Song of a Citizen Themes

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In the first two stanzas, which establish the context for the whole poem, the poet contemplates destruction on a vast, unnatural scale. In line 1, the apocalyptic, end-of-the-world image of the seas drying up suggests that something is happening that has never happened before. The results are catastrophic, producing mass death and suffering and unprecedented upheavals in human social and political organizations. The catastrophe is clearly man-made, unlike a natural disaster such as an earthquake. It represents a negation of all positive human aspiration, the triumph of everything in the human psyche that leads to violence and evil. In the midst of it all, the poet, by means of metaphor, equates himself with a stone at the depths of the now-disappeared ocean, an image that suggests his helplessness in the face of the destruction he is forced to witness. The remainder of the poem is a valiant...

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This section contains 1,054 words
(approx. 3 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Song of a Citizen Study Guide
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Poetry for Students
Song of a Citizen from Poetry for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.