Write an appreciation of the poem considering the following points:
- About the poem/poet/title.
- Poetic devices, language, style
- Special features/ novelties/focusing elements
- Values, message
- Your opinion about the poem.
Appreciation of the poem 'The Sower'
'The Sower' is a poem about the hard work and persistence of a sower, who works tirelessly and relentlessly while the poet observes his actions and terms him as an august personality, who works not for himself, but for others. Originally written by Victor Hugo in French, this poem has been translated to English by the Bengali poet, Torulata Dutt, who was the first Indian poetess to write verses in English and French. The title of the poem represents the central character of the poem, that is, the sower.
The central idea of the poem revolves around the act of sowing seeds by the sower, while the poet observes him and begins to revere him for his noble actions. The poetic devices used in the poem are Alliteration, Antithesis, Consonance, Hyperbole, Inversion, Personification, Repetition, and Synecdoche. An example of Personification from the poem is 'Twilight hastens on to rule' where 'Twilight' has been given the animate quality of 'hastening (rushing in)'. The language used by the poet is slightly complex because it has been written in a way that it maintains the rhyme scheme of 'abab'. It has a steady rhythm and a consistent metre, meaning that there is consistency in the number of syllables used in a line. The poet follows the narrative style of writing, where he gives a first-person account of observing the sower working hard in the field.
The special features used in the poem are imagery and symbolism. The poem is full of descriptive imagery, as each line either describes the scene or the action of the sower or the poet. The dominance of the silhouette of the sower over the deep furrows is symbolic of the dominance of man over nature. The 'precious grain' is so-called because each grain holds importance for the sower. He shall sow these grains carefully and hope for a good harvest.
The novelties in this poem are the exact translations of lines from French by Toru Dutt. She chose to provide a true account of the observations, as written by Victor Hugo, instead of trying to refine the lines that sound inelegant when translated. Her retention of the optimistic tone of the poem makes the poem refreshing and appealing. The focussing elements in the poem are the dedication and commitment of the sower, his perseverance, and the poet's acknowledgment of the sower's actions as being selfless and noble.
The values that one can learn from this poem are determination, perseverance, and selflessness. The message given by the poet, through this poem, is that one should keep working with a positive attitude in life because one shall eventually reap the benefits of one's hard work.
The sower's commitment towards his work and the poet's admiration of the sower, give the poem a positive and encouraging tone, thus making it a fine read.