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To a Friend Whose Work Has Come to Triumph

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by

Rachel Elizabeth

on 11 April 2014

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Transcript of To a Friend Whose Work Has Come to Triumph

To a Friend Whose Work Has Come to Triumph
Feel the fire at his neck and see how casually
he glances up and is caught, wondrously tunneling
into that hot eye. Who cares that he fell back to the sea?
See him acclaiming the sun and come plunging down
while his sensible daddy goes straight into town.
See him acclaiming the sun and come plunging down
while his sensible daddy goes straight into town.
Consider Icarus, pasting those sticky wings on,
testing that strange little tug at his shoulder blade
and think of that first flawless moment over the lawn
of the labyrinth. Think of the difference it made!
There below are the trees, as awkward as camels;
and here are the shocked starlings pumping past
and think of innocent Icarus who is doing quite well.
Larger than a sail, over the fog and the blast
of the plushy ocean, he goes. Admire his wings!
Structure
14 line Shakespearean Sonnet with each quatrain representing a different scene in Icarus' journey
ABAB CDCD EFEF GG Rhyme scheme
Couplet brings a shift in tone from one of admiration and glory of Icarus and his short lived journey to one of belittlement at his failure as compared to his father successfully making it into town.
Theme
Analysis
Final couplet is the only part of the poem where Icarus' "daddy" is portrayed in a light of something other than a wise and sensible leader and is instead shown as a coward for not taking chances/risks
Overall word choice depicts the sense of triumph and determination within Icarus despite technically having "failed" in his journey. (admire, acclaim, shocked)
Literary Devices

Modern
Humorous?
Captures naivety expressed in poem
Even if things are doing good in your life, don't allow this to become false security and prevent you from taking risks while you are trying to complete your end goal. Sometimes it is better to take chances, even if the end in failure than to not even try in the first place.
Viewpoint: Third person directly speaking to a friend

Allusion: The poem alludes to Icarus' flight to escape from prison with his father

Context of allusion: Even though Icarus failed to do what he was trying to do, he achieved something greater in the end through his attempt. The poet is comparing his "friend" to Icarus and is implying that like Icarus, his friend.
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