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Hamletian Problematics in The English and Arabic Poetry


A. Hamletian Problematics as Modern Predicaments

The concept "problematic" was transferred from the French "problematique" and was firstly used in English in the translation of Louis Altusser's For Marx in 1969. This term was borrowed from Jaques Martin "to designate the particular unity of a theoretical formation and hence the location to be assigned to his specific difference" (Marx, 32). This term is used recently to be applied on any complex beliefs which stand together as unity though selfcontradictory. In other words the term "problematic" refers to describe the opposite forces imposing themselves upon human mind. Exploring these human inconsistencies, attempting to reconcile between them, and searching for a formula to deal with them, are what make the term "problematic". Hamlet as an Elizabethan play, classified as "a problem drama", exposes evidently a tragic hero, as a representative of Mankind, whose "problematics" are fit subjects for this new approach, which is processed and manipulated through modern literary works.

Contextualizing "Hamltian problematics" with modern texts provides them with new insights which illuminate novel modern obsessions and interpretations. For this reason, modern maneuvers of the interpretations of Hamlet are embodied in many of the twentieth century theories either formalist or non- formalist; Coleridge put it obviously: The seeming inconsistencies in the conduct and character of Hamlet have long exercised the conjectual genuity of critics; and as we are always loth to suppose that the case of defective apprehension in ourselves, the mystery has been too commonly explained by the very easy process of setting it down, as in fact inexplicable, and by resolving the phenomenon into a


misgrowth or lusus of the capricious and irregular genius of Shakespeare. I believe the character of Hamlet may be traced to Shakespeares deep and accurate science in mental philosophy. ( This quotation sheds the light on the modern prophetic interpretations of Hamlet as a man whose balance between his self-world and the real world is disturbed. In other words, he fails to maintain the equilibrium between the impression of the objects outward, and the process of the intellect inward. This idea of ambiguity in Hamlets character, as Mallarme sees it, is typically of a modern poet, and a particular symbolist one, whose spirit seeks to create or act in a way that enables him to embody the truth of life, discovering the sense of freedom and order. In addition, the question of achieving true knowledge of either himself or the world around is another modern predicament which sets Hamlet as a reflection of modern character; the uncertainity of knowledge, the reliability of the ghost and his own irresolution due to his excessive speculation, are also what render both the text and the hero reflect modern dilemmas. Specifically mentioned, Dr. Huda Ayad confirmed in her essay The Hamletian problematic in Emily Dickenson's later poems" that the old Hamletian problem, even if fairly given the "to be or not to be" formula "now turns into a "to be and not to be" problematic- an acceptance and a rejection, at once, of life, and inversely, an acceptance and a rejection of death: "(Cairo Studies (123). Dr. Ayad, here, interprets one of Hamlet's problematics "to be or not to be" as "to be and not to be" which is not just a mere question on a pragmatic level, rather than questioning the existence itself. On the metaphysical level the striking stylistic ambiguity "to and not to", and the semantic paradox between life and death,


existence and no existence, are what constitute Hamlet's main ambiguity. This causes Hamlet to represent the type of man whose power of direct action is paralyzed; the action assigned to him by his father's ghost is completely undone. Sigmund Freud relates these neurasthenic symptoms of action to a modern poet, he states that these neurotic symptoms are capable of being over interpreted", and indeed to be, if they are to be fully understood, so all genuinely creative writings are the product of more than a single motive and move than a single's impulse in the poet's mind, and are open to more than a single interpretation interpretations of dreams.

Thus, this paradoxical concept of acceptance and rejection of both life and death, as Dr. Ayad puts it "to be and not to be", is not just related to Hamlet's problematics but it is considered as a modern poetic force beyond the writings of the modern poets. Hamlet's soliloquy "to be, or not to be that is the question". (Act III, Scene I) is associated with both life and death, with the question of existence or non-existence. On the metaphysical level, modern poetry introduces this predicament as a potential ambiguity enriching the modern verses with human conflicts. Hamlet's internal dispute upon his dilemma of life and death, accepting both of them, are his primary motives beyond his second problematic which is "to act and not to act"; accepting action and inaction, as ambiguous human impulses. Catherine Belsey in her essay Hamlet's Dilemma, discusses the nature of Hamlet's character from the modern vision; she stresses the fact that Hamlet's main dilemmas are summed up in his accepting, willingly or unwillingly, the uncompromising facts held together with anxiety. In other words, Hamlet's delay in killing his uncle is seen within the light of indoor embodiment of the struggle between certainty and uncertainty, action and inaction. Dr. M M Enani in his book The Comparative Literature states that most of the modern poets, English or Arab, show their "Hamletian excuses" (28), for taking no action. Enani stresses the


fact that like Hamlet, the modern poets have such everlasting struggle between the persona and the shadow. The persona (he, she) has not the ability to act, thus, it fails. This is deeply rooted in the psyche, which results in psychological torture and conflicting conscious impulses. Moreover, such a problematic of action and inaction is to lead to another predicament of Hamlet which is typically modern; it is the struggle between identity and selfknowledge. Mallame sees Hamlet as an ambiguous character; he tries to separate his own self from the outside world. Moreover, in his essay Hamlet and his problems, T.S Eliot explains that Hamlet is possessed and obsessed by something he cannot express. Hamlet, thus, as a play is a journey to achieve self-awareness, almost to create a new identity of a hero whose self-knowledge is torn by the ghost and the real world. The play records Hamlets failure in achieving any kind of a profound identity. Hamlet is torn between many identities which he fails to assign. Although he admits he is the prince of Denmark; he sees deeply inside himself that he is a villain, and a mad man, and also a vagrant. Neither the characters nor the audience know his true self. Hamlet himself does not know if the ghost is real or not. The concept of epistemology is lost in the play; for this reason, he lets himself behave according to principles of both fatalism and egoism(2), as Martin Scofield states in his essay The Ghost of Hamlet: The play and the modern writers. Hamlet, thus, does not form any kind of identity because he lacks knowledge about his world, the reliability of the Ghost, and the world around. For this reason, the play puts many questions about knowledge with its certainty. For Hamlet, he cannot "be" in the body, yet, he is commanded to "be" as an avenger, to adopt an identity which does not belong to him. Even the certainty of his commander is a matter of questioning.


Steve Roth in his article Who Knows Who Knows Whos There? An Epistemology of Hamlet (or, what happens in the Mouth trap), confirms that (A)fter his contretemps with the ghost, Hamlet believes and wants to believe that his father was murdered, but does not know it, the reliability of the ghost is questioned throughout the play by guards, Horatio and especially Hamlet(2). Consequently, the whole play is about knowledge of no knowledge, uncertainty and an attempt of fabricating an identity out of no identity. Scofield confirms the same meaning, saying that Hamlet: is made up of too many elements which never resolve themselves into one identity, the action of the play is the postponing of the moment of decisive action which would crystallize this identity, or rather a magnification of that period before action in order to consider it fully. Hamlet is "shut up" never reveals himself fully... .. In all the other Shakespearian tragedies, the protagonist does reveals himself, takes the step into the tragic action which decides his fate, and the depth of his nature in which the good is defeated by the evil but not destroyed . .. But in Hamlet all is confusion, and Hamlet can only say: "I do not know": his real self is still at the end in a kind of latent state. (Scofield.3) Scofield through this elaboration of Hamlet's dilemma of achieving no identity because of the juxtaposition between his self-knowledge and the world around, proves that Hamlet is "a tragedy of identity(3). Hamlet becomes no one of these: courtier, soldier, scholar, sweet,


prince" or even "errant knave" one can say that his main failure is that he could not achieve one identity. The ambiguity between his fully human sense of the world and his own obsession (self-knowledge and the ghost's command of murder), makes shapes ambiguous and uncertain, perception is dim and vague. Everything within the play is just a matter of doubt which is not to be assured throughout, Hamlet's self-knowledge about the ghost, his ability to take revenge, and even his mousetrap; every action and reaction become a matter of doubt. Hamlets speech to Horatio about the ghost Ill take the ghosts word for a thousand pound(Act III, scene II, 13) is an attempt to convince himself with the schematic knowledge of the real existence of the ghost. Furthermore, the mousetrap is another trial to make assurance of nothing, to make a process of knowing out of not knowing, still as Roth states "so ever after Gonzago, Hamlet does not know if Claudius knows he knows; he still does not know for sure if there's anything to know. In addition, Claudius clan dim doesn't know with what certainty or proof Hamlet knows"(3). Nietzsche stresses this nature of "not knowing of the play confirming that Hamlet's achievement lies in his ability to adopt that illusion in the face of "true knowledge", but in despite of knowing that he can never truly know." (92) As a matter of fact, Belsey relates Hamlet, the protagonist to Hamlet the antagonist inversely in a way or another that affirms the argument around the conflict between Hamlet's Self-knowledge and the world around. She states Hamlet, who is responsible, directly or indirectly, for the deaths of Polonius, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, Ophilia, Laertes and Claudius, come to bear an uncanny resemblance to the antagonist whose violence initiates the entire sequence of events that constitutes the action of the play (Deconstruction, 196). This is again is a reference to Hamlet's ambiguous identities even concerning his own role within the play.


In addition, Hamlet's separation from the world around makes him soak into his own ego, by doing this; both his ego and super ego, for a long time of the play, become one. In other words, Ross C. Murfin describes the super ego as something outside the self, making moral judgments, telling us to make sacrifices for the good causes meanwhile; Freud relates this concept of the super ego to the conscious, stating that there is another sub-conscious or
unconscious realm mirroring human deep inner thoughts and repressed wishes. For Hamlet,

the ghost establishes new relation between him and the world around making of himself an alien or a mad man either willingly or not "To put an antic disposition on" (Act I, scene I), he tells Horatio, but, even Horatio does not know if this is true or not and here lies the mystery of the play. Freud says "what the ego is forced to acknowledge its weakness, it breaks out into anxiety. Reality anxiety in face of the internal world normal anxiety in face of the super ego, and neurotic anxiety in face of the strength of the passion of the passions" (The Structure Of The Unconscious, 3), this is a representation of Hamlet's stage of the psychological dilemma searching of a connection between his self-knowledge and the world around his antic disposition(Act I, scene V), is a mark that expresses his own anxiety towards reality still his wise speech both Rosencrantz and Guildenstern what piece of work is a man how noble in reason how infinite faculties(Act II, scene II) makes them admit though this be madness, yet there, method in it(Act I, scene II). The struggle between his own ego and super ego creates normal anxiety, in Freuds terms but in Hamlet's terms "O God, God! / How weary, stale, flat, and unprofitable /seen to me all the uses of this world" (Act I scene II). This view of the world as not futile and uninteresting, urges Hamlet psychoanalytically, not to act under the influence of his superego;


the part of his brain that once urged him to operate morally, is now overloaded with the egoistic emotions and anger. The product of this dysfunctional superego is a Hamlet who does not seem to care how he socially appears; for instance, he seems heartless as he sees the corpse of Polonius. This sharp opposition between Hamlet's internal world "ego", or "sub-conscious" and his outside stagnant world, according to which the superego must behave, creates a problematic which is seen modern as being reflected on the modern writers especially the poets. Hence, what Hamlet fails in is that he could not find capacity for his selfawareness which is very necessary for full personhood and, by doing this; his identity over time is blurred. Fourthly, "No man is an Island" is the fourth problematic Hamlet has at the end of the play; he realizes that his own world is just a microsom of the macrosom, and as a result, his suffering is part of the knowledge that the whole people must share with him. Instead of separating what is private from what is public, he mixes both of them. This compromise represents some kind of purgatory or salvation for Hamlet. In other words, he adopts an attitude of drawing his self back to the humanity. Thus, the ghost no longer exists. Uncertainty is cancelled in these moments, and new identity is formed as a result of the plural identity of being one with the nation initiated in the middle of the play "I'm prince of Denmark", or with the whole humanity at the end of the play as he addresses Horatio: Things standing thus unknown shall leave behind me. If thou didst ever hold me in thy heart Absent thee from felicity awhile


And in this harsh world draw thy breath in pain. To tell my story (Act I scene II) This "harsh world" does not change and is different from Hamlet's soliloquy in Act 1, scene 2, in which he describes, the world as weary, stale, flat, and unprofitable, yet, what is altered at the end of the play is that Hamlet attempts to find human equilibrium to deal with this world. Horatio would carry the suffering experience of Hamlet to everyone, Hamlet realizes he is part of the whole large world and still he accepts death or "not to be" in the last moments of his life.







John Donne's motto "No man is an island" in his poem "No Man is an Island", sums up not just the problematic Hamlet reaches at the end of the play, but also what the whole modern writers adopt. Mixing between what is personal or private and what is public (either National, political, communal, social or human) becomes a serious modern predicament adopted willingly or unwillingly, either to escape or get salvation or even to exploit to poetic license to search for a parallel world to live in. The modern poets either Arab or English realize what Donne sums up in his poem No Man is an Island, entire of itself,/ every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main.

Thus, Hamlet with his problematics either "to be not to be," "action, and inaction", "self-knowledge and identity" and "the private and the public" as ambiguous predicaments make of him a modern character. Coleridge confirms the uniqueness of Hamlet's character, and its universality. Besides, Hamlet's own question concerning life, death, identity, the world around and the troubles he is called upon to face, are all common to millions of men

and women who belong to the pensive, sensitive, imaginative, contemplative, idealizing type of humanity. Shakespeare, the poet, not the dramatist adds evocative qualities upon Hamlet, making of him cultivated and unique intellectual, as Coleridge affirms that the problems of Hamlet are the same of those cultivated intellectuals. What evokes us to impart the Hamletian problematics on the modern writes especially the poets, are such similarities between the character of Hamlet and his unique circumstance,


and the characters of the modern poets, and their conditions. The modern poets either English or Arab are obsessed by many ghosts; falling in the ambiguity of decisiveness and

irresolution, beside attempting to adopt a phase of unity between them and the humanity


Gomaa 10 make of their poems an artistic creation. Thus, they become an expression of being, not just private, but also public, which is still ambiguous.
Rereading Hamlet, as a long poem not a play, reflecting its problematics on the

modem world and vice versa, is related to the "deconstruction" criticism which posits an undecidability of meaning for all texts which have intertwined and contradictory discourses, gaps, and incoherences. On the literary levels, Jacques Derrida in his book Writing and Difference, rejects the binary opposition within the work of art, which depends on the theory of structuralist approach of "signifier and signified"; for Derrida, the literary text cannot be explained by its origins (author, society, history), that is because the text is langue, it is related to the discourse that implements it. In other words, as put by Ingrid Stevens in his essay "Postmodernism, Structuralism,

Post-Structuralism Deconstruction and Art Criticism" that deconstruction is to find no central meaning of the text. It stands against any existing critical traditions and practices, "(I)ts implications for art criticism are even more radical for, if literary texts that employ language have no specific meaning and cannot be deciphered" ( term logocentrism to refer to this desire to find center ), for this reason, Derrida uses the meaning or truth up from the author

and structure and the reality because for him this is an illusion. In such a sense, as Stevens states, deconstruction is against interpretation. This view is similar to that of the formalist modernist critics, and like them, deconstructive interpretations often avoid any kind of traditional interpretation. De Man (in Mapp) points out that a deconstructive reading does not evaluate the text

either relatively or positively but it uses the text to break down the tradition of interpretation itself. He states that:


The deconstruction of a text does not proceed by random doubt or arbitrary subversion but by the careful teasing out of warring


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forces signification within the text itself if anything is

destroyed in deconstructive reading, it is not the text, but the claim to unequivocal domination of one made of signifying over another (772).

Hamlet, thus, may be read from deconstructive approach as a formalist one, once removing the influence of social predicaments that affect the modern poets. This modern obsession of writing and interpretation made it very hard for writers to decide, for this reason again, they become like Hamlet the modern literary conditions imparted upon the modern writers represent a jeopardy for them to write; Derek Attridge in his essay "Ghost Writing" sums up such problematics of the modern writers relating them to Hamlet: I saw a ghost last night. More important I heard a ghost I was addressed by a ghost. We were addressed by a ghost, was it the ghost of William Shakespeare, the ghost of Karl Max? The ghost of deconstruction................... or even the ghost of

Jacques Derrida........... Responsibility comes from a ghost, or the ghost, the revenant which is also an arriving. The ghost lays me under an obligation to recognize my responsibility ( ).

The ghost says to Hamlet "Remember me once in so many words but by implication continuously throughout the play. "Remember me" is an injunction in this context to act to kill a


man... (175, 176)


Gomaa 12 Attridge, here, states that literature is haunted by ghosts, especially in the modern world "Nothing is certain" either for Hamlet or for the modern writers Both Hamlet and Derrida for example come to set right the out of joint time as Attridge confirms. Hamlet, like the modern writer, has to perceive the ghost with no assured codes of percept, both of them have been summoned by many ghosts which represent for Hamlet his problematics and for the modern writers as well. Torn between accepting life and death, modern poets either English or Arab are set up in the same trap of Hamlet. Life and death for them become some kind of metaphysical understanding of the world. Starting from T.S Eliot in "The Waste Land" and "Hollow Men" in which he accepts both life and death as two opposite predicaments to Sylvia Plaths "Lady Lazarus" which indicates that the modern English poets reject the world around, to find in death their refuge. The English modern current of poets, hence, establishes a unique portrait of death in a living formula. This ambiguity, no sooner, is transported to the poetry of the Arabs; thus, we find that Ahamed Abdal Moaty Hijazi, Salah Abdul Saboor and others adopt the same attitudes of W.H Auden, Philip Larkin, Ted Hughs, Sylvia Plath, towards death and life. For this reason, both poetic currents suffer from the same predicaments. In addition, these poets fall victims to the conflicting impulses of both Modernism and Romanticism, in other words, they swing between the modern identity and the romantic world. Their poetry, like Hamlets character, reflects two paradoxical impulses together either
in techniques or themes. The form, the versification and the objective attitudes are set in

contrast to the individual rejection of the world which leads to isolation and self-exile. Neither the English poets nor the Arab ones know truly who they are; they follow their


modern ghosts, which are clashed with their individual romantic realms; in other words, they lost the concept of material knowledge of both the self and the world around. Consequently,


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they have such problematic of the ambiguity between self-knowledge and the identity to

which they should assign. Their poetry is made up of many elements which tear their verses apart. Auden, Plath, Hughes, Larkin, Pound, Thomas Dylan, and even Eliot himself along with, Hijazi, Abd Al Saboor, Shoosha, Mohammed Abu Sinnah and Mahmoud Darweesh, all of them reflect such predicaments of "to be and not to be", "acting or in acting", "being

modern or being romantic", assigning to what they want to be, or sticking to their world wants them to be, "isolating the self from the world, or melting it with the same pot". Swaying, hesitation, inaction, living life in death and death in life, living alone or involving in public, making their poetry a mirror or just platonic cave, are what obsess the writers in both Arab and English worlds. The resolution is not just to put "antic-disposition" mask like what Hamlet did, nor to revolt against and refuse the world with its modern machinery feelings, rather to find a compromise between their modern imposed facts, and their romantic aspirations. The pilgrimage most modern poets have gone through reflecting their own Hamletian

problematics, ends either in resolution or left unresolved. Their ghosts are still their roaming within their large horizons of poetic career.


