"The past and the future were the same thing to him,
and the other not remembered" (257).
Flannery O'Connor's "A Late Encounter with the Enemy" (1953; 1955)
Points of Reflection
EBB: "The Cry of the Children" (1843), PDF
1. why does EBB launch this poem with an epigraph pulled from Euripides' Medea?
2. does the voice and tone of this poem resemble that found in any of William Blake's poems? Do its themes or images recall poetry by William Wordsworth?
3. to whom is this narrator addressing herself, and does her message call for a change in action as well as perspective?
4. why do these children welcome death?
5. do these children's imaginations help them escape their unhealthy environment?
6. do the sounds which surround these children soothe them? Do they grow accustomed to and comfortable with the machinery's steady noise?
7. is the narrator serious when she calls on her "brothers" to encourage the children to pray to God for succor?
8. why might EBB identify midnight as an "hour of harm" (l.114)?
9. what factors complicate the children's understanding of God?
10. does E. B. B.'s "The Cry of the Children" rely too much on pathos to be convincing, or does this very reliance on her reader's emotions insure her poem's rhetorical success?
11. one Victorian reviewer of this poem observed that "The cadence, lingering, broken, and full of wail, is one of the most[t] perfect adaptations of sound to sense in literature" (BC 9:365). Do you agree, or do you fault EBB for the license she takes with meter?
RB: "Deaf and Dumb: A Group by Woolner" (1864), PDF
1.pay close attention to the modifiers Browning uses throughout this poem. Why, for instance, does he call white "blank" (l.3) and the mouth "favoured" (l.8)?
2. do you applaud Browning's choice to use a scientific analogy (l.1-3) to make his point about the beauty that can arise from irregularity?
3. whose love is first "vexed," then successful at "wreak[ing] its insuppressive sense" (ll.5-6) across the face?
4. do you agree that the eyes can communicate as much as--even more than--the lips?
5. examine this image of the sculpture referenced in Browning's poem. Is the tone of the poem similar to the tone apparent in the sculpture?
"The Phantom Wagon" (1933)
oil on wood
Dr. Paul Marchbanks