The Chambered Nautilus
Old Ironsides

Example 1:
Word- “Sea-maids” (Line 7).

Denotation- The Greek mythical creature called sirens.

Connotation- It gives the journey a mysterious appearance and gives a sense of the spiritual course.

Example 2:
Metaphor and Imagery
Word- “The ship of pearl” (Line 1).

Denotation- A ship made of pearls.

Connotation- He’s comparing a ship to the pearly finish of the nautilus’ shell.

Example 3:
Word- “dreaming life” (Line 11).

Denotation- Nautilus was once alive.

Connotation- Holmes uses this to develop the idea that the nautilus is metaphor for a human.
TP-CASTT - Old Ironsides
Title- I think the poem is about an old battleship after a battle.

Stanza 1: Holmes tells the reader to tear down the old flag and talks about the battles that took place while the flag was flown.

Stanza 2: The ship has had Hero’s die on it and enemies surrender on it, then people who live on the land will take apart the shit.

Stanza 3: It is better to let her sink to the bottom of the ocean when she was mighty, she ruled the sea and she should rest there so set the sail on her one last time and let the sea take her.

TP-CASTT - Old Ironsides

Example 1:
Word- “Her deck, once red with Heroes’ blood…” (Line 9).

Denotation- The battleship’s deck has soldiers’ blood all over the floor.

Connotation- The grief of lost soldiers and sadness of wounded soldiers.

Example 2:
Personification and Metaphor
Word- “When winds were hurrying o’er the flood,
And waves were white below…” (Line 11-12).

Denotation- The winds are hurrying and how the waves were calm and respected the ship.

Connotation- The ship has the strength to bare and overcome any obstacle in its way.

Example 3:
Word- “And many an eye has danced to see
That banner in the sky…” (Lines 3-4).

Denotation- Many people have danced after they saw the banner (American Flag) in the sky.

Connotation- The ship is a symbol of freedom.
TP-CASTT - Old Ironsides
Attitude (Tone)-
The first two stanzas show the author is sad and in the last stanza the author exhibits anger.

Example 1: “Ay, tear her tattered ensign down!” (Line 1).

Example 2: “Nail to the mast her holy flag,
Set every threadbare sail,
And giver her to the god of storms…” (Lines 21-23).

The biggest shift in the poem is the shift in tone from sadness to anger. “No more shall feel the victor's tread, Or know the conquered knee…” (Line 13-14) this shows the narrator is upset about the retirement of the ship. He eventually gets angry about how they could retire a ruler of the sea and thinks “Oh, better that her shattered hulk Should sink beneath the wave…” (Lines 17-18).

This poem is about the retirement of a battleship called the USS Constitution. The narrator recalls the battles the ship has been through and the men who have died on it.

Old Ironsides is a naval ship the USS Constitution, a celebrated warship, which represented American freedom. The author believes even though something is old, it doesn’t need to be taken apart and destroyed. It can and should be preserved, especially with the ship’s history.

Historical Background
Oliver W. Holmes was a doctor, physiologist, scientist, poet and an author.
His father was a strict Calvinist, but towards his adulthood Holmes gravitated to Unitarian beliefs.
His father was also a reverend at first congregational church.
Born and raised in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
He was born on August 29, 1809.
Graduated from Harvard University in 1836.
Holmes was best known as a poet and humorist.
Holmes' writing style was conversational.
When he was 21 he wrote "Old Ironsides" in 1830.
His famous works were "a psalm of life","a familiar letter", and "a parting health."
Holmes' favorite hobbies were photography and the study of miroscope
Holmes died on October 7, 1894.
Oliver Wendell Holmes
Title- I think this poem is about the journey of a sea creature.

Stanza 1: Holmes describes the chambered nautilus and coral reefs in the sea where chambered nautiluses can be found.

Stanza 2: The shell is cracked (damaged) and how the frail creature worked hard to make the shell.

Stanza 3: The nautilus grows new chambers in its shell as each year pass he goes into the new chamber but he cannot go back into the last chamber.

Stanza 4: The nautilus teaches the “heavenly message”(What is our goal in life?) that was brought clear after its death as Holmes thinks about it he hears the answer.