Gomaa 14 (B) Hamletian Problematics in Modern English Poetry Since the beginning of the twentieth century, the modern English poetry has

witnessed many phases of changes in both thematic and stylistic formula. The World Wars, the acceptance or the refusal of the modern and the post modern ideas and techniques along with the influence of the individual poets like T.S. Eliot, W.B. Yeats and W.H. Auden, have shaped to a great extent the poetry of the century in Britain. As a result of these different and sometimes opposite views, new movements, groups and generations of poetry showed up; for example, Eliot and Yeats adopt the modernist views in images, themes and symbols, then, the poetry of the thirties which reject in its major poetry, the modern influence, still they are influenced by Eliot and Yeats in other aspects. Moreover, there is Neo-Romantic Movement or "Apocalypse" initiated by Dylan Thomas, then comes the poetry of the movement ten years after the end of the war; Robert conquest "New Lines" established a new spirit of poetry through the Movement. In his book The Shaping Spirit, A. Alvarez comments on the influence of Eliot upon the English poetry writing: "Eliot and Yeats are our founding fathers, on them our

inheritance depends" (11). Alvarez goes on showing how Eliot with his own images and style become part of the English tradition, "it is this use of prepared language which makes Eliot more orthodox than traditional. It is not a "poetic" language, not nearly as "poetic" as Yeats can be when he sets himself to it" (46). As for his imagery, Alvarez describes them as not part of a brute symbolism of Yeats, they are not directly part of the outside world, "the images present an actuality which is always judged or regulated to himself" (24), unlike Eliot, Yeats's supernatural machinery and symbolism invade his own poems, relating the verses the external world. For this reason, Yeats is not seen modern in Eliot's way, as "he lacks not only the


technical innovation, but he has the none of that rootless, well- read, undercutting, cynical intelligence of Eliot's verse up until 1925" (43). In addition, in language of Yeats and Eliot


Gomaa 15 are quite apart, for the language of Yeats has often the norm of the spoken and the usual, but Eliot surprises us always with the unexpected: Eliot, in short, has created an autonomous poetic world of great power, freshness of expression, intelligence, delicacy, subtlety, but it is a segregated world- equal but separate. Its remoteness is precisely in its orthodoxy. This has nothing to do with the fact that it is a Christian world in a predominantly irreligious society. It is that orthodoxy is a product of discipline of the emotions, of the intellect, of the will; finally, the discipline of the creative powers into an absolute command of technique. (31).

Then came the phase of the English romantic revival or as it was called the neo-romantic "New Apocalypse". It focused on the integrity of imagination and the perfection of Man. Dylan Thomas, David Gascoyne, and George Barker, are examples of the representatives of this movement. Anthony Thwaite in essay "The English Romantic Revival - 1934-1945", comments on the emergence of the new movement, writing: A "Neo-Romantic" style developed in England during the 1930s and was briefly ascendant during the 1940s. Dylan Thomas was its major poet. Romantic was the word used at the time, and implied that the Neo-Romantics were challenging the high modernism of the 1920s and the discursive, intellectual styles of the 1930s. Thomas was typical in this respect. He had


the mystical intuitions, emotional intensity, personal utterance, and natural imagery of a poet in the Romantic tradition ..


Gomaa 16 Other poets of the Romantic revival similarly absorbed

modernist while also rebelling against them. Vernon Walkins was a disciple of Yeats. George Barker sounded at times like Auden .. In short, the interrelations between Neo-Romantic style and other tendencies of the age defy brief or simple description. No minor part of the problem is that Neo-Romantic styles varied from poet to poet as much as modernist styles did ( 172 ), (Poetry Today).

Thwaits elaborates in showing the style of the Neo-Romantic movement and how these poets were different from the modernist styles. For their thematic ideas and interests, Jem poster in his The Thirties Poets, states that the poetry of the 1930s seems particularly "resistant to separation from contemporary social and political developments" (2). Yet, some of the thirties poets after reaching their maturity, and adulthood, realize the hideous impacts of the world war. As a result, their poems began to record the inevitability of war. The sickness and the decadence of the British society ran deep as wider perspective in their verses, especially W.H. Auden and Stephen Spender along with Louice Macneice. "The Movement" is another phase of the English poetry development; the poets
included within this group were Kingsley Amis, Donald Davie, Robert Conquest, Philip

Larkin, John Wain, Elizabeth Fennings and Thomas Gunn. They were said to represent the English collective poetic soul of the contemporary Britain. No matter how, they were against the neo-Romantic movement. But, being anti-Romantic does not mean that all of these poets


believe in the modernist aspects; for Larkin, for example, modernism is out of thinking.


Gomaa 17 Anthony Thwaite in another book entitled Poetry Today : A Critical Guide to British Poetry 19601995, states that Larkin's poetry represents a precise model for the Movements, his themes and style are introduced as some kind of leading, and pioneering specimen to adopt; "Innocence, the pathos and grim humor of experience, the poignancy of the past of whether one's own remembered past or the imagined past of another century), the change and renewal of nature, the dread of the future, death and all that leads up to it and away from it" (42), are Larkin's main themes. Moreover, both Ted Hughes and Sylvia Plath represent special importance in relation to English poetry especially within the decade (1960 1970); Edward Larrissy in his book Reading Twentieth Century Poetry: The Language of Gender, and Objects, emphasizes that
Hughess visionary is empiricist, additionally, animals step out to be the focus in his verses. Then, he reconstitutes this worldly external vision into a new vision which is completely

imaginative and individualistic. This makes his perception of things and creatures startling and unique. By doing this, he is identified partly as a living reflection of natural organism. Larrissy states that Hughess lyric mode, and passionate statements. "The disavowal, of the ideology of masculine control and ruthless mechanical bestial energy has consorted with a shedding of techniques which suggest the operations of an isolated, self-consciously ingenious and domineering mind" (136). Making herself an object is what is unique and individualistic in Sylvia Plaths poetry; her exoticism in choosing her metaphors in most of her poems expresses a collapse of identity, and yet their language, imagery and rhythm have a paradoxical spirit of life. P.R. King in his book Nine Contemporary Poets comments on Plaths poetry writing: The affirmation of meaning that the poet seems denied is


bequeathed to the reader in

his response to the power of the

style of the poetry. If the poet could not escape the pull of


Gomaa 18 death, it is a human tragedy we all may mourn. But stand for the rest of us as itself and example to place in opposition to the pull of meaningless existence and the nullity of death. (189).

This attitude towards life and death made her experience to be described as "an experience of non-being". Moreover, in his introduction to The Collected Poems, Hughes divides Plath's life career into three phases; the poetry of the first phase evokes her juvenilia, and the problem she faced at that time was where this stage ended. These poems are characterized by their
artificial intensity and the "sense of a deep mathematical inevitability in the sound and

textures of her lines was well developed quite early" (16). Furthermore, the second phase of
Plath's writing falls early between 1956 and late 1960, within this stage as Hughes states,

Plath developed "successive moults of style, as she realized her true matter and voice" (16),
each poem of this phase has a distinguished likeness to family connection and certain time

and place. Finally, the third phase dates from about September 1960, where she reached the
maturity in presenting the subjectivity in a very authentic manner while linking it to the

collective condition. Larrissy describes her work as it "does not even fall foul of modernist injunctions against personality. Its richness is a standing rebuke to objectivism a rebuke rendered more cutting because one layer for her poetry is constituted by a vivid poetry of things". (146)
Although most English poets have different backgrounds and were brought up in

distinctive environment, they share common human predicaments in their writings, accepting life and death, struggling for known definite identity, standing paralysed (inactive) or trying


to react either willingly or unwillingly, and finally, mixing their poetry within the melting pot of the public realm. All these predicaments are related to the Hamletian problematics.


Gomaa 19 For example, W.H. Auden, one of the prominent poets of the thirties, suffers from his own double identity as being either British or American, after he became an American citizen for twenty years, he wrote in "Prologue at Sixty" .. who am I now ?
An American? no, a New Yorker Who opens his Times at the obit page

Stan smith in his book W.H. Auden, comments on the question "who am I now?", saying that it "is a rather different question from "who am I", since it assumes a state of the self in which
identity is not fixed and monolithic but fluid and changing, one in which the question itself may be an attempt to pin down something tennous and transiet at the very moment that

implies the danger and unreliability

of any such fixing" (6).

If Shakespeare states that the world is a big stage upon which everyone is assigned to certain role; Auden, like Hamlet, fails to define for himself a peculiar identity. Hamlet does not know if he is a rascal or the prince of Dane mark, meanwhile, Auden does not know of he is an American or British. His sub conscious dates him back to the images of the gas, steam and coal of England. "But they also "date" him in the slang - American sense of the word first used with neophyte glee at his own up - to dateness, when, newly arrived in New York, he playfully put down his new American love with English one .." (7). In addition, sinking into his social life becomes part of his poetic plan, he has done this through the technique of generalization. He relates his poetry to the whole humanity like what Hamlet did when he related his story to the whole people through the process of telling "tell my story", the use of the mode of generalization of his poems aims at reflecting patterns of ideas,


behaviour and attitudes belonging to myths and history, for example, in a poems like "The Sea and The Mirror", Auden wrote a poetic postscript to The Tempest in which each of


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Shakespeare's characters becomes emblematic of different modes of moral response to a

shared destiny, For example, Prospero says to Ariel. Stay with me, Ariel, while I pack and with your first free act Delight my leaving, share my resigning thoughts As you have served my revelling. Wishes: then, brave spirit. (129)

Moreover, Smith assures also that, Auden's generalization mode includes "Luthers faith" and "Montaignes doubt", or "inventive Jefferson", and "realistic Hamilton", even the

capitalization of the names adds to this sense of generic generalization. Auden stresses, thus,
the inseparability of the private and the public sphere, not through only literary or national

level, but also in the emotional level, complicating the idea of a love that "through our private stuff must work, his public spirits, in look, stranger". Hesitation, lack of decisiveness and irresolution are also thematic modes which dominate the line of thought is Auden's poetry. There is sometimes Hamlet's ghost haunting Auden's self, making of him another Hamlet, Smith assures this meaning. Recurrently, the self of these early poems is exposed at

moments of hesitation and breakdown, by images of stumbling stammering, stuttering or faltering as in Taller to-day". Many of the poems speak of the self as an already posthumous creature, a ghost haunted by a loss all the more terrifying for lacking any definition. (20)


He says in "Taller- to day", "one sold all his manors to fight, broke through, and faltered", this antithesis between "fight and faltered" represents the doubleness and the ambiguity of


Gomaa 21 Auden. Finally Auden targets certain kind of truth. Humphrey Carpenter assures that Audens poetry seeks also to investigate the truth of humanity. T.S. Eliot's "Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock" shows evidently Prufrocks

assimilation to Hamlet in many respects, firstly, Prufrock has little confidence in himself whether to change the world around or not. The irresolution and indecisiveness of both
Hamlet and Prufrock make of them failures in their life. Therefore, both of them condemn

themselves to ultimate waste and isolation. And indeed there will be time To wonder "do I dare?" and "Do, I dare?" Time to turn back and descend the stair, .. Do I dare Disturb the universe?
For decision and revisions which a minute will reverse.

Prufrock lost every chance to be", and even "not to be" becomes a matter of loss through time. The feelings of certainly and uncertainty dominate the whole poem in addition the problematic of knowledge of both "how", and "what" faces Prufrock all the time: "for I have known " and "I have known " are repeated many times, yet, this element of "knowing" is exploded on being met by "And should I then presumes", "And how should I begin", thus, knowing does not mean to go on. His attempt to get a role different from Hamlet fails him, as he lacks the full knowledge of his identity, Prufrock attempts to get the role of Dante who is the lord of Hell. Dante's heroicism in descending to Hell represents the antithesis of Prufrock, as he says "No!


I am not prince Hamlet, nor was meant to be / Am an attendant lord, one that will do". This "overwhelming question" to become Hamlet or Dante refers to the problematic of identity.


Gomaa 22
Moreover, the in-between state of both life and death is perceived in Eliots "The

Waste Land", April is the cruelest month, breeding Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing Memory and desire, stirring Dull roots with spring rain

L.G. Salingar wrote commenting on these verses in his book The Modern Age, "this inbetween state neither spring nor winter, neither dull nor alert, but straining between the two, provides the model of everything that follows" (3412). In addition, both Hamlet and Eliot have common view towards the world; if Hamlet sees the world as "weary, stale, flat, and unprofitable", Eliot within "The Waste Land" perceives the world as "dead", "sterile", full of "rats" with "slimy belly", and full of "rattle of bones" the world is out of water, there is no even "a drop of water". Moreover, it is deprived from wisdom through the image of madam Sosotris who does not know that she would catch cold although she claims she is a soothsayer. Eliot uses the technique of the objective correlative to refer to the lack of love within the modern world. Again, both the boy of "the hyacinth girl and Hamlet are irresolute and indecisive in taking decisions neither in love nor revenge. Yet, what should be noticeably mentioned is that Eliot himself comments on Hamlet as a play writing that it is a failure because it lacks an objective correlative (excessive emotions without a convincing reason) This obsession of accepting both life and death as a predicament or life in death and death in life mode, is also shown up at the very beginning of Eliot's poem "The Hollow Men", "we are the hollow men / we are the stuffed men leaning together", Thwaite states that the chorus here expresses a collective death in life, it ends like in "The Waste Land" with "a


mocking, representation of the world going to smash" (19) (Poetry Today).


Gomaa 23 Furthermore, the ambiguity that Hamlet suffers, as a man, represented in his faith in the ghost or doubting his self-knowledge and perception, is repeated in "Ash Wednesday", but an a different level, Eliot speaks of those "who chose thee and oppose thee", "Between" is the spiritual locus of the speaker throughout, "he is between faith and doubt, between the order of nature and the order of grace, between the objects of desire of a natural creature, which are now lost, and those of religious faith, which are not yet wholly possessed." (21) In addition, Ted Hughes's regular attempts to create a resolution exploring man's divided nature are typical of Hamlet. Hughes uses his imagination trying to find resolution to human conflicts; he follows the ghost of imagination. King writes about Hughes journey to search for resolution: It appears he looks, back beyond Christian sources towards
my ths which have their begi nning s in the experience of

seasonal and natural cycles, and which express an almost futatistic acceptance of suffering while celebrating the sheer power and energy of the life process itself. The tool to re-create and understanding of these sources is the imagination . (111) (Nine Contemporary Poets)

Hughes, thus, employs his own imagination along with the myths and natural cycles as tools to "explore the genuine self and control or remove him own irresolution". For this reason, Hughes, in this role of being an explorer to his own conflict, has stuck to "primordial struggle, primitivism, instinctiveness". For example, the ambiguity of man as


seen by Hughes, having divided nature, is expressed in "Wodwo", which is a dramatic monologue of a hero, Wodwo, who is a representative of the early hero of the old Romance "Sir Gawayan and the Green Knight", Wodwo is a mirror of the modern character who is on


Gomaa 24 the verge of self-consciousness and seeks knowledge of his identity. He feels himself to be in the core of things, searching for the roots of his identity.
I suppose I am the exact center. But there's all this what is it

Roots roots roots roots and here's the water.

King says that the poem has begun with "what am I?" which is to record of a search for an explanation of self, "an attempt to discover a pattern of meaning in the universe" (133). Wodwo, like Hamlet, lacks certainty concerning the world around. Both of them are desperate about knowing themselves. Here, Hughes is articulating what he takes to be a modern's experience with its chaos and anarchy. Modern man, represented in both Wodwo and Hamlet, faces chaotic destiny because of lacking identity and guidance. The analysis of the self and the division of human nature, even existing within Hughes himself are extended as major topics in both volumes "Crow" and "Gaudete", both of them include many poems focusing on the dramatization of Hughes's paradox; in "Crow", he writes: Crow laughed
He bit the worm. God's only son Into two writhing halves. He stuffed into man the tail half With the wounded end hanging out

"A Childish Prank"

Crow reaches certain truth, that there are two "gods", "One of them much bigger than the


other", these modes of ambiguity and division remove any kind of assertion. Crow is born into this darkness and flies over an emptiness, himself part of that emptiness. "He is a black rainbow, a dark convenant, unable to see God do so" (137), as King states. This double image


Gomaa 25
spreading in the sequence of poems of Corw, ("Crows First Lesson", "Examination at the

Womb Door" and "Two legends"), pave the way to an attempt of unity in "Gaudete". "Gaudette", thus, is a counterpart to "Crow ", as it is about man's divorce from his own inner life, to know more about his own world. The same unity took place in Hamlet's last speech to Horatio. "Gaudete" or "Rejoice" is divided into three parts, the prologue which
introduces the protagonist, the Reverned Nicholas Lumb, an Anglican Vicar, who undergoes a strange nightmare in which he falls out of this world into a kind of Hades where he is

confronted by half-savage, half animal spectres who torture him and put him through a kind
of bloody initiation rite. Then comes a long narrative tale which includes the climax where

Lumb is replaced by his own double who is taken with his girl friend and to be tortured. Later on, the girl is to be slaughtered as some kind of sacrifice. In the Epilogue, a strange man reappears in this world, in Ireland, and after performing the miracle of conjuring up an otter from a lough to amaze some children and inspire an old priest, he departs leaving behind some mysterious and obscure lyrical poems which are the epilogue itself, King comments on the paradoxical nature of the main hero Lumb (his own ambiguous, identities and divided self) writing: Lumb's self is divided and that part of him which has denied the inner forces returns to the outside world. In that world, he attempts to re-create the inner experience, but he has not taken on the powers of that experience and is thus led into a false and doomed messianic vision which sees sex and the body as the instrument of the powers of redemption but without the support of the creative imagination. The other self remains in the inner


world and is given the chance to undergo a genuine


Gomaa 26 transformation by putting himself in touch with the white Goddess. (149) (Nine Contemporary Poets)

Having two selves, one which deals with the outside world, and the other which is concerned with the inner world, is very close to the Hamletian attitude of dealing with the world with "antic-disposition" mask "as I perchance hereafter shall think meet / to put an antic

disposition", (Act I Scene I). Thus, searching for an identity, along with his suffering from the idea of having divided self is the predicament of most heroes of the poems of Hughes. Moreover, Plaths expression of the struggle along with this sense of a lack of meaningful identity, the tension between an acute experience of the world and a lack of a stable self, and the acceptance of death and life to the extent that she sees death as "art, are what relate the poetry and the character of Plath to the Hamletian problematics. In a poem like "The Colossus", Plath addresses her father in an attempt to form a new identity of the self through the image of the dead father. .. O father, all by yourself you are pithy and historical as the Roman forum. I open my lunch on a hill of black cypress Your fluted bones and a canthine hair are littered. (130) "The Collected Poems"

The father figure is identified with the image of the huge Colossus of Rhodes, the giant stature that stood by the harbor. The idea of the father as being a ruined giant, and her obsession to form an identity through him are the focus of the poem. After her days become ". (H)ours .. marrsed to shadow", she searched for another source of hope, yet, she is


shocked on discovering that no loving care can breathe life into a marble statue, "No longer do I listen for the scrape of a keel / on the blank stones of the landing".


