Basic Poem Analysis
Subject Matter: What is being described?
The life of a farm hand- his personality. It describes his dreams and the things he wishes he had. He wants a girl, a love in his life, but he feels he is not capable of being a lover. He is too involved in his work as a farm hand. He feels “awkward”, “envious” of the “Sunday couples”. The last stanza tells us that he is in his element when he is working – not awkward but “effortless and strong”, not envious but “like a lover” when listening to the tractor engine.
Can you find a deeper meaning/message? What is the poet telling us? Look for key words here – how do they guide your thoughts, what aspects do they focus on?
“Careless” – suggests that he wants other people to think he doesn’t care.
“Always his eyes turn” – can’t stop himself
“An old wound” – suggests that the music evokes a painful memory – perhaps a lost love.
“Red sunburnt face” , “hairy hands”, “ slow growing as his mind” – paints a picture of a person who feels out of place at the dance – he is more at home on the land. He still has “awkward hopes” and dreams. Last stanza – “effortless””, “strong”, “like a lover” – the picture is a lot more confident. The two types of love and the love of the land. The farmland is shown as being shut out of “dancing” or love making because of who he is. But his real passion is what makes him strong.
What techniques are being used?
Direst address to the reader – “You...” in first line, reader is instructed to “watch” in last stanza. Five stanza formal structure. Use of simple devices such as listing (stanza 1) and adjectives – “red sunburnt”, “hairy” etc that suggests rather than describe in detail.
Structure and its relation to the content?
The five stanza structure of the poem places the central idea of the poem in the thirdf stanza,...