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Dirge in Woods

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  1. Dirge in Woods George Meredith Abbie Boltz

  2. General Information • 1 stanza • Has irregular rhyme • 15 lines • Lyric poem • The speaker is someone walking through the woods and looking at a pinetree

  3. Dirge In Woods A wind sways the pines, And below Not a breath of wild air; Still as the mosses that glow On the flooring and over the lines Of the roots here and there. The pine-tree drops its dead; They are quiet, as under the sea. Overhead, overhead Rushes life in a race, As the clouds the clouds chase; And we go, And we drop like the fruits of the tree, Even we, Even so. Dirge-a song or chant for the dead Written between 1904 and 1906… Near his death.

  4. George Meredith (1828-1909) • Born in Portsmouth, England • Worked with father to run a failing business shop • Was sent to boarding school • His mother died when he was 5 and she left him money • Declined apprenticeship to be a bookseller and publisher • Published poems in a magazine • Married Mary Nicolls • Was deserted by his wife and left with his son • When she returned, Meredith refused to let her see his son until she was on her deathbed • Published many poems and essays and novels during his life such as “The Egoist”, Diana of the Crossways, and The Ordeal of Richard Feverel http://www.poetryfoundation.org/bio/george-meredith

  5. Poetic Elements In This Poem • Rhyme • Rhythm • Repetition • Symbols • Simile

  6. A B C • Rhyme • Some rhyme, but no apparent rhyme scheme • ` A wind sways the pines, And below Not a breath of wild air; Still as the mosses that glow On the flooring and over the lines Of the roots here and there. The pine-tree drops its dead; They are quiet, as under the sea. Overhead, overhead Rushes life in a race, As the clouds the clouds chase; And we go, And we drop like the fruits of the tree, Even we, Even so. B A D E F E G G H F F H

  7. Similes Comparing the stillness to how much the moss moves…. As in no movement at all Lines 3 and 4: Not a breath of wild air; Still as the mosses that glow Lines 7 and 8: The pine-tree drops its dead; They are quiet, as under the sea. Lines 10 and 11: Rushes life in a race, As the clouds the clouds chase; Comparing the quietness of a pine cone dropping to the silence under the sea. Comparing life to a race-it’s always very busy.

  8. Wind makes things seem alive by movement so…. Wind=“the breath of life” Pinecones hold seeds for the tree Symbols “As the clouds the clouds chase”=People chasing their dreams The clouds are in the sky… so are stars, which people wish upon so… Pinecones=death but also rebirth There is no movement on the trunk and no wind gets to it so… Trunk=death Tree=life in general The branches are the things that are moving from the wind…. Branches=people

  9. The Format of Dirge in Woods Life A wind sways the pines, Death And below Not a breath of wild air; Still as the mosses that glow On the flooring and over the lines Of the roots here and there. The pine-tree drops its dead; They are quiet, as under the sea. George Meredith goes from talking about life, to death, to life, and back to death again. This symbolizes a cycle of life and rebirth. Overhead, overhead Rushes life in a race, As the clouds the clouds chase; And we go, And we drop like the fruits of the tree, Even we, Even so. Death is the prominent subject here… He was close to death.

  10. Lines 1-3, 4-6 Sort of sounds like a song A wind sways the pines, And below Not a breath of wild air; Still as the mosses that glow On the flooring and over the lines Of the roots here and there. $ Below-as in in the ground… Moss do not seem alive because they are short and stubbly… But they are surely alive! Glow is not a very bright light…. Meredith is talking about glimmers of hope. There is no life Roots keep the tree in the ground and provides nourishment. They are not seen but they are still there-just like hope.

  11. Pine trees drop pine cones… but the pine cones release seeds and from them, come new trees. Lines 7-8, 9-11 The pine-tree drops its dead; They are quiet, as under the sea. Overhead, overhead Rushes life in a race, As the clouds the clouds chase; The pine cone is quiet when it falls, just as people die quietly. Life goes on even after people die.

  12. Lines 12-15 And we go, And we drop like the fruits of the tree, Even we, Even so. Even though people die and we are bound to die, we still need to live our life. THEME