Thursday, October 25, 2012

Questions on "In The Nursing Home"by Jane Kenyon. Charnley Worth


A incite into how Jane Kenyon integrated a Carpe Diem theme into the poem In The "Nursing Home".




In the Nursing Home
She is like a horse grazing
a hill pasture that someone makes
smaller by coming every night
to pull the fences in and in.

She has stopped running wide loops,
stopped even the tight circles.
She drops her head to feed; grass
is dust, and the creekbed’s dry.

Master, come with your light
halter. Come and bring her in.


I chose the poem “In the Nursing Home”. Kenyon writes many of his poems around depressing and somber subjects. However, by manipulating bad times and portraying them in an honest way can have a positive effect on the way people should lead their lives. The poem talks about a woman in a nursing home. Kenyon relates her to a horse in a field, “she is like a horse grazing/a hill pasture…” The scene here seems peaceful and free. As we move on Kenyon changes this image of freedom by describing that the field is in fact closing in on her “smaller by every coming night”. The simile here is strong. By using this shift in momentum the reader has been given the illusion of freedom and belief. Suddenly this is just a fantasy, it is really a prison. This may be not be a literal sense of the nursing homes been a prison but her life at this time is just a prison. She is restricted and trapped by what I can guess as age. The next stanza goes on to explain how the women has just given up “she has stopped running wide loops”. Kenyon is showing there is no hope for this person she is just surviving.  The very last stanza also talks about her accepting death, “master, come with your light/ halter. Come and bring her in “. This poem made me think of the great quote from William Wallace “Every man diesnot every man really lives”, this women is just surviving not living. The moral is exactly the topic of this question “Carpe Diem”, live every day like it’s your last before you too become trapped. Seize your day.

Jane Kenyon was diagnosed with leukaemia. This was an aggressive form which I’m sure restricted her doing thing she loved to do. She was the woman she was restricted, trapped. There maybe a point in her life where she gave up fighting and accepted her fate, like the women in the poem. However, the message she brought across which ties in tightly to her personal experience was to never give up and appreciate every day.

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