Thursday, April 7, 2011

To The Poppy

Anna Seward's sonnet regarding the poppy is one that is described as quite happy, but carries a sarcastic undertone. The sonnet has an interesting flow because it follows the Petrarchan format having an octave followed by a Sestet, but it doesn't follow that traditional rhyme scheme. The basis of the poem is Seward sarcastically criticizing the poppy for the weed it is. Seward seems to be intrigued by the ways of the poppy, and she mentions how it is unshielded and blows with the wind. Despite her sarcasm it seems she wants to be the poppy and have its freedom. Interesting enough while she seems to be admiring the poppy, she recognizes the problem that the poppy causes for others. She opens the poem by mentioning the summer rose and the glory in which it yields. Her introduction to the poppy is, "Misfortune's victim hails, with many a sigh, Thee, scarlet Poppy of the pathless field…" It seems that in the poem the poppy plagues the grasses and annoys all that come in contact with it. Upon reading this the only thing I could imagine a field of annoying little flowers and began to sympathize with Seward. After the volta, Seward says, "Kind dreams oblivious from thy juice proceed, Thou flimsy, showy, melancholy weed." The volta which is supposed to reconceptualize the poem let' us know that the poopy is actually a weed, although a flower, it isn't a species held to the standard of a rose. Seward does a great job at taking us on a metaphorical journey to discover that the poppy is a weed. Her sarcasm and wit throughout the sonnet create a storyline which is easy to follow and enjoyable.

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