Stanza 5:
Holmes gives the entire meaning of the poem in this last stanza.
He tells us we need grow out of the past, making each year better than the last, while continuing to make each year more precious than the last until one day your soul will be free and resting with our creator in heaven.

Attitude (Tone)-
The subtle and informative tone given to the poem is present throughout each stanza, and helps to provide a calm feeling to the reader.

Example 1:
"This is the ship of pearl, which, poets feign,
Sails the unshadowed main,"

(Lines 1-2).

Example 2:
"Year after year beheld the silent toil
That spread his lustrous coil;"

(Lines 15-16)

Interpreted as one of the best representations of the poet's shift is in the poem where he states
"Its webs of living gauze no more unfurl; Wrecked is the ship of pearl!" (Lines 8-9).
He goes from a subtle tone to an informative yet calm tone that he also shows by proclaiming
"From thy dead lips a clearer note is born[,] Than ever Triton blew from wreathed horn" (Lines 25-26).

The title of the poem gives the reader the message without the reader knowing it.

The poem’s theme emphasizes the importance for children of nature to grow and build upon a vigorous spiritual existence throughout the course of life.
TP-CASTT - The Chambered Nautilus
Literary Elements
The Cambered Nautilus
Example 1:
"Its webs of living gauze no more unfurl;
Wrecked is the ship of pearl!
And every chambered cell,
Where its dim dreaming life was wont to dwell," (Lines 8-11).

Example 2: "He left the past year's dwelling for the new,
Stole with soft step its shining archway through,
Built up its idle door,
Stretched in his last-found home, and knew the old no more" (Lines 18-21).
These examples of motifs greatly relate the Nautilus' shell growth and how, in nature and life, people and most things in the world grow and become older/age. And as the newer shells of life form around all things, advancements or adjustments are made to the new part of life.
Literary Elements
The Chambered Nautilus
Example 1:
"Year after year beheld the silent toil
That spread his lustrous coil;
Still, as the spiral grew,
He left the past year's dwelling for the new," (Lines 15-18).

Example 2:
"Build thee more stately mansions, O my soul," (Line 29).
The poet uses metaphors comparing the creature's shell to the new year indicating that the creature enters a new state of life and builds onto/off of the old as many things in life do. He compares the soul to the nautilus' ability to create a bigger home for itself, hinting to the soul's ability to build and learn from the past and become stronger in the upcoming times to come.
Literary Elements
- Old Ironsides
Example 1:
"Ay, tear her tattered ensign down!
Long has it waved on high,
And many an eye has danced to see
That banner in the sky;
Beneath it rung the battle shout,
And burst the cannon's roar;--" (Lines 1-6).

Example 2:
"Her thunders shook the mighty deep,
And there should be her grave;
Nail to the mast her holy flag,
Set every threadbare sail,
And give her to the god of storms,
The lightning and the gale!" (Lines 19-24).
The poet uses mood to get the readers to feel his thoughts and feelings, in some ways trying to persuade them to take his side on the issue of aging for both objects and people. And also uses personification to further his argument. He points out that people seem to gravitate around the youthful person or object, but as age catches up to the object or person, people tend to have the urge to discard these "things." The poet wishes people would see old age as the part of life that it should be and not as the end interest in life.
Example 1:
"Her deck, once red with heroes' blood,
Where knelt the vanquished foe," (Line 9-10).

Example 2:
"And many an eye has danced to see
That banner in the sky;" (Line 3-4)
Theme Relation
Old Ironsides
Life Connection
"The Chambered Nautilus" and "Old Ironsides" both depict and elude to the start and end of life very well and in many different ways.
The author was able to keep a similar theme through out both poems, but yet have a completely different setting for both.

He created a very calm environment in most stanzas of the poems.

Oliver Holmes did not make it easy to spot figurative language that connected to the theme.

These poems should be read by you because they hold a very deep meaning to life within them.
"The Chambered Nautilus" rates:

"Old Ironsides" rates:
People today can relate to the poems titled "The Chambered Nautilus" and "Old Ironsides" because these two poems emphasize the importance for children of nature to grow and build upon a vigorous spiritual existence throughout the course of life.
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Full transcript