A Critical Review of The Force That through the Green Fuse Drives the Flower, a Poem by Dylan Thomas

A Critical Review of The Force That through the Green Fuse Drives the Flower, a Poem by Dylan Thomas

Document details
Category: English Essay
Subcategory: English Poetry
Words: 2482
Pages: 7

Published: Sunday 3rd of November 2013

Dylan Thomas's poem "The Force That Through the Green Fuse Drives theFlower" seems insignificant at its first read. A mere 22 lines by a short-lived Welsh poet only recently accepted into the modern poetic canon, it isa poem easily passed over in favor of lengthier works by more famous poets.It is in these 22 lines, however, that Thomas captures the entire essenceof human life, from the energy of youth to the gentle fade into death, alldriven by the constant, rhythmic, unyielding passage of time. "The ForceThat Through the Green Fuse Drives the Flower" illustrates the inescapableduality of time's power a force of both creation and destruction. Thomas expresses the conflicting nature of time on multiple levelswithin the poem. As the reader reads deeper into the poem, Thomas'sthoughts on the duality of time are expanded and confirmed. At the sametime, however, Thomas uses other, clearer descriptions to ensure that evena cursory reading will demonstrate time's paradoxical nature. One of hismost evident methods of exploring the nature of time is through the form ofthe poem. Within the poem, Thomas uses juxtaposition, irony, and adisintegrating rhyme scheme to hybridize life and death, two elements inthe passage of time. Thomas's primary tool in establishing the connection between life anddeath is his use of juxtaposition. In the first stanza of the poem, Thomasdescribes his youth as under attack by a "wintry fever" (Thomas 1). Thephrase seems to contradict itself, with winter invoking images of frost andsnow,while fever refers to heat. A wintry fever, then, must be cold and hot atthe same time, just as time both brings new life into existence whilebringing other lives to an end. The phrase is also used to contrast youthand old age. Early in the stanza, Thomas uses imagery of spring and growthof plants to symbolize his youth, while here, winter comes to signify theend of life. Thomas also...

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