Gomaa 27 Plath's experience with the external world is again measured through the Hamletian view of the world as being "weary", "stale" and "unprofitable". She sees the world around her as harsh and unresponsive. In "Hardcastle Crags", Plath describes a woman walking along "the steely street". The wind pares the walker down and presses its voice to her ear. The moonlit landscape is utterly indifferent to human mood or emotion. "The whole landscape / Loomed absolute, and no connection exists. The same indifferent landscape is repeated in another poem "The Suicide off Egy Rock", which records "the burden of selfhood" (163),
"that landscape / of imperfections his bowels were part of". Suicide is personified as it is

driven by his despair to the edge of the sea, it stands under a hot sun "like a damnation". "I am, I am, I am" mirrors the suicide's burden and its inability to escape from itself, from an identity which is a mere existence with no meaning. In Plaths volume "Ariel", she sways between "to be and not to be" problematic. Death here is always an active agent, but it is also ambiguous but "not necessarily seen as destructive" (168), said King, he goes on describing the role of death in "Ariel". He appears in all guises, he is transmuted into "a landscape of isolation and comfortlessness, a heaven / starless and fatherless a dark water" ("Sheep in fog"), as a personal suit of clothing for the poet, "Black and stiff, but not a bad fit" (The Applicant), as the terrifying attractions of a perfectible skill and black

aesthetic in which "Dying / Is an art" (Lady Lazarus) (169)

Then comes the ultimate control of death over her in "Lady Lazarus", where life and death become accepted equally, suicide is the only solution to resurrect. She chooses the


phoenix image to mix between both life and death. Death here becomes a door to life: "out of


Gomaa 28 the ash / I rise with my red hair / and I eat men like air". This metaphysical view of death sums up Plaths concept of eliminating her old body and self, adopting new identity. Again like Hamlet, she gets out from her own private world to be melt within one melting pot with the whole sufferers of the world. . My skin Bright as a Nazi Lampshade My right foot A paper weight My face a featureless, fine Jew linen.

King states that "through this imagery an attempt is made to link all private and public suffering and victimization. Both the poet's private world and the public world of recent

history death is seen as an assault on identity" (183). The fusion of the poet's personal past with the history of the Nazi's barbarity is to relate the poet's identity with the public experiences. Moreover, longing for death in "Edge" where the woman's body "wears the smile of accomplishment" is another step reflecting a sense of failure to form an identity (like Hamlet's thinking of suicide). The heroine of "Edge" is a dead woman with her dead children, folded "back into her body as petals / of rose close". The moon stares over the scene from "her hood of bone", which is a reference to the Greek tragedy suggesting the concept of inevitability. King's final comment on the poetry of Plath is that: These poems express a collapse of identity, and yet their language, imagery and rhythm have a paradoxical zest and


energy of life. The affirmation of meaning that the poet seems denied is bequeathed to the reader in his response to the power


Gomaa 29 of the style of the poetry. If the poet could not escape the pull of death it is a human tragedy we all may mourn. (189) This quotation sums up Plaths modern predicaments of lacking an identity and ambiguous impulses which urge her to accept death as a solution. These human impulses are all Hamletian and human as well.


Gomaa 30 (C) Hamletian Problematics in Modern Arabic Poetry The reading of Hamlet, as a long tragic lyric poem full of human immortal problematics which exist in all ages and represent all human beings, reminds us of the Aristotelian

definition of art as an imitation of the actions of mankind. Therefore, if Shakespeare in his dramatic play (or long tragic lyric poem) reflected insoluble human problematics as psychological conflicts, it is not to be applied only on English poetry at its various stages in the twentieth century, but also, it is mirrored through Modern Arab poetry. No one can deny that the study of modern Arabic poetry in the light of human suffering of Hamlet as well as applying that to English poetry, is part of the American curriculum of the Comparative Literature, which focuses on the comparison among different literatures in their universal humanitarian and the aesthetic aspects as well as their internal structures rather in terms of the historical principles approved by the French school. In his book, Comparative Literature between Theory and Practice, Dr.Ahmed Darwish asserted that the American principle in
criticism is called "the critic principle" which, according to Dr. Ahmed Darwish, focuses on the connection between literatures belonging to different nationalities. This is made by those human values and internal structures which play a positive role in connecting literary works

in one comparative frame. To apply this comparative concept upon the Arab and the English poetry, Prof. M. Enani, in his book Prefaces to Contemporary Arabic Literature in the Post Mahfouz Era, traces such noticeable influence of the English upon the Arab poets of the mid twentieth century: The formal innovations were not confined to the prosody but, included a new poetic idiom and a fresh manner of writing the


example of T. S. Eliot was every present in the mind and ears of the pioneers, as testified by Abdul-Saboor himself.


Gomaa 31 The early 1960s was a time of special significance for all Arab. National feeling was intense and a sense of general

"awakening" was in the air. The gloom of much European "modernist" poetry, explained, not only in terms of the disillusionment of a whole generation with the war, with

western civilization, the social conditions obtaining in the consequence, but also in terms of the "New Philosophy" which banished God, was initially imported with the new forms and accepted as part of an alien, though fascinating, tradition (176, 177). Prof. Enani traces such similar attitudes covering most of the poetry of the modern Arab poets and the English ones, concerning the gloominess which takes its roots from the contemporary western society and the climate dominating both the English and the French societies (especially after the French Revolution). For example, Eliot whose poetic form and local themes like Heartless city, as Prof. Enani assured, has affected the Arab poets like Hijazi and Abd Al Sabour. The adoption of themes, form, and even certain literary movements, like Neoromanticism or Realism, is originally sprung from the western literary realm and spreads over the Arab local and national literary environments. This reflection of the impact of the modernist verse on the first generation of the new Arab poets especially, the Egyptians, left no doubt a supposition that the Arab poets belong to the same poetic canon of the western poetic philosophical phenomenon, though, the techniques of some Arab poets are still different.


For example, the theme of "Heartless City" in Eliot's "The Waste Land", is portrayed in the phrase "unreal city", confirming that man lost the ability to create a real city. Eliot creates


Gomaa 32
"the city as a mass of distinguishable faces, and city men as people without souls, having

surrendered their individuality to a vast man-made creature, and he relates the aridity of city life to spiritual aridity .." (177). The same idea is discussed by Abd Al Sabour, benefiting
the same objective technique, yet "his persona to become openly Wordworthian" is what

distinguishes him from others. Hijazi, thus, evokes Eliot's themes and techniques, yet, he adopts the Wordsworthian persona. In spite of this attitude, Hijazi is different from

Wordworth in the sense that if the latter puts himself outside the city walls, the former puts himself within these walls, as Enani assures. Wordsworth states in his prelude:
A captive greets thee, coming from a house of bondage, from yon city's walls set free A prison where he hath been long inmured.

(Prel. 1905, 1. 6.8) Meanwhile Hijazi writes.

This I and this My city, at midnight.

A vast square and the walls. . .. Am lost, without a name This is I And this, my city


Moreover, alienation is another romantic impulse which indicates the English "bleakness" into Arab poetry. It becomes a recurrent idea in the poetry of the new generation


Gomaa 33 especially in Hijazi's and Abdul Sabour's. Underneath such feeling of alienation, there are always senses of loss and belonging, as ambiguous impulses, this is drawn in Wordswoth "England 1802". Plain living and high thinking are no more. The homely beauty of the good old cause. Is gone, our peace, our fearful innocence, And pure religion breathing household laws (The Oxford Book of E. Verse (600))

The feelings of loss and belonging to new England dominate the lines of the poem. Light is there, but again it is to deepen the sense of loss: "we must run glittering like a brook, / In the open sunshine, or we are unblest". This can be illustrated in Abdul Saboor's early poem "Song for Cairo". The greenness of my days withers It is my fate, O opening wound, That my return to you with a thirsty soul, . That the Nile, the islands the oil and the litter floating And the stones; Should enshrine my broken bones


. Into an Egyptian sycamore coffin! Coming back to you, my city,


Gomaa 34

Thus, English poets are taken as models for the Arabs not only in accordance to themes but also form, the free verse with its new rhythmical innovations, Enani confirms: Strangely, the traditionalist attack on the new poetry focused on the metrical innovations and ignored, most totally, the changed concept of poetry responsible for them. The reason is that for all the "classical" features of their verse, the traditionalists were romantic at heart, and had unconsciously accepted the English romantic poets as their immediate models. Their rejection of the "modern" trend was partly motivated by their distrust of any "form" that didn't comply with their idea of poetry the ancient definition of poetry being "rhymed verse" pure and simple partly because they opposed any new form which, if established, could detract from the "grand" performance of the poets of antiquity or render them obsolete. (189) (Post Mahfouz Era)

In addition, Enani explores such an era of closeness of both Arabic poetry and English one, through hinting to the modernist western movements and trends and how they are moved into Arab new generations, for example; the romantic undercurrent in Abdul- Saboor, the ironic tone of Jaheen, the Sarcasm of Saboor, the surrealism of Qandeel, beside the Neoromanticism of Farooq Shoosha, Muhammed Ibrahim Abu Sinnah and Farooq Guwaida.


Obviously, the neo-romanticism of Shoosha, Guwaida, and Abu Sinnah, is part of the English direction of Larkin generation in the English poetry. Yet, the poetry of this Arab generation


Gomaa 35 belongs more to Shelley and Byron more than any other modern poets, although their poems appear modernist in the idiom and the structure; Enani writes: Shoosha's imagery is not too abstract: but his ideas are; and his generalizations reveal an interest in the universal standards. (of truth, sincerity etc.) which Wordsworth had inherited from the eighteenth century, Abu-Sinnah shares the seminal preference for abstractions, but he decidedly has the ability to focus on particular, concrete situations, elevated or idealized (or so he would have us believe) through generalization. Guwaida is equally interested in idealization and his work is dominated by the lyrical elements of romanticism. (208).

Thus, determining the approach of the comparative tone between the English poetry and the Arab one, emerges not just according to the themes and the forms, but also the trends that affect both (form and themes), surrounded by the socio-political circumstances which help widen such comparisons. Thus, it makes us realize that the evidence proving that Arab poetry, especially Egyptian, is a reflection, in a way or another, -in terms of content or format- of the English poetry with its directions and trends with some differences (to be taken into consideration) related to the Egyptian environment. So, the objective treatment of the complexities or the problematics of Hamlet and their impact on both English and Arab poetry (especially the latter) are, in turn,

part of the study of the comparative literature with its different directions. However, this is


concerned with the humanitarian and psychological aspects shared by all humans; Hamlet with all his problematics is a clear reflection of the modern Arab poets and the paradoxes


Gomaa 36 overwhelming them due to the modern concepts and appeared evident in their poetry;

whether these paradoxes related to the metaphysical concept of perceiving life and death, or to show action and inaction as paradoxical modes of behavior, or the problematic related to identity and self-knowledge or integrating private self into a special formula (whether politically, socially..etc). We cannot ignore that all these problematics and paradoxes are human tendencies suffered by Hamlet and tackled by both English and Arab poets in different and variable degrees. They also face the conflict between modernity and new romanticism; modernity with its new free poetry and its simple rhythms and musical rhyme and the Neoromanticism with its emotional impulses, subjective attitudes and abstract standards of truth. These Hamletian conflicts appeared evident, for example, in the poems of Salah AbdelSabour, Ahmed Abdel Moati Hijazi, Mahmoud Darwish as well as Farouk Shousha. If the first Hameltian problematic is such entangling juxtaposition of both life and death and the paradox of accepting both of them together "To be and not to be", it is repeated in the poetry of Hijazi, as the critic Fatima Ali Ibrahim Al Saidi asserts in her article "The structure

of Elegy at Hijazis: A Linguistic Approach" that Poetry of Hijazi achieves this paradox which integrates life and death accepting them together. For example, his understanding of death becomes a metaphor for life, and vice versa, Hijazi says in his poem "..........". Death is not to be buried in the dust Nor the life is to walk on the dust Plants start life from the dust And start death if they cracked the dust (Complete Works) The phrase "is not" " " in this poem denies the reality of death -that we know- and its


association with dust, so that Hijazi turns the reality into a personal vision which is denied through the structure of the text. Hijazi presents his vision of death as he sees that there are a lot of deceased people who are still living among us, as their works still exist despite their


Gomaa 37 departure. We take a lot of strength and support from those who have gone into the dust,
taking from them life energy, similar to the case of plants which begin their life from the

roots, but when they crack the dust they start to die.
As already mentioned, the image of the city in the poetry of Hijazi is a symbol of foreignness, poverty and alienation which also echo the experience of death; the individual

remains losing his identity in the city until he dies, as in the poem "No body" "", the poet integrates between loss of identity, which is also suffered by Hamlet, and death in the image of the boy who got lost in the city, so, nobody recognizes him. Death in the field rumbled Silence landed as a coffin A green fly came From sad rural cemeteries Screwed its wing on a boy who died in the city As no one lamented him Death in the field rumbled Wheels whistled, then stopped They said: who are his parents? No one answered No one knows his name here but him! O, my son Said, then the sad speaker has gone Some people gathered in the big cities lamenting A boy came A boy died From the Divan of "A City without a Heart" Said Tawfiq emphasizes in the Poetic Experience at Hijazis, that the whole poem is full of gestures of tragic pain, as death which represents an idea or a major theme exists along with


life, as it happens every day. Both Hamlet and Hijazi meet in this point; both death and life are linked in an associated relationship and not a reversal one. We cannot ignore also the


Gomaa 38 image of "Lucy" in the poem "She dwelt Among the Untrodden Ways" written by Wordsworth in which, he also expresses the concept of life and death as an individual understanding through which life exists within death; "ceased to be" and "the difference is to me" stress the fact that she is alive despite her physical disappearance, i.e. Lucy died, but she is still alive in the mind of the romantic poet because she is part of nature and part of the perception of the poet himself. While in the city of Hijazi, the boy died, no one felt that he died; this indicates the difference between the poem of Wordsworth and that of Hijazi, as the boy died in the city which has no identity for those living in it. Therefore, death becomes meaningless and Said Tawfik commented on the apostrophe "O my son" in the poem, as follows: The term "O my son", " " which is articulated in the countryside with putting "kasra" under "waw", is used when anyone wants to express sorrow for the harm or pain suffered by someone in a way that makes the heart very sorrowful upon him as upon our sons who are part of us. But this sad person who uttered it, is the poet himself, who has suffered and still is suffering the experience of loss in the city .... (104).

In his book The Language of the Modern Arabic Poetry: Artistic Standards and Creative Energies, Dr: Alsaid Alwaraqi asserts that the connection between the feelings of sadness and death in the city, in the poetry of Hijazi, is a result of the loss of hope in the modern civilized life. Alwaraqi also asserted that this point has been the subject matter in the poems of most modern poets in the context of a soul-searching experience. Hijazi writes in


his poem "A city without a heart," emphasizing the connection between city and death, saying:


Gomaa 39 When they became ashes in its end Others grew in its start The leg of the born has been fragged on the dead body As if the dead became nothing and was never born And the one who came, had no father

This feeling of death was associated strongly with the loss of identity and those two feelings exist still together and not separate from each other in Hijazis poetry; it is seen as a problematic for him: I face my cruel night without love I envy those who have lovers I walk in an abandoned cold space A stranger in a country that eats the strangers

The cruelty of "night" and its revelation of the psychological emptiness create the impression

that there is no love; it became an overwhelming factor that controls the city. In the city, there is an internal falsity which contradicts such a smart external shape of people: "people around me are inattentive and / do not know each other". The sense of the loss of identity is not only measured in relation to personal or individual level but also at the collective one. Hence, we can conclude that death in Hijazis poetry is a key issue and his outlook to it is in itself a problematic as he considers it as the fuel of life. In addition, the connection between the loss
of identity and the personal knowledge of the city is related to the machine of modern

materialism. The problematic of "identity and self-knowledge" in Hamlet, as a human model is

reflected on the poetry of many modern Arab poets, which is summarized by Bilndr Al


Haidari in his poem "Slavery" from the divan of " Songs of The City" as he said: I'm the creator and a human being I'm the destroyer and the builder


Gomaa 40 I'm my God and my demon I'm that man who lives in my shadow I'm the death that has no shape

The conflict, here, between the self-awareness and the external presence or the external

identity, has dominated not only Al Haidari, but also most of the poets in modern times. We see this evident in the poetry of Mahmoud Darwish, who asserts in his poem "Identity Card" from the divan of "Olive Leaves" that he is an Arab as Hamlet announced that he is the prince of Denmark): Record! I'm Arab My card number is fifty thousand My children are eight in number, and the ninth will come after summer

The announcement of identity, here, is related to the self; this nature of identity and the fact of knowing it appear in the phrase "I am Arab". Then, this individual self of the Arab identity turns to the national self as asserted by Dr. Waleed Munir in Identity Text: A Reading in the Poetry of Mahmoud Darwish: Palestinian in her eyes and her tattoo Palestinian in her name Palestinian in her dreams and concern Palestinian in her handkerchief, feet and body Palestinian in her words and silence Palestinian in her voice Palestinian in her birth and her death
The repetition of the word "Palestinian" here is of a great significance as it confirms the


characteristic of the national identity sticking to the diverse physical and moral modes, which stresses the fact of belonging as another aspect of emphasizing the sense of identity.


