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Time’s Fool Ruth Pitter. Jason Le. Ruth Pitter. Full name Emma Thomas Ruth Pitter, a 20 th century poet born in 7 November 1897. Her poems are traditional: with rhyming schemes of 19 th century, rather than experimenting with meters and verse forms.

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ruth pitter
Ruth Pitter
  • Full name Emma Thomas Ruth Pitter, a 20th century poet born in 7 November 1897.
  • Her poems are traditional: with rhyming schemes of 19th century, rather than experimenting with meters and verse forms.
  • Despite the fact that her poems were overlooked in her age, only recently this famous poet is known to the world.
  • She was first woman to receive the Queen’s Gold Medal for Poetry, and named "Companion of Literature", the highest honour given by the Royal Society of Literature.
main ideas about the poem
Main ideas about the poem
  • Time being the title and main point in the poem, in the poem it’s about the passage of time. Eg: used objects, mirror and comb which were used a lot when young(stanza 2) and the aging of poet.(relates to point two)
  • The poem describes objects which are used, aged, discarded and unwanted. These waste objects are used by creatures which made them into home( stanza 1). Through these points and also mentioned by the poem “poor” represents the conditions the poet is living at. But because in the poem “poor comfortable” this might be an actual condition which the poet wants to get into-though poor, but lived comfortably and quietly.
point of view
Point of view
  • The poem starts as an observer, then changes to first person narrative.
  • In this poem the point of view is unique, and is based on the poet. As I think this poem is based on the poet’s old age life it is biased on what the poet thinks about the poem. This is shown in the poem when the observer/1st person narrator says “poor comfort” and “happy poor”. Being happy/comfort at the same time as being poor is very obvious that it is biased.
  • As in the poem, the narrator changes from an observer to 1st person narrator. This change of view is suppose to give the readers an image of her life first, and then describes what the poet actually thinks about it.
shape and pattern
Shape and pattern
  • The poem’s title suggests what the main theme of poem is about- time.
  • The start of the poem is very confusing, as it starts suddenly and describes things which readers barely notice in real life. But the idea gets more clear as the poem develops.
  • The poem is , as always by Ruth Pitter, is traditional, with a rhyming pattern of ABCCBA.Also the construction of the poem makes every stanza having separate things but related idea. Stanza1: the time passing on objects. Stanza 2: the time passing on creatures. Stanza 3: time passing on the poet- changing of thoughts of the poet.
  • The ending of the poem is what was expected. It was also contrasting with the last stanza: “toad safe in his hole, lily in splendour…etc” all related to the last line.
language and tone
Language and tone
  • The language in this poem is informal, and not complex. Because the point of view of this poem is an observer and 1st person perspective, describing the lifestyle of the poet. Eg: are lost with the other treasure: the sooty kettle.
  • The tone of the poem is calm, and used a lot of descriptive words. This creates image inside the reader’s head and also an effect that calm and undisturbed feeling is created. Which is what the poem(or people getting older) feels. Eg: as then I had mine, in the place that was happy and poor.
imagery
Imagery
  • The poem uses the images of old, used objects to present the theme of passage of time. In the poem everything seem to be old, and used. Eg: “nettle Shoots up, and bad bind weed wreathes rust-fretted handle”( this clearly shows the time passed as these can not grow in just a day or so) “dear enough, when with youth and with fancy shared” (shows the aging of poet, its not the time used to be)and also how there are fed mouse and cankered apple supports this point.
  • Another imagery of this poem is peace. This reflects the poet’s thoughts about her lifestyle. “as then I had mine, in the place that was happy and poor”, this contrast with the other lines in stanza 3 will support this imagery.
my own ideas
My own ideas
  • This poem clearly has the theme of time. But based on this it has another meaning. The poet is writing about the humble home of hers by using the creatures which live like her: using discarded objects as their homes, waste not, want not, having other leftovers as their food. Thought living in this poor condition, the poet is happy enough to be like this. She is safe, splendor/grace, peace, had desire and comfort. This is all because of her aging: as people get older, they do not want as much as when they are young- they do not care much about their looks(line6 stanza2) and even if they are poor, as they are living quietly and comfortably, they are contented. Also, as people get older, they like to share their things to the surroundings, which is what the poet did, she shares her environment with the living things others would destroy.
  • This poem is not about reflecting the poor stage of hers, is more about reflecting the happiness and calmness of her being at this stage. Quiet and undisturbed.