The Influence of a Poem

The Influence of a Poem
Charity Alexander
ENG 125: Introduction into Literature
Mr. Stephen Rogers
March 10, 2013

The Influence of                                                                                                                     Page 1

The poem that I chose for this assignment is The Oak   by Alfred, Lord Tennyson. This poem has a way of gaining a reader’s interest and   Tennyson uses several different elements of poetry to help a person to understand his poem. Tennyson uses the elements of figurative language, symbolism, and rhyme to describe an oak tree and it’s similarities to the various stages of a human life. I was able to use these elements to better understand this comparison and enjoy this poem even more.
At first reading , I really did not grasp the concept of a tree going through the same stage as a human. After reading this poem several times, however, I began to understand it better and found it to be a great poem. Tennyson uses figurative language by the use of a simile to compare human developmental stages to that of the seasons of nature and their effects on an oak tree. This comparison made me feel as if the author was relating these two things throughout the entire poem to show how alike our lives are to the life of this strong oak tree. The author also personifies the oak tree by using “he” to refer to the changes of the oak tree and its relationship to the stage of our lives. “All his leaves, Fall’n at length, look, he stands trunk and bough, Naked Strength.(Clugston, 2010). These lines demonstrate personification of the oak tree and helped me to see the oak take on these human qualities.
The oak tree, through the use of these words, seemed to me to symbolize a human man going through the stages of life . Just as the oak tree goes through spring, summer, fall and winter, a human also goes through these stages only in different ways. Tennyson uses the way that the tree looks in each of these seasons, to show the...