Gomaa 41 Dr. Munir also discovers other worlds of the self with its identity in Darwish's poetry; he emphasizes that self formulates its existence through mirroring the image of the other, (which is one of the images of self and not far from it, but paradoxically part of it). This appears in

the form of longing to the past: I long to my mother's bread my mother's coffee, and my mother's touch Childhood grows up in me While Im at my mothers chest I adore to my life so that at the hour of my death Ill be worth the tears of my mother
"To my mother" From the Divan of "Lover from Palestine"

Darwish's poetry raises a group of self paradoxes that represent a burden and a problematic between the identity and the self as there are paradoxes of (self / self), for example, the poem "The ground poem". ("Weddings" Divan) - Darwish says "We will go out / we said we will come out of us, a little bit, to us .... / we will go out of us", commenting on the two juxtaposing movements of the self towards the self as paradoxical directions " entry/exist", Dr. Munir says that the self here tries to cling with the roots of identity, but from the inside

not from the outside, in an attempt of the self to turn around the self. Then the paradox between the self and the city as another poetic mode appears directly and obviously not like in the poetry of Hijazi: I am against the city ............... I am against the poem


............... I am against the relationship ...............


Gomaa 42 From (This is its image, and this is the suicide of the lover)

The paradox between the self and the city is represented in different ways by the modern poets; once in the situation of the loss of identity as a result of the loss of self as in Hijazis poetry, and in another time, it is shown in the absolute rejection of the city as in Darwishs poetry. In his book The Stand Towards the City in the Contemporary Arabic Poetry, Said Al waraqi asserted such a relation between the self and the city and linked it strongly to Eliot. Here Darwish rejects the city as previously did Hagzai: Who are you? ..... You Who are you? The stupid guard doesn't understand my story Today I was dismissed From my room
And became lost without a name This is me.. this is my city

(Hijazi Divan) He also said in the same divan: The streets of the big city Are bottoms of fire Ruminate at noon The flames which it drank in the forenoon

This shows the conflict between the self and identity through rejecting city, as rejected previously by Hamlet, but in the image of the whole world. However, this integration between what is related to self and what is general is another controversial paradox obsessing Hamlet in his last moments. Here, Darwish finds in the controversy of (self/world) a problematic through which he always tries to separate the inner


world from the external one, but he could not, so Darwish says in the poem "About Wishes", from Divan "Olive Leaves":


Gomaa 43 Do not tell me: I wish I was a bread seller in Algeria To sing with a rebel Do not tell me: I wish I was a shepherd in Yemen To sing for uprisings of time Do not tell me: I wish I was a caf worker in Havana To sing for the victories of sad people Do not tell me: I wish I was working in Aswan as a young porter To sing for the rocks

This linkage between the negation in "Do not", the self-expression in "me" and then "I wish"
with the different visual images of "seller", "shepherd" and "worker" represents a mixture

between what is private and what is collective or public within a human and social context. This meaning is asserted by Dr. Izz al-Din Ismail in his book The Prospects of Modern and Contemporary Poetry in Egypt: The poet is also required within the modern experience
to exceed his individual self to the collective self to

which he belongs and to express his individual self through this concept of the collective self, provided that this is done in a rhetoric form, by which the poets of classical revival dealt with concerning our various
issues at the national, Arab, Islamic, and human levels.

The experience, on suvh levels, exceeds its mere affectedness with attitudes and events which describe it to a large scope of understanding its realities and dimensions (154, 155).


Gomaa 44 Hence, Dr. Ismail asserts that the modern poet especially in Egypt forces his skill to be one part with the world by merging the self and the public (with its different shapes or its social, human and political dimensions), as Darwish says in his poem "Fog on the mirror": I was two soldiers in the merry future Now, I become alone
My face in every death a coat over a martyr

And a cover for coffins.... Oh "I become" The self represented in "I was" which includes verb to be and then I became, a verb of becoming merges with a martyr in a political, social and humanitarian form. Moreover, the double "two soldiers" becomes singular "alone" then reduced to "my face". All forms are mixed and merged to the extent that we could not differentiate between the self and its surrounding. The private self, according to Darwish, represents a special representation where it is mixed with paradox and irony towards the other as being referred to in a poem entitled " " or "With all my potential to its end" in diwan entitled " " or "Why did you leave the horse alone?", whereas Dr. Fawzy Issa in his book entitled " " or Poetic Manifestations: Reading in Contemporary Poetry, has emphasized that the thief had turned, in the poem, into a right holder, the executioner had asked for accolades from his victims. Irony reaches its highest level when the victim is turned paradoxically into a witness and a judge at the same time whereas he has exonerated the judge denying his alignment and his injustice and releasing him as "all dreams and hopes of the victim have disappeared except from the only hope occurring ironically when the


deceased return unharmed"(43) What we have asked, sir judge! From the one of the passers-by


Gomaa 45
As I am the witness and the judge and you are the defendant Leave the seat and go, you are released, you are free, free.

This is a personal issue - so our deceased would return to us - unharmed.

The contradiction between the witness and the judge separates in a way or another between
the public self (united with the private one) and the image of the other representing the

injustice and corruption. The word "our deceased", at the end of the poem, emphasizes the concept of the collective identity through which Darwish realizes that poetry shall remove the psychological barriers between the individual and collective self. Darwish has shown another Hamletian problematic which is the incorporation of both death and life where death appears in the poem entitled " " or "About a Human" as an image of pressure and tyranny on the Palestinians to deprive them from their rights to live on their land. But they prefer death rather than leaving their lands. They put chains on his mouth And tied his hands to the rock of the dead Then they said:" you are a killer" They took his food, clothes and flags And threw him in the cell of the dead, And said: "you are a thief" They expelled him out of all ports And took his young sweetheart Then they said:" you are a refugee" O you with bloody eyes and hands, The night time is fleeting


Dr. Mohamed Abdulmutallab in his book " "or The Book of Poetry, commenting on
the role of the self in these verses, has emphasized that Darwish has gathered herein the


Gomaa 46 private and the public experience in the frame of collision between life and death where the right to live was robbed from the Palestinian in the name of death. Moreover, the restrictions have besieged him as a killer but in fact he is a victim. In other words, death and life circles have met together within the text in a collision relation reflecting the tragedy of the Palestinian citizen illustrated in the opposition between the vocabulary such as "deceased and killer" which are related to death versus "his food- clothes" which are related to life. In addition, he emphasizes that such collision is also illustrated in the dramatic dialogue

between the other "they said" and the self in the second person pronoun "you" and the third person pronoun as in "his food or his young sweetheart". Thus, Darwish could find a special
identity for the self prevailing his poetry merging death and life experiences in national

notion solely and differently from most of the poets of modernity. In the poems of Mohammed Ibrahim Abu Sinnah, we see this integration and not paradox- between both the self and the public in its various dimensions; for example, Abu Sinnah was interested in displaying the dreams of the public models of the poor; which the revolution tried to embrace. These models appear in the first divan of Abu Sinnah, in a poem entitled "My heart and the spinner of the blue dress", where the title shows the integration of the pronoun "my" which refers to the self and the image of blue dress spinner. The model of the father who cannot buy a toy for his little child and tries to explain to him the dimensions of the issue is the focus of the poem: Is this "the toy" upon which splendor flows? And the turquoise shines in her eyes and settle in our eyes? Is that you want?
My dear child you do not know a lot You will laugh a lot if you know our situation


My son, it is for others Who own it and own us Who steal our bread


Gomaa 47 On the way, they don't see us Their Pockets are full of gold Full of our tears and all our money Their hearts are of scruples They let us just refer to the toys

This wonderful integration between the individual self and collective self in the form of the

pronoun "us" reflects truly the sense of Abu Sinnah about the amount of the tragedy stemming from the class problem at that time, as the symbolism of the toy is implied within class social dimension greater than the perception of the child. In addition, the image of the other in the pronoun "their" in "their pockets" and "they" in "they steal" mirrors this conflict raging between the rich and the poor in Egypt after the revolution.
The tragic image of this integration between the individual self and the collective self in a worsening status recurs encouraging frustration and despair in the same divan of: "My

Heart and the Spinner of the Blue Dress", there is a poem The tear and the sword: The coming days will not save us All your dreams, my heart, will look like a luxury Your dreams that one morning we walk in other ways The fire there had not left us a bridge to cross We look for rivers to wash us Birds will not wander near our garden We will not hear the music of the flowers in a summer evening

The feeling of loss and eeriness dominates the feelings of the modern poet as the world

around him is always dark and unreal. Eliot and Baudelaire confirm also that even "dreams" are associated with "fire". Again Abu Sinnah uses collective pronouns "our" and "us" to show


the general experience of loss and waste.


Gomaa 48
Then, the collective tone, in the poem "Endless Nationalism" in his divan "Evening

Bells", becomes higher. Dr. Fawzi Saad Isa in his book Contemporary Poets asserts that this
divan indicates the unity of the poet's experience with the homeland to become a single

identity, expressing the awakening of the national spirit and motivating determination, "Poetry for him is not just an outlet for his repressed grief, but a message through which he
aims to change reality and light paths of future through the compassion with the fateful humanitarian issues everywhere" (45). As the divan title suggests, the word "Bells" is a warning from the poet to wake up Egypt from its inattention (before the war of 1973),

otherwise, it will be defeated. Moreover, on the individual level, he does not want to surrender to his grief due to his emotional loss. In his poem "Love Song" Abu Sinnah says: I asked Passerbys about him
Those seeing his trace said that he was attending mosques and churches In the morning he was sitting among the school students he loves the smell of factories Perhaps he was spending the evening In the cave of a poor fisherman

Perhaps at dawn he was calling for prayer The soldiers said that they
Saw him crossing the channel And on the sand, he raises

a flag and burns all the traces of invaders

The word "flag" came indefinite at the end of verses to express the greatness of the emergence of hope that was long-awaited. In addition, the various portraits of the aspects of
homeland, which came in its social form "(factories - fisherman - school students)", political


form "(soldiers - channel)", and religious form "(mosques - churches - Dawn prayer)", came to deny the private self-image in relation to the public presence of the homeland. These

images face the "invaders" who are representations of the others "enemy".


Gomaa 49 If one of the problematics of Hamlet is that he has been looking for identity which emerges from him and not from those around until he was able to merge with the public self in the last moments of his death, expressing his tragedy, Abu Sinnah takes off himself, in his divan "Sea is our appointment", the identity of the romantic poet - as Hamlet did with Ophelia - to be replaced by the image of the challenger knight, as both of Hamlet and Abu Sinnah realized that the time is not the time of sayings and dreams but the time of action, Hamlet says: The time is out of joint, so cursed spirit, That ever I was born to set right. Nay, come, let's go together (Act I scene II) And Abu Sinnah wrote: Time differed The innocent vanished and the well-minded became professional We can no longer be saved from death if we still in the middle We can no longer get benefits if we retire ............ Time differed Loser is that one who stops

Within these verses, Abu Sinnah is shown sticking to the mode of action rejecting the intermediate compromises, like Hamlet when he decides to kill Claudius. Yet, both of them are obstacle by reality which delays their decision. In other words, although Abu Sinnah decides not to adopt an intermediate stand for there is no time for that, he retreats in a poem


entitled "A Relationship" from the divan of "Mirrors of the Far Day" which expresses the same problematic of Hamlets hesitation or "not to do" which appeared obviously in the works of modern Arab poets:


Gomaa 50 We can no longer remain silent We can no longer talk We can no longer see what lies under our feet Amid this hesitance Amid this the distance between legitimate and illegitimate Only we can walk through the path of despair now Only we can no longer cry Nor smile I wonder if this is the moment of beginning Or the moment to die

The entire poem reflects the feeling of hesitance that affects not only the individual self, but

also the collective self causing public paralysis. Antithesis in words such as "talk and silence", "legitimate and illegitimate", "cry and smile" and "beginning and to die" indicates
the reality of passivity, paralysis and the inability to act. The repetition of the modal "can" and negating it, "no longer", is one of the stylistic tools which emphasizes the fact of the negative persistence. The phrase "only we" expresses that the situation is not private but

collective, at the same time, it expresses the isolation, Then the state of "no death and no life" and "action and inaction" extends to dominate the rest of the poem to confirm the recession of the physical and psychological conditions: Step backward Step forward We can no longer sit We can no loner stand We can no longer fight We can no longer make peace


Gomaa 51 This poem shows the limitation of human vision which signifies the loss of the ability to take decisions. Although the sense of paralysis is perceived physically "no longer sit, stand, fight", it echoes the psychological stagnation which hinders the poet even to "make peace".
In an attempt to create a new identity which seeks escaping from this psychological dilemma of hesitance (as both identity and hesitance are two problematics revolving within

one psychological and poetic orbit), Abu Sinnah tries to formulate a state of balance between the outside world and his own world through the portrait of idealistic legendary image. He uses the myth of Isis, as Dr. Isa writes trying to search for the noble values. In his poem "The merry song", Abu Senna writes: Oh, My iris, Isis still begging Still leaving along the shore Looking for Osiris Asking woods about him And willow trees ................... But I swear that when the god of fertility will come back to Isis I will present my heart as a sacrifice in the love freezer

The previous lines reflect the image of lost hope but in a mythical fantastical world full of sacrifice and love which is lost in the real world. Abu Sinnah repeats mentioning another group of legends such as "Sisyphus", "Orpheus", "Medusa ", and etc Moreover, swaying between Romanticism and Modernism, Abdul Saboor's poetry represents such a generation of the Arab poets who adopt romantic themes woven through modern techniques. Such in-between attitude mirrors another Hamletian problematic concerning identity (as a neo-romantic poet in the Modern Age). In his volume "Sailing to


Memory", this in-between attitude is shown obviously, but not in the first "Abstraction" in


Gomaa 52 which modernism exists in a higher proportion. For example, in abstraction I, Abdul Saboor says: I could fall down From the surface of weariness To the bottom of forgetfulness Or rise from the bottom Of forgefulness To the surface weariness, I heard no echoes But the echoes heard me, I touched no "thing" But things touched me.

Such paradoxical movements "rise, bottom", "surface, special" which are related to the mental phase of "forgetfulness" and "weariness", besides, the paradoxical clauses "I heard no
echoes, but the echoes heard me", remind us with the startling paradoxical notions (mental

senses in the first part of "The Waste Land", "the Burial of the Dead"): April is the cruelest month, breeding Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing Memory and desire, stirring Dull roots with spring rain Winter kept us warm, covering Earth in forgetful show, feeding

This technique of paradox surprises the readers in both Eliot's and Abdul Al Saboor's. Dr.


