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Introduction & Overview of Beware of Ruins

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Beware of Ruins Summary & Study Guide Description

Beware of Ruins Summary & Study Guide includes comprehensive information and analysis to help you understand the book. This study guide contains the following sections:

This detailed literature summary also contains For Further Study on Beware of Ruins by A. D. Hope.

A. D. Hope's "Beware of Ruins" (1981) is a poem about memory and imagination motivated to engage by viewing ruins from a Renaissance past. Seeking the world's past arouses the poet to find and reconstruct his own past of things read and experiences lived—the ruins being, themselves, a kind of materialized memory which inspires flights into memories of one's own cultural and personal experiences. The poem is also about aging, about how one would romantically and ideally reconstruct, through ruins, another's past, but with much more difficulty, reconstruct oneself in one's own past. In this latter sense, "Beware of Ruins" gestures toward an expression of how one is dead to the past and moving toward the death in the future.

"Beware of Ruins" has been chosen for inclusion in The Norton Anthology of Modern Poetry (1988), and in A. D. Hope: Selected Poems (1986). The poem appears, in terms of commentary, ignored. Perhaps the poem is thought to stand on its own without need of praise or blame, or, on the other hand, stand on its own in terms of serf-sufficiency, needing neither notes nor interpretation. While the poem most assuredly stands alone in each of these senses, "Beware of Ruins" has been underappreciated and underanalyzed, at least in the United States.

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Poetry for Students
Beware of Ruins from Poetry for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.