Thomas Kinsella Samle Essay

1013 Words Jan 12th, 2014 5 Pages
Thomas Kinsella Sample Answer

“Kinsella’s poetic world is one of darkness and decay, relieved by glimpses of insight and acceptance.” To what extent do you agree with this statement? Support your answer with suitable reference to the poetry of Thomas Kinsella on your course.

Poems: Mirror in February
Chrysalides
Thinking of Mr. D
Dick King

The world of Thomas Kinsella’s poetry is one shrouded in darkness and decay, yet frequently relieved by cautiously optimistic moments of insight and acceptance. In Mirror in February, we meet the poet as he has “reached the age of Christ”, i.e. thirty-three, and this truth causes him to reflect on the nature of his own mortality. He observes the “open soil” almost as he would a
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At the time Kinsella was numb to the reality of this; it is only on reflection that he feels the psychological impact of what he had seen.
The contrast between “Chocolate and fruit” and “Dry scones and milk” perhaps suggests the mollifying (softening) of the excitement of life as we grow older. Again, Kinsella is accepting, though not overly enthusiastic, of the “lasting horror” that the inevitable fate of the ants lies too “in our path”.

In ‘Thinking of Mr. D’, Kinsella describes how those who have died continue to haunt the living. Death overshadows the poem, just like the dead Mr. D impinges on the memory of the poet.
There is a note of criticism of Mr D in the third line when we hear that he engages in “cheerful slander”. This means that Mr D was quick to gossip about others and find enjoyment in such gossip.
Although the first section of the poem describes a man happy in the company of others, the second half portrays a desperately sad individual, alone by the river.
The last stanza in particular shows us another side to Mr D, and makes him more human and vulnerable. Alone, he walks along by the river. The imagery used to describe him here ‘’wolfish slim’’ and a sufferer of “pain” and “bodily plight” gives us a sense that Mr D is unwell. Like the earlier oxymoron (contradictory terms used side by side) about “cheerful slander”, there are…

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