Enani comments on this part saying that the poet, Abdul Al Saboor, "overcomes his material existence to get the freedom of nothingness" which is again repeated in "The Waste Land",


Gomaa 53
"A Game of chess", "what is that noise now? What is the wind doing / Nothing Again nothing". If things "squeezed" Abdul Saboor "into air, blowing / into nothingness", Eliot

"know(s) nothing", "see(s) nothing", and "remember(s) nothing." This theme of nothingness is completely modern. Yet, this nothingness in Abdul Saboors is seen within the individual suffering of a human who "could fall down". This echoes Shelley's famous verse "I fall upon the thorn of life, I bleed", in "Ode to the West Wind". The second part or "Abstraction II" exposes evidently Hamletian problematic of action and inaction through an image of "a scared mouse" which is "tottering/ between the sword and the desert". Abdul Saboor suggests three main hypothesis of this situation, which metaphorically express the situation of the mankind, the three hypotheses have the same conclusion "inaction and apathy": Hypothesis one: Can evade the sword of futility, Opting for futile action Hypothesis two:
Can escape from the desert of inaction To the bottom of apathy

Hypothesis three: Can lie in the lap of futility

And apathy And inaction And die


This attitude of doing nothing is related to the modern predicament of standing in an inbetween situation, having the desire to do, but with no enough will to act, as a result, inaction dominates. This is part of the modern understanding of the world around. The establishment


Gomaa 54

of the moral loss of faith leads to the physical paralysis. All options, if exist, lead to one way which is apathy. In one of the interviews with him, as mentioned in Jihad Fadel' book entitled Issues of Modern Poetry, Abdul Sabour has disclosed about his attitude of poetry which is a romantic attitude as well as his stand towards the world and the reader as well. I compose poetry in my hermitage where the loneliness is considered as a condition to create an art but such loneliness mentioned herein doesn't mean the de-socialization which is, to my mind, one of its conditions but means to be alone with "the inspiration" which is a starting point to compose poetry. When I talk about "why do I write poetry?". that is a confusing question... Personally, I write poetry to get purged where the purgation not only for the reader but also for the artist, however, I want to pay the readers attention to the world's absurdity if we dont find its meaningfulness to its randomization if we couldn't arrange it, and to its ugliness if we dont discover its hidden beauty.(265)

The above mentioned attitude indicates that Abdul Sabour adapts a romantic way to define composition of poetry which refers to the definition of each Wordsworth and Coleridge in the Lyrical Ballads which make him absorb in-between attitude between Romanticism and




Gomaa 55 Moreover, in his volume entitled "People in my country", he sheds the light on the incorporation of whats private and whats public where he reflects a unique national public state, repeatedly written in Higazy's poetry. Abdul Sabour writes in "The Martyr":
When the night is overwhelmingly dark, I utter his lovely name Calling him for reducing his "long" faraway distance (vast horizon) for me He comes...never breaks my heart And my side leans on my bed But my eyes are blinking ... living

Why not... for his wound sparkles in his face as a lamp

In this poem, the private feeling of losing a friend is mixed with the national concept of sacrifice which renders the separation difficult. This is illustrated in Dr. Ali Ashry Zayed's book entitled Readings in Contemporary Arab Poetry confirming that Abdul Sabour's suffering took a national extension while Hamlet's suffering is generally humanitarian. The language is used herein to emphasize such assumption of merging the private feeling with the public sacrifice using the first person pronoun in "I utter" and the first person possessive pronoun in each "my heart" and "my bed". In addition, Abdul Sabour has astonished us when he has described the wound as "a lamp". Romanticism, as a literary trend, according to Dr. " or Reality and Elsayed Fadl's comment in his book entitled " : Script: a study in nature of literature, can create a collective self including both the internal and the external worlds in one psycho-frame. Therefore, poetry becomes a mirror of the world; this mirror is invented by the poetic self depending on "feeling and emotional awareness" (39). The aesthetic poetic experience illustrates different worlds of the self in an artistic frame. In his poem entitled "Shanq Zahran" or (The Hanging of Zahran) the public self


is incorporated with; the private self and the real images and events are united to depict a story of admonition and national sacrificing of one of Dunshuwai victims: He was a boy


Gomaa 56 His mother is brunette And the father was born with pretty eyes On his cheek,
a dove was drawn On his ulna, The image of Abu Zeid Salama was drawn holding a sword, below the Tattoo, a diagram like writing

A name of a village Dunshuwai

This physical sensual representation has turned from the hero character portrayal to his body description passing to the sensual drawings which have artistry indications representing a zooming in position camera. Gradually, the view is enlarged till the poet discloses the name of the village "Dunshuwai" which is illustrated at the end of the verses through a zooming out pose, merging the self (Of poet or of Zahran) with the public, represented in the village, creating a national frame of a sacrificing figure. The unity, between the private and the public has been drawn a wonderful symbolic image in a poem entitled "The returnee" in a diwan entitled "I Say To You" where Abdul Sabour has described the lost love as a child returning to his parents after years of waste. Dr. Mohamed Fattouh Ahmed, in his book entitled Symbol and Symbolism in the Contemporary Poetry, has emphasized that "the symbol in this poem has two levels; the concrete level represented in the emotional mould (the returned child) and the symbolic abstract level, represented in "love" which the poet lost long time; the poet has compared the happiness towards a returned love to that of a father's returned child" (286). When the child came back,


his parents hug him, crying for joy. Yet, it is thought it is not appropriate to describe such young child as "fascinated" which is more adequately attributed to the emotions towards a lost love not towards a lost child.


Gomaa 57 Our first child had come back to us After being lost away from home for years He came back ashamed, shy and sad . We recognized him He cried when we had cried in his hand He hugs us then dozes off peacefully so do we. .............................................. And he is still a young fascinated

This symbolism is represented psychologically in "We cried", physically in "First shiver" and

"hug us" portraying the two symbolic levels accurately.

Abdul Sabour's problematic, in portraying the relationship between death and life is similar to the Hamletian one. If Hamlet tried to commit suicide as a means to finish the

causes of the eternal conflict, which dwells inside him, Abdul Sabour expresses such an inner conflict, but not in a form of suicide like Hamlet. He writes in a poem entitled "A massage to a female friend", "This morning / I turned my face to the life and closed my eyes to die / in
peace". The concept of life is included in death and vice versa as an ironical existential

paradox in "The Shadow and the Cross" in diwan entitled "I Say To You" where he mirrors the degree of conflict which lives inside Abdul Sabour reaches: I am the one who is living without dimensions I am the one who is living without durations I am the one who is living without glories I am the one who is living without shadow or cross

Of course, this reminds us of Alhaydari's verses, "I am a living shadow / I am a dying


formless". Death and life visions has been mixed in Abdul Sabour's poem entitled "An elegy of a friend who was laughing so mush" where the poet has presented his dead friend and his dead body in a ironical and sarcastic frame, as the corpse was roaming through bars looking


Gomaa 58 for his friends: "My friend died yesterday / when he had come to the bar seeing no body of us". Mr. Ahmed Anter Mostafa, in his book entitled Kaenat Wataria: Creative Readings in Arab Poetry, had emphasized that Abdul Sabour had mixed between irony and sarcasm in death frame represented in "the dead body" and life represented in "seeing". Also the idea of "action and inaction" had been rephrased in the poetry of Abdul Sabour in a poem entitled "Memorandums of the mystic Bishr El-Hafi" in diwan entitled "Dreams of the Old Knight". Be careful not to hear Be careful not to look Be careful not to touch Be careful not to speak Stop..! And hang on the spun rope of silence

Dr. Saad Deabies, in his book entitled Rejection Trend to Society Illustrated in Modern Arab Poetry in Egypt, has commented on these verses mentioning that these verses evoke Abdul Sabours rejection to the world around; whereas such rejection has paralyz ed the modern man. These verses remind us of Eliot's poetry in "The Waste Land" where Eliot described the modern man as unable to speak, guess or even know. Such paralysis of senses represents "inaction". The paralysis is not only somatic but also psycho-mental paralysis and the metaphor in "the spun rope of silence" merging the visual "Rope" with the abstract "Silence". Dr. Mohamed Zaki El-Ashmawy, in his book entitled Studies in Contemporary literary Criticism, has commented on the negative role embraced by poets of modernity in general that


Their retirement, inaction and reluctance to the real life surrounding them, didn't detract from their creativity; where all


Gomaa 59

of them had felt that the contradiction has preyed their society which is also divided by a differential paradox values and ideas. So, all of the poets use all their skills in an attempt to achieve completion, recombination, unity attempt (41, 42).

Such poets, after their isolation and reluctance, had tried to be one with their real life. They got rid of the dreams and visions which represent the hopelessness and despair, moving to be part of the surrounding world with all its problems, objections and complexities. In addition, they tried to turn toward the new life and take an action; it is not clear if it will be positive or not. At the end of their experiences, they found that their romanticism is a false mystic structure and a stupid lie.


Gomaa 60

Chapter one To Be and Not To Be


Gomaa 61 Both life and death, for Larkin, are perceived as Wordsworthian "sad music of humanity" (lines composed of a few Miles above Tintern Abbey"), he projects a true voice of humanity through accepting the tension between both life and death. This acceptance doesnt only relate him to Hamlet's problematic of "To be and not to be", but also to the whole of the romantic figures. Moreover, this dominant tone of sadness and sentimentality attributes Larking to Hardysque pessimism, although the difference lies in that Larkin's tone is mixed with sarcasm and irony. Roger Bowen confirms in the review of Dalhousie Review that in Larkin's poetry, there is always such a sense of pessimism and cynicism. Larkin connects such a sarcastic tone with the impulses of life and death. For example, in his poem "The Trees"; Larkin, as a modern symbolist views the trees as a symbol of renewal and hope in face of the humans inevitability facing death eventually. This reflection of human condition on the trees is both Hamletian and romantic; it is Hamletian in the sense that humans must accept both life and death as part of the human rites. Thus accepting such tension between both life and death is totally Hamletian. Furthermore, it is romantic in the sense that it is related to the concept of Pathetic Fallacy, when both Nature and humans are seen in affinity to each other. Dr. Enani in his margins of the translation of Hamlet discusses how the question of "To be or not to be" is transformed from the individualistic level to more public, as Alex Newell states in his "The Dramatic context and Meaning of Hamlet's "to be or not to be"" that Hamlet's context may be seen in a more public and general overview. In other words, Larkin relates this tension between both life and death in a more romantic pathetic fallacy which focuses on such affinities between both nature and human beings, but still through the modern technique of symbolism, which renders such a tension viewed within more


generalized vision.


Gomaa 62 "The Trees" reflects the transience of youth as a result of the destructive passage of time. It consists of three stanzas, each one comprises four lines, with strict metrical and rhyming structure. The rhyme scheme is "a, b, b, a" and the meter is iambic tetrameter. This strictness of both the meter and the rhyme raises the tension between both life and death, and reveals the meaningless target of life. From a New Critical point of view, the "how" of the poem overshadows its "what", thus, this strict form broadens the tension between immortality of the trees and the mortality of human life, which is the core of the poem. Tension, as a new critical dynamic "interplay among the text's opposing tendencies" (140), exists within the first stanza of the poem, the portrayal of the burgeoning trees as both
cheerful and melancholic, "coming into leaf", and "a kind of grief", represents such an intended tension. "Leaf" is a symbol of life, which is strengthened by the verbs "relax and spread". Yet, the paradox in "Their greenness is a kind of grief" sums up the universal

problematic of "to be and not to be". The liveliness of sibilance of the trees, symbolizing human youth, gives a sense of hope which does not prevail for a long time, because it is removed by the sense of "grief" due to the realization of death. The philosophy of the poem lies in the second stanza, where Larkin personifies the leaves comparing their stage of youth to a human's entrance to a new stage in life. Larkin questions the immortality of trees in comparison to the transitory lives of humans, as he asks "is it that they are born again, / and we grow old". "Youth" here is opposite to the old age which marks the inevitability of death. The rhetorical question is transformed into a personal challenge that needs an answer which comes immediately "No, they die too". The order or the sequence of following three stages of life "born again", "grow old", and then "die too" in


a form of question and answer denotes the transiency of life. Although "born" and "die" are related to the trees, and "grow" is related to "we", still, Larkin transforms an individualistic human problematic into a universal natural one.


Gomaa 63 The use of the caesura "," after "No" highlights that his thought about trees endless youth is immediately defeated by his realization that the trees do eventually die as well as humans. In addition, the caesura marks the changing tone from speculative to pessimistic: from Wordsworthian contemplation to the Hardysque pessimism. The paradox again is there in the last couplet of the second stanza, as there is a difference between both the outer appearance of "looking new" which is fake in contrast to the reality of "rings of grain" which connotes death. The use of the word "trick" is to cancel all the feeling of hope that is felt on

perceiving "looking new". This diction further suggests a negative connotation in the speaker's voice; through the word choice of "rings of grain", Larkin implies that despite the fresh outer appearances, the trees grow old and die in the end. On the symbolic and the metaphorical levels, the reference to the attempts of renewal of the appearances of the tree, is closely connected to the human trials to escape their inevitable end, death. Both efforts are defeated by the concept of time, which Hamlet once in the play realizes as a defeating element working against human will "The Time is out of joint" Act I, scene I. Both Hamlet and Larkin share the same view; what remains after time passes, is death, but with different motives. Then comes the third stanza, with the transitional words "Yet still", which change the tone again to another hopeful, optimistic and positive attitude. Comparing the trees to "the unresting, castles thresh", striving for renewal "full grown thickness" after death every year, repeats not only the cycle of birth, but also, provides the humans with a new vision of hopefulness. The personification in "say" is not for the sake of ornamental purpose rather than to set a model for the humans for surviving against the paradoxical predicaments of life. "afresh" is onomatopoeia, enhancing natural phenomenon of renewal. The bustling and the


rustling of the wind reflect the cycle of both birth in the physical level and the feeling of hope on the psychological level. The repetition of "afresh" is to reveal such a determined attitude


Gomaa 64 of the pursuit beyond hope. The whole poem is like Tennis match between both life and death, this game ends with soft sibilant appearance. King confirms that "The Building" is another poem which reveals "a more stoical acceptance of death. This poem sees the whole of life and death in terms of a busy hospital, "all experiences flow together eventually in this place of life's beginning and end" (39). The poem consists of nine stanzas like "The Trees", having strict rhyme (abcbdcad). It begins with the normal description of a "building", as the title itself reveals; at first, the building is not realized as being a hospital until the readers go on in further reading. The building includes people who are constantly moving up in and out, waiting or looking for others. The mysterious description in the first stanza " sight out of the last century", ".. creepers hang a frightening smell", suggests a sense of disrelief and discomfort which paves the way to the discovery of the true nature of the building. The physical features of the building in the first stanza "lucent comb" around which, there are "close, ribbed streets rise and fall", give the building a more realistic portrait. Within the second stanza, the mystery starts to be unfolded, the similes in "like an airport lounge", and "like a local bus" are surrounded by a perfect psychological description of those who "tamely sit", and their faces which are "restless and resigned" are physical objects which add a sense of reality to the whole picture. " comes a kind of nurse" is a partial declaration of the nature of the building. The building is the hospital where both life and death are there, existing side by side. The third stanza records such variety of reactions of people who are faced with the seriousness of illness and death; the psychological undercurrent sense of fear and confusion extend into the third stanza:


. Humans, caught
on ground curiously neutral, homes and names Suddenly in abeyance; some are young,


Gomaa 65 Some old, but most at that vague age that claims The end of choice, the last of hope.

Everyone needs attention; they are equal in their suffering. Like in "The Trees", the vision is to be generalized, but not on the natural level, rather than on more human level. The hospital gathers all people together, the young, the middle aged and the old. It is the place where the choice does not exist, it is either to live and to die, "to be" and "not to be" are there together. Yet, Man like Hamlet, has no hands in his choice, ".. and only", "the last of hope" remains. It is the point at which all illusions are finally stripped from people. "They are not forced to be "the less deceived" in this house of truth" (39) The word "confess" in "Here to confess that something has gone wrong" illuminates the serious nature of the hospital which makes it similar to the church. The connection between people's lives and the truth of the real function of the hospital, performing the role of the church in the secular world, is what gives the poem its social and religious expressions. Larkin affirms such a connection in the eighth stanza when he refers to the hospital directly as a church "The unseen congregations whose white row / lie set apart above women, men / old, young; crude facets of the only coin". The problematic of the building is not just its inclusion of both secular and religious functions, but also, it is a place where both life and death are there existing side by side. "All know they are going to die", is the real end of life. If the seventh stanza offers some human aspects; "your loves, your chances, are beyond the stretch/ of any hand from here!", still, life is but a matter of "a touching dream", to which "we are lulled". Yet, all these unreal senses are but an attempt to transcend the thought of dying. It is again the inevitability of death that we face at the end of our life (like in "The Trees"). The hospitals play the role of the church,


but it cures bodies, not souls. King comments on the last lines "The coming dark, though crowds each evening, try / with wasteful, weak, propitiatory flowers", saying that it "captures


Gomaa 66 all the doomed, but necessary attempts of man to appease his bleak knowledge of the final conclusion that none, not even the most self-aware poet, can evade" (40) The ambiguity in the poem exists in the fourth stanza when the word "confess" comes to reveal different connotations, for it is either related to the atmosphere of church or it may be a relief from pain within the hospital setting. Diction plays further ambiguous reading when the readers come with "congregations", "cathedrals". Then, the paradox between opposite categories of people in "old, young, crude facets of the only coin/ this place accepts" examines such a problematic relation between both life and death. Moreover, the use of punctuation is very revealing; the poet varies the use of (.) (,) (;) in the middle and at the end of verses, which suggests the decrease in the tempo of reading which is opposite to the movement inside the hospital. It also contradicts the tempo of the psychological state of the nurses, doctors and sick people inside the building. .. Each gets up and goes At last. Some will be out by lunch, or four; Others, not knowing it, have Come to join

It is noticeable that most of the poem may be read, as if one line "run- on- line technique", which shows the transience of life, and the inevitability of death, which imposes its authority over the crowds who opposedly try to propitiate it by flowers. Furthermore, from a formalist point of view, Larkin initiates the description of the hospital in the first two stanzas in a de-familiarized vision in which "The entrance" has no "taxis", "the hall.. hangs a frightening smell", even the sick people "tamely sit", the faces are" restless and resigned". What Victor Shklovsky seeks is to de-familiarize the image in an


unautomatic way, this is typically what Larkin has done; olfactory "smell", movement "sit",


Gomaa 67 and "psychological "restless and resigned" images are juxtaposed together in a unique and un-preceded way to convey to the readers the description of the atmosphere of the hospital. "The old Fools" is another poem which belongs to the same volume like "The Building", "High windows". Similarly, "The old Fools" exposes such a problematic vision of both life and death. Yet, not in relation to natural image like in "The Trees", nor according to the sick people who wait to die in the hospital, but within the vision of those old people who are "The old Fools". Sir Kumar Chatterjee states in his book Philip Larking: Poetry that Builds Bridges that the old "fools" .. based on the horror of ageing opens with a portrayal of the breakdown in the behavior of the old, with the speaker registering his horror and astonishment in a tone of disgust blended with an anger directed not so much at these particular old people as at the undignified and humiliating realities of

human condition in old age. (273)

This quotation sums up Larkin's experience with the ageing, and how he records this very specific human scene in a way that is full of many conflicting and tense feelings of sympathy, terror, agony, mockery, irony and pathos. The poem consists of four stanzas, with an unorganized rhythm and rhyme which suits the chaotic states, physical, mental and psychological. The poem as a whole deals with the theme of decay after ageing. The first stanza exposes one of the physical decay in a very ironical way "Do they somehow suppose / It's more grown up when your mouth hangs open and drools / And you keep on pissing yourself ..". The irony is imposed stylistically by the


rhetorical questions "what do .." "Do they " and "who called this morning?". Irony, according to the new critics, gives the text variety of credibility: "The result is a complexity


Gomaa 68 of meaning that mirrors the complexity of human experience and increases the test's believability". (139). Here, the rhetorical questions enrich the meanings of the poem; Larkin poses questions leaving the readers in wonder, especially when the questions follow each other, receiving no answers "or do they fancy there's really been no change ..?" Irony lies there; it is between what is real and what goes inside the minds and the psychs of those old fools who couldn't remember, dance, guess nor move "as if they were

crippled or tight". The paralysis here is not only physical nor mental "can't remember", but it is also psychological "thin continuous dreaming". Then, the stanza ends in a kind of burst "why aren't they screaming?", which represents some kind of blow against these features the old fools have. King writes: "The Old Fools" is a devastating expression of the poet's feelings about the approach of age and death, its awfulness and strange otherness which will yet inevitably become the experience of us all at enacts the middle-aged man's growing sense of time running out and his angry and bitter recognition that life can end in such a cruel and undignified way. The poet's proud determination not to be deceived here ends in a final awareness, for which ignorance, in fact, could be the only palliative. (39)

The poet in the second stanza changes the stylistic feature of using the rhetorical


question to another tool of stative long sentences, through which he declares the factual phenomenon of death as a predominant idea. "At death, you break up", the address here is directive and connotative, "you" is the addressee who must perceive the reality of breaking


Gomaa 69 up. The word "bits" is symbolic and revealing; it may be ambiguous too as it may mean the physical parts of man, or his mental fragments, which "start speeding away from each other". Again, like in "The Trees", passing time is followed by one fact "then it was going to end". Physical and mental failure has signs of the disability to pretend and ignorance. "Ash hair, toad hands, prune face dried into lines" are the cruel marks that passing time leaves signifying the coming of death. This tension between the failure of the realization of the coming of death and its real deep signs represents a burst into the faces of the old fools, ending the second stanza: "How can they ignore it?". The question here represents tension more than irony. The use of different punctuations (.) (,) and (?), allows the poet to set the tone of the inevitability of death, which cancels any power of human choice. We feel the dilemma of Hamlet roaming within these verses; if the old Fools

complain about the signs of ageing ignoring approaching death, Hamlet suffers the dilemma of inaction within the range of time. In both cases, time is an enemy, which warns, still man

is passive and ignorant. Thus, life and death struggling as a problematic condition of human life, leaving man without solution, Chatterjee comments on the second stanza, writing: In the second stanza, the speaker himself makes an attempt to realize on behalf of the old people what has happened to them or what happens in general when decrepitude overpowers us. The old people's lack of control over their awareness of themselves and their world is signaled by "Not knowing how, not hearing who, the power / of choosing gone". These are frightening because they are the first sign of that final state of complete unawareness when (At death), "the bits that were you


/ start speeding away from each other for ever / with no one to see". (273)


Gomaa 70

Moreover, the third and the fourth stanza introduce another decayed aspect due to ageing which is memory. According to Wikipedia, free encyclopedia, there are two kinds of memory, episodic and semantic, both of them are part of the declarative memory, which is the explicit part of the memory, unlike the procedural memory which is implicit. The episodic memory is defined as the memory of meanings, understanding, general knowledge about the world, and factual information . etc. This makes semantic knowledge independent of context and personal information. On the other hand, semantic memory enables an individual to know information about themselves, without having to consciously recall the experiences that taught them such knowledge. Thus, semantic memory is the autobiographical memory that individuals possess, which contains events, associated emotions, and knowledge around a given context. Therefore, the semantic memory is a source of self-knowledge. Within the third and fourth stanzas, Larkin is obsessed to show the terrified revulsion in response of semantic memory of the old people. He emphasizes the influence of being old from the inside, their heads have "lighted rooms" in which there are people whom the aged know, but they forget their names. Memories are chaotic, especially the semantic one; where "setting, smiling, extracting a known book, and midsummer evening" are lost. They lost the sense of both time and place "Not here and now", ". Trying to be there / yet being here". Perception is denied. Chaotic memory denies them self-knowledge concerning their experiences. Irony returns again in the form of rhetorical question "can they never tell/ What is dragging them back, and how it will end", but not for the sake of wondering rather than confirming the fact of losing identity. Death exists within the form of life, and life lies within


the frame of oblivion death. The declaration of the word "Never" is very revealing; it conveys the inevitability of death.


Gomaa 71 The associations of words are part of the whole tension between the old fools physical and mental failures and the real realization of approaching death; "danced" opposes "crippled" which conveys opposition in movement. In addition, the mental activity of "knowing" and the sensual "hearing" are negated showing the sense of crippling. The negation of perceiving denotes the loss of identity within the private semantic memory. The personification in "baffled absence" where he compares absence to a person shows their own wastefulness. Both stanzas remind us with the people in The Waste Land by Eliot, where people remember nothing and know nothing: You know nothing? Do you See nothing? Do you remember Nothing? I remember (122-125)

In "Aubade", Larkin employs irony in a larger scope; as the ironical tone starts from the very beginning; the title "Aubade" is defined as a medieval song "morning song"; it is to be sung when two lovers are parting at dawn. Ironically, Larkin appears to use the term to herald the departure of death at dawn. Both life and death are woven as human pre-dominant conditions, death must be accepted, as we accept a lover. The problematic is totally Hamletian. The poem marks Larkin's obsession with death to that extent that he compares it to a lover who departs when the day approaches, waiting for it in the second night till it leaves again at dawn. Death, here, becomes a ritual contemplation, thus, the message is that although he fears death intensely, he cannot live without the thought of its inevitability. It is the knowledge that one must die, which enables man to continue living. This paradoxical thinking is what makes tension is always there.


The use of the de-familiarized expression lies in describing how the journey of death will be, Larkin writes "The sure extinction that we travel to / And shall be lost in always".


Gomaa 72 Although both "extinction" and "lost" have the same associations; the sense of loss and nothingness overwhelms the readers. Larkin ends the stanza with two important facts about death; it is the most terrible and paradoxically the most factual thing in our life. It is also noticeable that Larkin does not mention the word "death" nor one of its derivations within this stanza, unlike the first one, despite the fact that there are many words which give its meanings like "total emptiness" and
"extinction". Larkin depends on the use of logical association of affinity among words to

enrich the whole scene. The second stanza is among the most distinguished verses which expose Larkin's craftsmanship in accordance to the stylistic feature. It is about accepting death as inevitable, looking back into the past to measure life in relation to the scales of goodness and love. He expresses in a thread of connected phrases, (not connected in the form, but in meaning), how he does not remorse for good deeds being undone, nor supposed love being not given. Larkin's employment of such phrases refers to confusion, fear and Hamletian melancholy. . Not in remorse The good not done, the love not given, time torn off un used-nor wretchedly . not to be here Not to be anywhere And soon; nothing more terrible, Nothing more true

"Aubade" comprises five ten line stanzas with an ABABCCCDED rhyme scheme. Tension is there within the first stanza, it is initiated through the contrast between life


activities "I work all day, and get half drunk at night", and what waits for him "unresting death", ".. the dread / of dying, and being dead". Once awake in the dark, the poet thinks of


Gomaa 73 "what's really always there", which is very close to him. The stanza mirrors many different impulses; mystery in defining the place and the time of death, and the horror of such a meeting, which is portrayed paradoxically as expected and unexpected at the same time. "Soundless dark" is a cunning image because he mixes what is auditory with what is visual. Inevitability is the key relation between both the poet and death "the coming and then
departing lover". "Shall" in "I shall myself die" gives the impression of inevitability along

with the derivational forms of the verb die "dying, dead, death and die". Through the association of analogy, the third stanza begins where the second stanza ends; it is the feeling of fear which pre-dominates both of them. "Terrible" is the death, and "afraid" is attributed to the poet. Such connection which depends on the causal relation reorders the stanzas in a sequential way. Being an atheist, Larkin sees in religion nothing useful to resist such fear from death. Neither does he respect religion, nor find in it his escape from this set up ".. religion used to try, / that vast moth-eaten musical brocade / created to pretend we never die". The faade of religion is compared to worn "brocade" which is a very significant metaphor. Philosophy is also likened to "specious stuff" which shows its fake appearance and its emptiness unlike some view it. It sets the fact that "no rational being can fear a thing it will

not feel, no seeing". Yet, irony mixed with ambiguity comes to mock the philosophical principles, "That this is what we fear-no sight, no sound, / No touch or taste or smell, nothing

to think with". Again, the defamiliarization of the description of death as "a thing" which does not feel, taste, see nor touch, reminds us of the conceit of the metaphysical school which disassociated the sensibility and feelings. Larkin here gives the readers a portrait of death like John Donne in "Holy Sonnet"; if Donne tried to attenuate the authority of death by making its


pictures, sleep and rest sources of pleasure, Larkin, on the contrary, glorifies such "a thing", which takes all senses away although it itself does not have any. "Thinking" and "loving" are


Gomaa 74

two mental and emotional activities which death lacks. Like the metaphysical poets, Larkin uses un-poetic, scientific words, "anaesthetic", which connotes the overpower of death on science. Moreover, the fourth stanza introduces to the readers a facet in Larkin's writing which dominates most of the poems that take "death" as a dominant idea. Larkin as Chatterjee sees him is considered to be a transcendentalist, and not an illusionist. He sees death "on the edge

of vision / A small unfocused blur, a standing chill". This mystic description distinguishes Larkin from his contemporaries. The play on the use of the modal verbs; "may" for "most things", and "will" for "death" shows evidently the main ideational line relating the whole poem; which is the certainty of death, and its power to defeat "courage", and scare "others". The rhyme in "brave and grave" implies the authority of death over human conditions. Mysticism in "vision", and "blur" highlightens Larkins ability to peep into the worlds which, for other people, may not exist. "Drink" is a reference to Larkin's alcoholic nature; he wrote poetry when he was sober. The metaphor in "Furnace Fear" is to continue the psychological impact of fear due to waiting for death starting from the very beginning. He mixes between what is seen "Furnace" and what is felt "fear". "The realization" of the certainty of death is a connotative code of feeling fearful. The cycle is completed in the last stanza because he returns again to his room, where "slowly light strengthens". Then comes the simile "It stands plain as a wardrobe", where the poet uses the cataphoric reference "It" as a preceding pronoun referring to a following plain fixed idea which stands like "wardrope"; it is ".. what we know, / Have always known, know that we can't escape". Then comes the end of the poem; if the poem starts in tension between the actual everyday life experiences, and then they are all annihilated by "unresting


death", the last stanza ends in the same tension between the daily activities and scenes " telephones crouch, locked up offices, intricate rented World, which "begins to rouse" and the


Gomaa 75 departing death or metaphorically, the love. The declaration of work which now starts, unlike the beginning of the poem where it ends "I work all day", marks many associative semantic and also pragmatic ideas; firstly, it completes the circle of life. Secondly, death leaves like the departing lover within the medieval song; which connects the poem ironically ideational phase of the aubade. Thirdly, death is certain, and inevitable, and it to the rules,

dominates and defeats. The time of dawn which is marked by "sky is white as clay", echoes a new departure of a lover "death", and paradoxically, a new stage of waiting death again. Moreover, Larkin intends not to mention any lexes related to death, to denote that it departs at dawn. The last simile in the last line "postmen like doctors " juxtaposes two contradictory figures; one which is related to life "postmen" and the other is related to death "doctors". Those who continue their work after waking up from such sleepless night due to waiting for inevitable visitor, receive, as part of that on-going daily business, the postmen who transforms to them the news of those who receive doctors instead (from whom death departs with their souls). Even on such level, the cycle is completed. Both messengers, either of life or of death play their role.

Thus, the poem includes many thematic transitional phases through the stanzas; firstly, Larkin plays on the tension between life and death; working hard, then waiting for death, then departing of death, then going on work again. This is shown in the first and the final stanza. Annihilation, in the second stanza, exists as a modern idea, "extinction", "Not to be here, / Not to be anywhere", it is mixed with the feeling of loss. Then, the authority of death as un-doubtful aspect of human life is illustrated within the third stanza. Death is portrayed in a farfetched way like the metaphysical image "conceit", then, the fourth stanza


introduces "death" as being inevitable. The use of tension, juxtaposition, paradox and irony enrich the objective meanings of the poem.


Gomaa 76 "Days" is another poem through which Larkin traces the ideas of mortality and the pointless brevity of life. "To be and not to be" again is the obsession that ends always in one fact, death lies there at any part of our life. For this reason, within "Days", questioning futility of existence is the essence. Larkin probes with cruel honesty the inevitability of death. Although the poem is short, it is very revealing. The poem consists of two short stanzas with two main rhetorical questions, and four line answer. There is no indication who is asking nor who is answering. The first question poses a sort of starting and suggestive dilemma concerning our existence: "What are days for?" which is followed by an answer "Days are where we live in". Obviously portrayed, "Days" is transformed into a "place", "where we live". This juxtaposition between both time and place questions the nature of time, which passes over and over giving it the sense of inclusion. The word "happy" is a glance of hope denoting the simplicity of the one who is answering. It separates, in the psychological mood, between the questioner and the one who answers. The second rhetorical question comes at the end of the first stanza, to suggest another mysterious fact about the nature of days which we do not know its "what" nor its "where". The answer is paradoxical, as how we answer the "where" of "days". The readers feel like whatever the questions would have been, the answers would have been the same. This readymade answer suggests one fact; that whatever we do know, the nature of time or days is fixed, it is unchangeable. Sometimes we are happy, but the passing time leads us to the figures of death "the priest" and the "doctor" whose business is to prepare people to the only place that is factual and has constant nature, the grave.


The semantic repetition of both "Days" and "Time" in the first part gives the sense of illusion which is related to the inconsistent feelings of being "happy". The choice of "what" and "where" removes any "when" as being related to the concept of time, and by doing this,


Gomaa 77 Larkin increases the paradoxical tone. The words "Long coats" convey the inevitable coming of death, it becomes like a businessman who has his clients and assistants "priest, doctor". Again, in this description, Larkin is similar to the metaphysical poets, in portraying farfetched conceits, as death is depicted in an unpreceded way. The use of the monosyllabic words "days" "for", "wake" "us" .etc., is to express the speed of the tempo of days to approach death. The image of "days" is personified, "they wake us", and metaphorized "days are where we live", to evoke the sense of mystery upon the nature of time. Harriet Simpson comments on the poem writing: This curious poem is one that readers find themselves

returning to again and again. It offers no comfort, but forces the reader to consider painful truths and perhaps to see life a little

differently. Larkin is no sentimentalist, but in sharing his fears and doubts, at least, there is a commonality of despair and a community of hopelessness (3) (net).

Larkin's attitude towards both life and death is part of many conflicting poetic impulses and influences, in a sense, he employs a Hardysque pessimistic vision, in another, he transcends to the reality of death dealing with it as a factual rite; and in another respect, he deals with death equal to life. In other words, if he is supposed to accept life, he also must accept death, but not in a romantic sense, rather in a modern philosophical vision of his epiphany. Thus, his acceptance of both life and death in different range of possibilities constitutes the uniqueness of Larkin's poetry. Within "Nothing to be said", Larkin's annihilation is related to death. Yet the


difference within this poem is its "a blatantly amateurish anthropology in its claim that life


Gomaa 78
for all classes and cultures is ultimately the same since it is subject to inevitable extinction."

(110), as Stephan Regan writes in his book Philip Larkin. The poem consists of three-six line stanzas. The negation of the title "Nothing to be said" paves the way to the verbal defeatism. The poem begins with panoramic portraits of different cultures with variant styles of life. The tension is established but it is not for the sake of opposition rather than variation. In other words, the contrast between "nations" which are
"vague" as "weed", the "nomads" living "among stones", "prestigious tribes", and "cobble-

close families" is drawn for the sake of exploring death as a common factor among them. Life in all its hierarchical social level "is slow dying". Larkin raises the tempo of tension by juxtaposing the word "slow" beside "dying". According to a deconstructive point of view, the sounds "s" and the long vowel in "ow" are signifiers to the concept of the inevitability of death as signified. Moreover, the sound "ng" signifies the closure of the road of life by finding death. Larkin uses lexes in a neat way to connote the annihilated nature of death; he gathers most words that refer to the idea of communities in one stanza; for "nation, nomads, tribes, families, towns" share the idea of gathering but different in the number, culture, social standard and their nature. These unique
juxtapositions and tension have been attenuated through having one affinity which is death;

once perceived, it establishes another highly endless tension. Then, Larkin in moves to multiply a number of social, commercial and religious activities, which are all annihilated by death, "building, benediction, measuring love and money / hunting pig / . Holding a garden party" all these actions stress the first. Division of kinds of gatherings or communities in the first stanza. Still what is noticeable, is that Larkin's tone underscores a sense of irony in "measuring love and money", love is not measured like


money, but he has intended to metaphorize it in a materialistic and utilitarian relation. Primitive action of "hunting", religious rite of "benediction", social prestigious in making


Gomaa 79 parties, are all in themselves "ways of slow dying". It is an extended metaphor referring to
these actions as being source of death. Larkin cancels the identity of life, prevailing the

identity of death instead. In other words, life gives up its being to the defeating nature of death. Non-existentialism is the purpose. The final stanza records the process of passing of time, it establishes both tension and irony; the tension is between "birth" and "death" which through passing of "Hours", stops the advance of birth. Man's defeatism before the work of death is stressed "Nothing to be said", even verbal ability is cancelled. Man stands weak, crippled and tight before death. "Whether it is treated with disregard to dread, the stubborn fact of death seems to cancel out any thoughts of a better life" (111).
The meaninglessness of life is cemented through the use of the punctuation, the

caesura within the verses and the run-on line technique presents an affirmation of the sense of the victimization of life in front of such a merciless monster of death. In Shosha's poetry, poetic subject that implies accepting death as a life code, not to separate from it, differs from Larkin's; in the sense that the concept of "to be and not to be" according to Shosha, is not part of a special psychological problematic where emotions of despair, atheism, pessimism and surrender to destiny emerge in a poetic image expressing the passivism of the poet "Larkin" in front of his fate. Alternatively in Shoshas, it is considered a problematic in seeing death in a form of physical departure which leaves a form of poetic or spiritual presence in the form of a recall of the dead poet in an image of life experiences whereas existence and non-existence integrate and become one entity. Death in Shosh's
poetry differs in form and vision from Larkin's; as Shosha is a Muslim and a believer in


Allah, so his problematic differs from Larkin in the concept of his refusal of death as a ritual fact. However; what creates a problematic according to Shosha is how the dead person dies physically only, for his soul and his poetic experiences embody outlooks wider than the


Gomaa 80 concept of death being limited to the body. Therefore, the commiseration according to Shosha, as Professor Mohamed El Sayed Salama confirms in his book The Poetry Of Farooq Shosha Between Vision And Creativity, is an attempt to include all the meanings and the situations which make it bestow on the character the main psychological and emotional characteristics and sometimes is highlighting the sensory features that characterize the character in his/her life. (173) Therefore, when Shosha recalls the aspects of the deceased poet's life in a form of poetic images, it is considered to be the problematic of conflict between to be and not to be which not only comes from self-experience, but also it is reflected on the self as a result of alienation, loneliness, and melancholy that prevail Shosha's poetry like the rest of his generation as part of concerns and suffering of the modernist poets. In his book Poetry Topic: Analytical Study in Vision and Formation; Dr. Farouk Abd Al-Hakim Derbala confirms this meaning, as follows: The poets of the sixties generation had lived an era of defeats and important shifts at all levels in the Egyptian society; which had its own strong and noticeable effects on their verse, especially in the poetry of the sixties and seventies decades. It reflects sadness, frustration, and sorrow on themselves, and captures them within the feelings of spiritual alienation and loneliness. This has been seen in their national poetry and also their political one as well. We note these effects in their poems that represent the individual humanitarian subject concerning each one of them. It should be noted that the historical period


they lived, and being reflected on their poetries, is not the only reason beyond their suffering; it is also considered one of the


Gomaa 81 robust reasons. There are also their individual life and their self-world with all its self experiences which affect their poetry. The third reason is the transferring of concerns, disruption, and alienation and self-exile to our Arab modern poetry with the effects of western modern and contemporary currents. (45).

By this, Dr. Derbala confirms that the feelings of loneliness, alienation, self-exile and suffering with all their resources and factors have been overshadowed on the modern poets, poetry. Thus, the sadness over the death of a fellow, mentioning his past life experiences and his human relations are recognized as modern Arab poetry problematics. Although the western trend has effects on those Arab poets; Shosha as one of them, having different religious background makes the vision of the refusal of death different from the western concept. This concept is shown in various poems in Shosha's poetry including the commiseration as main thematic topic, such as mourning Yousef Edries in "An Apology", the Lebanese Journalist (El shaheed) Naseeb Al Montanaby in "Martyr of the Word", Salah Abdul Saboor in "The Journey Completed", and finally his farewell to Amal Donqol in "The Poet of Sharp Bayonets". Commiseration according to Shosha does not differ from the rest of the modern poets like Ahmed Sewalim, Mohamed Ibrahim Abou Sinnah, Salah Abdul Saboor, and others. As mentioned above, Shosha's commiseration is not a mere written poem praising the characteristics of the deceased, but its a sentimental reflection of the concept of accepting death as predetermined life code to complete the power of the spirit of the dead poet and to


determine his will even after his death. His concept of death is not a kind of defeat nor despair like in Larkins, but it is considered a clinging to life and existence. In this way, the


Gomaa 82
problematic of accepting life and death lies in Shosha's commiseration, which is represented

in his elegiac poems. In his poem "Martyr of the Word"

that Shosha mourns the soul of his

friend, the Lebanese journalist Naseeb Al Montanaby; the symbol of Arab revolution in Lebanon, Shosha mentions at the start of the poem the human features of Naseeb in a group

of brilliant metaphorical images. After the denial of being a "prophet" or being blessed by the sun, the poet confirms that he was an amiable man like breeze, warm like ardent flash, naked like rice, and "with a lot of veins like Lebanon that is covered in blood, ". Undoubtedly, using "breeze", "flash", "rice", and "Lebanon" to describe Naseeb implies a lot of meanings that conjure up a living and visible image of Naseeb in front of the eyes despite his death. Merging the elements of nature with revolution in "Lebanon" is a gathering of spontaneousness and the revolutionary merits of the journalist. Vocabularies like "naked", "covered in blood, ", and with a lot of veins, " ", draw a mythical image

of him as if he were the Christ in his sacrifices. Shosha goes to on describing Naseebs other aspects; his deep heart inside him bearing "a closed world". The antithesis between "sunken", and "closed" comes to clarify such a dominant conflict that was going on inside the martyr. The poet goes on to describe another point which is nakedness, with no limited space. There is a wish which emanates from it; such a desire has a wing which is love, a heart and arms with their championships. Hence, Shosha represents the problematic of existence and non-existence or the mergement between to be and not to be after his death; as he lives among people and in their minds despite being in grave. Then, the second part of the poem begins with a call which expands out of its horizons


broader than those of the grave where his body lay. Shosha connects between " " as an apostrophe tool and a governing word and the governed noun of a genitive construction


Gomaa 83 "Martyr of the Word" to confirm the revolution of that journalist through his words " ", that burns in flame after his death. This construction has its effects as poetic exaggeration form, positivity reflecting the power of the spirit of this word and its patriotism. It crushes "Neuron" and rescued Roma. This contrast does not aim at reversing the truth but to describe the role of Naseeb's word and his patriotism. His word after his death is to wash
by light all dark routs as well as hearts that also become dark. The n another stage

comes, whereas Shosha wrote that if that treacherous shot had not caused the death of Naseeb, Lebanon would not have been affected nor the Liberals would not have gathered around the word which previously confronted the unjust wind and established bridges in a space and turned into a hand spreading light over darkness, and also make those who are around see the truth. In other words, without the death of the hero, the souls would not have realized that the sacrifices are the reason of the victory and liberation. The last part of the poem represents the stage of the realization that the death of heroes awakens the determinations confronting the darkness that prevailed in Lebanon and become the light of a candle that represents all hope and light. Despite black mourning dresses over heroes, death at those long nights, it brings more championship. On the techniques, the poem begins with negation; ( level of vocabulary and

) "didn't" and "doesn't" , which reoccurs

three times to confirm that Naseeb became dead " Not to Be " and then the past tense "was" ( ) comes to support this fact. The adjectives "friendly" and "warm" ( ) also

come to reflect his effective qualities and put us in front of a living image of the journalist in spite of his death, the word rice, links the journalist with the Lebanese soil and the


natural heritage. The word "bloody"

comes to reflect the nature of the conflict


Gomaa 84 Lebanon suffers from. The derivative repetition in the word "naked",
and "nakedness",

reflects obscurity, void and death from which the poet together with his poetic words

emerge to revive hope which is reflected by the present passive tense "is born" and the tandem repetition in "was born", and "is born" as well as the derivative repetition in birth highlights the contradiction between the case of the martyr who is dead and the influence that his words left affecting the living people. In addition, the verbal repetition in the second part of the word became has an indication of the contradiction between two cases; the

first case is "death" and the second case is life, which is shown in several aspects: including flames, destroying Nero, building Rome and the light that swept the dark. Again Shosha escalates the tone of tension between two concepts: one of which is about the limited concept of death, as a departure of the physical body, caused by a treacherous shot and the other is about the infinite concept of life, which caused the extension of bridges, birth of longings, vision of eyes and the prosperity of the leaves of the productive land, beside, the national situation of awakening the people and the rebellion of Lebanon. This tension extending through the contrast between the different cases clearly reflects the problematic between the "non-existence" which paradoxically never denies the case of "existence", as the negation is much deeper than being a mere verbal one. Finally, the choice of the word "whisper" has its audio indication which confirms that the word can create the concept of heroism and awaken peoples as the candle does to light, . Metaphors, similes and rhetorical metaphorical language, in general, vary in order to reflect the depth of the


psychological dimension in Shosha's experience toward his friend and its effect on nature in general and Lebanon in particular. Metaphors in "carrying in his deep heart closed world", "the wishborn and love is a wing", "heroism is an arm", and finally "the story of his


Gomaa 85 affection was born" inspire the feelings of hope and optimism unlike the metaphors of Larkin which convey the sense of optimism. In spite of the wretched assassination, wishes, love, determination and championships are employed physically to pave the way for the new birth of the story which will throw its triumphant shadows over Lebanon, as a result, fire is raised and Nero is destroyed. Other metaphors emerge to perform the same function as the "light" became a tool employed by the word that comes out of the lips of the rebel who himself is, to "wash", , "the dark ways". It is obvious that Shosha integrates what is seen and

what is felt, as "washing" here is not for dirty as much it is to remove the darkness that lies in the dark ways and hearts as well
Then the poet turns to the descriptive verbal connotations employing words such as wind, bridges, and the psychological connotations like in "longings and joys" and the metaphysical ones in the souls, to draw for us a complete image of the effect of the word and the survival of Naseebs poetic and revolutionary entity even after his death. Moreover, the two metaphors: , "a shot stops heart" and "a shot awakens people",

, come in a successive repetition without any breaks and in the same syntax "a subject", then a verb comes as a predicate for the subject to confirm that death is never meant in its abstract sense; paradoxically, life comes from death as the shot revived Lebanon, killed Naseeb and converted lands into optimistic visions. In addition, the visual images extend through the , "light", and , "candle", carrying tension with other adverse visual

images, such as "clothes of mourning" in order to emphasize that the concept of hope emerges


within the moments of death. Soon, the poet confirms this meaning in "and live", as after birth, coming from the womb of death, it is spontaneous that one realizes that only through sacrifices made by martyrs, "life becomes desire" and whisper becomes heroism,


Gomaa 86 . Thus, Shosha can infuse hope in life despite of the fact of death; through the

sacrifices of Naseeb the light came, heroism was born and free people gathered. The experience of Naseeb with its privacy echoes Shoshas concept towards both death and life. Shosha reflects this through a comprehensive experience of understanding the relation between life and death while maintaining the privacy of conscience and feelings in accepting both of them. The spirit of Abdul Saboor emerges in the poem "The Journey Completed" through his words to break the barrier of non-existence; as the late poet had an important role in the
life of his colleges in particular and the people in general, even after his death. Shosha

stresses the plural pronoun and the present continuous tense in "you are talking to them" and "we are calling you" as "them" indicates words while "you" refers to Salah Abdul Saboor. The poet highlights the role of Abdul Saboors poetry even after his death. His voice comes amid crowd with its clarity and purity aiming at coherence and unity among people. When Shosha and his companions sink in sadness and chaos, the leading role of Abdul Saboor comes to ....... pour(s) clarity inside us and give(s) us placid gesture. Once again, Shosha breaks the barrier of non-existence through the poetry of Abdel Sabour and its role in the life of his readers. Then Shosha addresses Abdeul Saboor as if he were alive wondering how his state is, amid this world full of sorrow, loss, hunger and false wishes. Shosha depicts Abdul Saboors expected reaction on feeling sad, lost and on realizing that he is unable and all around him are lost and hungry, rushing as ghosts from every door. Moreover, the pessimistic miserable descriptive image is completed when Shosha describes wishes as void and the time when he lived died and the death of Abdul Saboor is due to the deceitful killer,


. Then the poet describes Abdul Saboour's reaction toward these tragedies and

sorrows that snap his chest and rub his mattresses burning him. Thus, Salah Abdul


Gomaa 87 Saboor gets his soul free from its prison to practice its role that was previously performed while he was alive. Shosha directly shows the role of Abdul Saboor before and after his death to destroy this barrier between to be and not to be:
You preferred to turn back to let youramazing journey come back to us,

as you previously always came back,-with abundant hunting and great sorrow, and a grumble rapping the sleeping people, to make them explode or die,
and two eyes looking forward to the bridges of the impossible, with their pupils sparking with flame,

lighting and feeding from the oil of your violated temple

The role played by the poetry of Abdel Sabour represented in

abundant hunting

and great sheds the light on the misery which fills the world around him. He came with "his
grumble that awakens sleeping" and his eyes which are full of hope, which once seemed

impossible. The sacrifice is presented like the light of hope which stems out from the dead body of Abdul Saboor. Again, Shosha uses the impact of Abdel Sabour's poetry in uprooting
the masks of oppression replacing them with the beautiful light. Then he concludes this

part by the fact that Salah Abdul Saboor died, but only physically as received a stray bullet The second part of the poem has an implicit confession of Shosha that the poetry of Abdul Saboor has ended, he assures that Abdul Saboor's end or the stop of his writings was due to his plan not because of his death. He realized that his society was surrounded by many conditions which make the words sterilized. Shosha addresses him in a great skill, portraying


his ingenuity and how important he was in his time: O, you knight without an armor or a barricade O, you Sindbad without citadels.


Gomaa 88
O, you king who was known by justmeasurement, poetry, and sincere mates. And intelligent have come to his arena. And later, fake propagandists occupy it.

He describes Abdul Saboor as a knight, Sindbad and as a king on contrary to the fake propagandists who occupied the throne of poetry after his death, Shosha admits that the death of Abdul Saboor is considered a loss for the Arabic poetry. The last lines in this part come as a direct declaration of the unique role which Abdul Saboor has played amongst those who surrounded him.
Whom for the water carrier, the repenters, the aspirant and the friends. You were the one who irrigates them from your courtesy. You filled them with the flame of life. You lift them where you are.

And you were there, faraway, unique and peerless.

In another part of the poem, Shosha affirms that death is a ritual fact confessing that it is one of the laws of God. Through describing Abdul Saboor as "time of poetry", the word time, comes indefinite to prove the face of nonexistence in the poem, this is assured

in "examine the last letter in it". But soon Shosha summons the physical presence of Abdul Saboor in "Martyr of the Word" and "when we get confined, we see you, our eye never fails in you shrouded / we get near to you, fly around you and you contemplate in us and classify us / you push away the liar off your door". The duration of the poetical experiment of Abdul Saboor and its role in society clash with the feeling of exile and melancholy. But, it comes back again playing its role for a period of time when its literary role is necessary to push away


the fake poetry rejecting slander and word nonsense within the society. His reaction to the lies alleged around him is "the gather up" and to raise his forehead concerned,


Gomaa 89
but still , "charmed with passion" and "killed by the

fence of wisdom". This interference between the opposite cycles of both existence and nonexistence in the poem indicates that Shosha realizes Abdul Saboor's role in the poetical field; whether he was alive or dead, as he may be physically dead, however, his writings shall live forever playing its effective role in the modern dark, and miserable civilian life. Shosha excelled in establishing the tension in all different levels of the poem, between the fact of the death of Abdul Saboor, and the priority of his poetry to play its leading role up to the level of summoning Abdul Saboor's soul himself; as a reaction to what goes on earth of forgery, lie, injustice and pessimism. On the literal level there are antithetical verbs that oppose like "see you, meet us, come to you, give us" which all describe the fact of to be whether

physical or poetical, which oppose other verbs as

"we examine the last letter in it, and close its page, you watered them". This tension comes to its utmost in the reformation revolution which Abdul Saboor and his poetry held against all , ,

the surrounding miserable circumstances; the society is full of

, "crowd" "sadness" void "wishes" "zygote clouds" and its talk sounds like the "barking" of dogs, beside, its people are

, "naked and hungry" they look like

ghosts, and the dormant all wait for the poetry of Abdul Saboor to be corrected and reformed. For example, there are those "water carriers" and "repenters" who wait to be


watered by his words and also that "liar" who came knocking the door searching for hope and repentance. The picture reaches its utmost strain, it includes a visual and literal presentations of Abdul Saboor, and his spiritual and poetical existence, also his kinetic movements which


Gomaa 90 make the image like a vivid painting full of humanitarian experiments. For example, the letters" are talking and the voice tastes like dew, even Abdul as if he were a living person, he pours Saboor himself does actions , kind

, purity and gives us

gesture, then he himself gets lost inside his sadness, the creatures shake and shiver around him and he leans to support himself on the only falling wall. However, the persistence of Abdul Saboor is to complete the wonderful journey by admitting the will which breaks death and life borders. He still moves the dormant and removes the coercion mask, unfortunately all these actions are stopped by the Thus, there are two , astray shot.

opposite ideas moving against each other; the one which belongs

to the earthly life with its loudness, injustice and oppression, and the other one which is the opposite because it resists injustice, indicating purity and the achievement of the impossible aspiration. Shosha also depicts two opposite images which highlight the technique of tension; one of them focuses on the positiveness of the dead, Abdul Saboor, and his skeleton or body which he subsists through it to enlighten the way, so his chest being shattered, stabbed in his entrails and burnt because of the scary alienation and finally he is shut by that shot

which killed Naseeb the Lebanese. The other image is negative as it resembles those nudes and hungry ones, or water carriers and repenters. Moreover, Abdul Saboor is by the second person pronoun recalled

, O, you the knight, O, you

Sindbad or O you the king, all these apostrophes bring the role of Abdul Saboor again in the poetic life.
There is no doubt that the aesthetic images or metaphors in this poem do a very


important role in mixing the sensible and the non-sensible, thus, they enlarge the percept of

the receiver. In other words, as Dr. Mohammed Nagib El Telawy has assured this fact in his book Formative Poem in the Arabic Poetry or :


Gomaa 91 In addition to the metaphorical dimension, we find that realization is a complete experience for the receiver which can add more if the receiver uses his percept beyond the intuition level, then every drawn letter and printed word at the white sheet seems as if it is an expression of the mind which has produced it. Then, conscious and the non-conscious will be mixed and become expressive material, so it is important to search for percept methods equivalent to the attempts of the poetic formation (53)

Thus, when we dive into the letters and are talking with them, we make it as our nation and our people at the same time. In Shoshas case, there is an individual poetic formula which is reflected through the metaphors to clarify the idea; it is not the refusal of the idea of Abdul Saboors death, that he intends rather than an attempt for twinning life and death in forms like
( ), voice, books, poetry, inspiring role..etc.. He employs

the voice here as something which has a taste and this is an implicit metaphor where the poet mixes between hearing and tasting in a metaphysical way. Shosha starts to express his philosophy embodying the fact that life includes death which means death is an integral part
of life realizing that life extends and steps are really

huge. The extension of life here is a neat poetic image of Shosha which enables us to accept bringing back the poetic and physical presence of Abdul Saboor even if it is just imaginative as Shosha does not admit death as a boundary of life.


Moreover, the personification in metaphor

, sadness is stormed us, then the

, grant us the kind gesture, mirror the psychological role of


Gomaa 92 Abdul Saboor during this darkness which assassinates our happiness. Besides, the metaphor , pours purity on us is a compound metaphor, as he likens humans to

utensil of purity and water and it reflects clearly the recipients, readiness and need to be directed and reformed. Then he represents Abdul Saboor's sacrifice through personalizing in the form of a slaughterer who tears chest and stabs the intestines. Other

metaphors are repeated in

, lights and feeds on your

unrestricted oil to show how much Abdul Saboor got morally exhausted when he moralizes through his poetry even after his death. Additionally, Shosha has metaphorized hopes as having a fake lightning because they are elusive. That is to show how Abdul Saboor took

off the oppression masks, which is another metaphor. Only Shosha could draw the painful reality after the retirement and death of Abdul Saboor which is reflected in the image of the
clouds which are full of darkness so they hide nothing except depression and injustice. Hence, Abdul Saboor appears at the rule of leadership through many striking metaphors

which make the abstract to be concrete and vice versa like irrigating them from your courtesy, , perfume overwhelming by its spray, enthrall of love, , you are a time

, you were for verse,

, slaughtered by the

, killed by the fences of wisdom, all show the living

entity of Abdul Saboor then Shosha reverses the whole line of thought through a movement towards the appearance shown through words like killing and slaughtering; this is to give


the feeling of inconstancy of both life and death. The poem is full of movements which are shown within certain verbs with all the different tenses, sometimes these verbs indicate reflexive, rebound, circular or repeated


Gomaa 93 movement. For example dive, and lost have the same indefinite movement direction but not the same psychological effect as dive is done out or our will, but loss is not. Moreover, , storming us out is a continuous present movement of sadness and it shows its lifetime continuity and the loss of hope. movement opposite to , , meet you is an opposite

, get lost and grant us. The loss non-definite

movement is followed by many other actions, denoting chaos: murder of pride, the slope of the ground, shaking of creatures and revolving of the moments. Those movements are all a result of the temporary feeling of getting lost but then a circular movement came to fix the way through amazing journey. Then the movements end in you pefected to turn to complete your , repel(ing) the liar and , come(ing) closer

, rais(ing) your forehead and out movements end in

and get(ing) around you, as he contemplates these movements totally in the present tense to show the continuity or the rebounding and dodging which reach their utmost through "the extension of life. In another poem entitled The Poet of the Sharp Bayonets or
Shosha laments Amal Donqol; this elegy is a mixture of praise and lament so it reflects

Shosha's personal uniqueness despite its general poetic experience. The reason of this uniqueness as Dr. Salama has written is that Shosha had lived with a great generation of the Egyptian pioneers who affected literary, intellectual, political and social life. When they died,


they left special feelings of sadness and bitterness inside the poet. Thus, all these bitter feelings represented moral and intellectual values and being paid a very high level of attention. (173). In a romantic modern frame, Shosha has integrated both the poetic modern


Gomaa 94 experience and the poetic romantic situation although we can find that the poetic modernism is incompatible with the romantic experience, but Shosha has depended on the external impulses to excite the inside conscience that interacts with the outside world then rebounds to the outside again in the shape of poetry and aesthetic forms. Accordingly, the death of Amal Donqol with all its realistic and imaginary components is reflected on Shosha's psychological and intellectual realms, so, everything has been reshaped in a new and a familiar poetic form; Dr. Mohammed Abd-El Motleb confirms this process in his essay under the name From the Poetic Experience to the Poetic Cases and Situations: We have mentioned that the poetics of modernism is incompatible with the romantic poetic experience, so, we notice that romanticism claims its absolute loyalty to the innate psyche and this cant be accepted by its self-concept. But this concept is doubted according to some respects; in terms of the experience as being a deep impression towards specific situation which yields to its complete approval to it and the experience isnt restricted to the presence of the external situation, but it needs three productive centers that work together, the first: the outer area which we have referred to before with all of its realistic and imaginary components. The second center is the inside area and it symbolizes an attraction area for the first center, when both of them achieve together the
psychological and intellectual interaction which is unbalanced


as we can notice that the predominance of the inside area over the outer one so that it can rephrase the outside to be compatible with it. The third center is: symbolized in the


Gomaa 95 rebound or the reversed movement of the aforementioned two areas together towards the outside again to rephrase aesthetic specifications that are paradoxically familiar or statement forms (239).

Thus, the elegiac experiences which Shosha has passed are just reversed reflection to both the inside and the outside interacted together. He mixes praising and melancholy with the psychological and intellectual frame. Finally, we can see through a mirror through which
both the concepts of modernism and romanticism are mixed together. When Shosha calls

Amal Donqol the poet of the sharp bayonets, it is an intellectual and sentimental experience reflected in the form of a poetic form.

Self-presence extends to the verb keep me in distance from you so the image here include both Shosha and Donqol together separated by the long bayonets, the verb

was is an implicit confession of the physical non-existence of the poet Amal Donqol, and the symbol of the sharp bayonets refers to the sarcastic poetic style which was adopted by Donqol and Shosha approved it in ,and your violent sarcasm was when

your voice began; this sarcastic approach was a main reason for the distance that separates between them, but not for a long time as Shosha waiting

your effused clarity come back to men. Shosha uses this image to evaluate the aesthetic aspects of Donqols poetry and personality.


Hence, Shosha started to list, in a group of distinguished lines, the response of the private and the general experience together in the poems registering such combat between the inside and outside. He describes Donqol in a way that mixes his psychological, intellectual


Gomaa 96 and moral sides. For his face on getting angry, becomes happy soon which proves his spontaneous instinct and purity. His weak body is full of amiability and his chest is full of affection and kindness, beside, his heart has the capacity of the whole world and the flow of the sea, he is the refuge of the homeless day and night. If the experience started from the past form of to be, , was, the second part extended to the present tense that shows the continuous of we get around, so Donqol is now a pioneer of leadership,

as whatever the whole world with all its concerns, horrors and sadness becomes a reason for forgetting and being distant from him, people never stop getting back to the pioneer poet whose rule extends after his death. Continuously and permanently his poetry performs its role of leadership: your hands stretch, to take our hands so we wipe off. Then, Shosha depicts one of the main differences between Shosha and his peers versus Donqol, when his face recoils the feverish and his voice which is silent and broken becomes like , the vulture, later Shosha writes that this silent facial uprising is transformed into his revolutionary poetry against society indicating his disapproval to all social attributes and the literary social styles of the environment during his age. He challenged all his torment of oppression. This opposition ends in psychological dimension you are -against the closed door/ stronger than us and this is accompanied by a moral feeling of shame. Then, Shosha portrays, in the third part, the conflict between the rebellious Donqol and all the contemporary deteriorating principles; as the time is servile and free of pride and dominated by fools, pretenders and pranksters and owned by populace and tyrants". This time is full of fools and its prophets are metamorphosis so we can only find disobedient


impolite people or thieves. Amid this amount of corruption we find Donqols voice as courageous as thunderbolt, and warns people against the plague and some of those foes who come to be false friends. Hence, Donqol shot his bullet connoting his satirical poems which


Gomaa 97 criticize , the languishers and the disabled as they looked like dwarfs in

front of the giants (his poems). The human problematic of choice comes in I chose to be"; Donqol here makes a starting point and for him, it is not a problematic as he announces the beginning of clash and pluck, .

The effect of Donqol extending after his death is shown in the fourth part when Shosha writes your noble perfume, which some people thought it will never smell because of death, but it cant be measured with death dimension as death is just an extension of life. Here is Donqol is crossing the fence of captivity. Yet, his peers search for him or search for a sign to bring them back to the right direction, then Donqols body is buried, indicating its disappearance, in dust while leaving pulsatile free poetry which peeves his enemies. You leave as withers
Running toward the faraway dust of Upper Egypt Filled with all the spelt wisdom and verse

And all what you saved of fire and burning flames And all pride you clinged with Dont look around, there is nobody at the universe they are all corrupted Clowns become.poets!

On the level of imagery, we find that the title of the poem includes synecdoche of the sharp bayonets which refers to Donqols poems where he used to criticize everybody around him. In the fourth line your violent sarcasm, refer to those pungent poems. The

tension within the figurative language lies in the contrast between the implicit metaphor effused clarity that oppose in its implications those stemming from sharp bayonets.


Shosha depicts Donqols image within his poetry through war vocabulary which dominate the first part of the poem, for example, the long bayonets, your battle, dual which are related to


Gomaa 98 war atmosphere that reveals how Donqol during his life was fighting corruption. Although all these descriptive modes belong to Donqol before his death; Shosha insisted on portraying another image of Donqol described through visual words like his furious face and his thin
body. The metaphor of your chest full of shades wave inside the ribs,

that symbolizes how was the character of Donqol as a human different from his sharp character as a critic who resists injustice and corruption, the heart becomesrich orchards, is another metaphor where Shosha symbolizes

Donqols heart as a green garden that everyone wants to hide under its shade, day and night. These images in the first part of the poem indicate the individual experience of Donqol and Shoshas feelings towards this dead He makes of the dead a living image despite his death The second part depicts another vivid image of Donqol, but this time the scene

gathers Donqol, while he is living, surrounded by the rest of his contemporaries in a wonderful poetic image to gather in a circle around you, . It is a reference to the

extension of hope, leadership and guidance. However, this altitude is encountered by a violent collision of the painful death which Shosha referred to as the Promised Star passed away,
, then Shosha portrays the physical disappearance of Donqol.


Gomaa 99

Then Shosha moves to depict Donqol's role in the literary life through a certain poetic image that increases the tension between the poet's life achievements and his death, despite his death, he still contemplates and classifies and helps the rest of the poets.

is another metaphor which expresses the role of Donqol in exploring the psychological defeat that pent-up tears in the eyes. In addition, the personification in your silence exposes us shows us that this generation of poets who lack the guide. Despite of his silence, his effect still exists, he "exposes" and makes the facial "features" collapse. While aesthetic images depict the tension between the "to be" and "not to be" as in spite of the death of Donqol, his
face and his voice rise up, and the conversion of the sound into a materialistic object in

"muted cracked sound" shows the contradiction between death and life and the positive and the negative. The simile in "rise up violently as eagle" proves that the poetry of Amal Donqol is still vivid and practices its role defying oppression. Then, the scene where Shosha starts this part by gathering Donqol with the rest of his contemporaries, where Donqol triumphs by his poetry and its positivity in spite of his death over the other poets, who do nothing except

being ashamed. In the third part of the poem, the tension extends throughout between two contradictory concepts: corruption and injustice while the other is Donqol resisting voice which is still outstanding in front of them even after his death, the visual images that reflect the corruption are like the "fools" who came out of "their holes", the pretenders from their "cracks" and the "deceivers" who appear in every "parade and yard", beside, there are "the mobs, the tyrants, the impudent, the disobedient, the thieves, the dwarfs, the enemies and the disabled", the voice of Donqol resists all these people in "prickly thundering courageous


tone". Shosha has personified Donqols voice despite of his death as "bullet" which is a metaphor of the satiric poems written by Donqol. He describes the epidemic or the plague


Gomaa 100 as a monster driven off by Donqol's voice. Then, the metaphor in "our furnished era is full of mud and mines", , here, Shosha depicts the time of the fools as

a house full of mud and explosives as an evidence for the social injustice and corruption. There is another image were those decadents stay at the , "the bottom of the

well as sleepers", then Shosha represents the image of war once more at the end of this part when he shows Donqol's poetry as "sharp bayonets" in a clash with those fools willfully

, like as Battalion of shock and pluck. Then, the tension and the clash between the time of shame and ugliness, injustice and oppression on one side, and the moralizing mission of the voice of Donqol on the other side. The metaphor in
, "when we fall in the tyranny nets" shows the amount of the injustice that has

spread over the country like a

, "nets" and then he contrasts this image with another one

which is "your nole perfume will be scented/blowing off behind the captivity fences" through which Shosha depicts Donqol's voice as perfume which blows off behind captivity, declaring its freedom. Shosha displays the effect of this voice on the rest like the "drowned". These heads (metaphorically of poets or his role as a "beam" that guides people to the right path. Also, of the poets whose heads are people) search for Donqol and the metaphor in

"become in the hand of wind" depicts people/s fate without Donqol. Then, Shosha concludes his poem in the fact that Donqol meets its end "you depart westerly/ ardent to the remote dust in Upper Egypt" the contrast between the body of the dead Donqol and his ardent movement


within the dust illustrates the paradox between the death of the poet and the life of his poetry. Moreover, there is a personification in "to be anointed or be rubbed with what he got out from wisdom and poetry" portrays Donqol's corpse like a living creature who composes


Gomaa 101 poetry and is filled with "flame and burning coals" indicating that Donqol's poetry is still strongly burning in revenge against this universe in which "everything is corrupted". The last image in the poem is a realistic one reflecting corruption in terms of the literary life "and clowns became .... Poets!". On the vocabulary level, the problematic "to be and not to be" overwhelms the whole poem in its different parts represented in the physical death of Donqol while his poems exist fighting against corruption and injustice in a time dominated by the tyrants and the fools. The vocabulary of war determines the whole poem starting from the title of the poem "Sharp Bayonets " which symbolize the satiric poems written by Donqol when he was still alive. "The splendor of the combat and fight", represents the role of Donqol in

fighting the roots of oppression. Afterwards, the word "bullet", as a reference to his poetry, fights the disabled and crouched people like dwarfs. Finally, the phrase "Battalion of shock and pluck" indicates life of Donqol through his poetry in spite of his death. The role of the

poet Donqol represented in his confrontation with the jesters of this era is shown in verbs in present tense to revive his spirit, in spite of his death, such as "contemplates us- classifies us", "rises up", and "guides us to our right destination". Moreover, there is paradox between the era and its corruption and the resistance in the poems of Donqol; this age is full of "the fools, the tyrants, the pretenders, the deceivers, the mobs, the barbarians, the impudent, the disobedient, the thieves, the stagnant people, and the disabled", versus "your effused clarity",
"your long spears", "your chest full of shades", treasures which are decorated, your prick

and fearless voice, and your noble perfume. The contrast between the kingdoms of the night and the vaults of the day, "refers to various moralizing roles of poetry of Donqol. Angry and joyful is an opposition that marks Donqol's unique personality. In addition, the


contradiction between the "enemies - friends", explains the corruption in this age, while the contradiction between "your tallness - dwarfs" reflects the paradox between Donqols


Gomaa 102 greatness and other peoples meaness. The opposition in "blow off behind captures fence" shows the freedom of the poems that exceeds the walls of captures and the corruption. This paradox is repeated in "rushing to the remote dust" which shows his loyalty and belonging to his own nation. Moreover, in his poem An Apology, Shosha mourns the death of Yousif Idris. Again, he expresses the immortality of the life of poetry versus the death of the mortal body.
The title of the poem is given an explanation / , as he expresses

his apology for Idris, yet, it is too late because it comes after his death. The poet admits that there is no time for fighting between Idris on one side, and the rest of the poets on the other side, because death comes to stop all these struggles. The two palms empty from any spears is a symbolic evidence that the attitude is uttered after Idriss death; it is now time of peace and not of war. The poet accuses those poets of being unjust to Idris while he was alive, for their hearts were full of denial and disgrace, . Asking Idris for forgiveness is a challenge to the concept of death, for he is supposed to forgive while he is dead. He is asked to forgive those who criticized him bitterly without understanding. Idris then is depicted as a warrior who went through a war against corruption and injustice. He was chest naked, bold, and bleeding against those semi -men. He resembles the bright star receiving the enemys arrows alone without a partner. Shosha starts the second part by the apostrophe , exceeds the physical boundaries of death to other metaphysical horizons where Idris is available to listen and respond although he is dead. This is how Shosha perceives the concept of both to be and not to be. The poet then evokes the social unity which gathered once both Idris and his society , . The connection between the cycle of the living and Idris as


being dead enlivens the role of Idris as a reformer, which is stressed in , , providing them with his flood, and guiding them with his wisdom. By doing this,


Gomaa 103 Shosha holds a paradoxical link between both the one who is dead, and those who are not, for how he could provide them with guidance and wisdom while he does not exist. This is done through the incorporation of his works with their minds and thoughts. As a result, his
influential ideas and ideals become like trees which have and

.... The word still comes to reflect the continuity of his sympathy with the humanity as he

. In his sacrifice, Idris is compared to the Christ, but this time, our modern savior is crucified on . Shosha then confirms the in-between space between both life and death that Shosha stands in . Shosha moves in part three to his death through his works which are portraying the image of Idris as a guiding figure after followed as ideals, for this reason, his followers have

nothing to worry about, even their poetry is taken as a medical prescription for the social diseases of carelessness and corruption. The poet, then, depicts Idriss voice, his scream, and his wisdom which are now swallowed by those modern writers. For this reason, they regret for leaving him alone in facing the aspects of tyranny and oppression. Moreover, Shosha continues praising Idris, describing him as proud mountain, and . The tone of wonder overwhelms the poet when he announces how the contemporary writes were tricked before, for not standing beside Idris in his war, leaving him bleed alone, ... . Idris was always seen / . He is seen full of sympathy towards us although we never sympathize with him nor stand beside him.
Dr. Mohammed Nageeb Al Talaway confirms in his book that the modern poets consider the old tradition form, poetic purposes, and the rhythm of the inherited poetry as a beautiful restraint, but still, it is some kind of restraint. In addition, these


traditional forms and purposes are not enough to adapt with the mentality and the culture of

the modern poets inspiration and poetic

ambitions, he states:


Gomaa 104 ( 266). If we apply this concept on An Apology, we find that Shosha depends on modern language structures which break the boundary of the poetic heritage. For this reason, Shosha has got rid of the rhythmical musical patterns and the traditional form to express his willed choice in writing an elegy.

Shosha starts the poem by the negative it is not, then , then , as if

someone asks an implicit question at the beginning of the poem

, this question may be directed by Idris himself. The suppositions implied in two

indefinite words and indicate and signify different interpretations for what and why they are. Then, Shosha gives alternatives or certain equivalents for , which are to state the nature of the struggle between the dead writer and his

contemporary writes. Then, the words of fighting and war come to complete the scene, which vanishes and fades mentally after , which proposes the presence of the image of death, as an inevitable fact. Then, death comes to change the individualistic and subjective attitudes , to another stage of regret and the psychological torture when they realized that they once caused him injustice .
These structures, either noun phrases of verb phrases, fit the modern poetic purposes of

lamenting, elegy and regret.

Their own regret for devaluating him subjectively or artistically is perceived through

which indicates a psychological dimension which reaches its climax in asking him for forgiveness . This sentence is followed by negation


They did not know you, this negation is repeated again , these two negatives imply the climatic moments of lamenting and regret as well. Shosha moves to describe Idris in striking adjectives which are adequate with the atmosphere of war, as courageous or (bold), bleeding, and chest naked signify his courage in facing those


Gomaa 105

corrupted and tyranny people. The glory and the greatness of Idris are displayed in his pursuit beyond the top, / . Shosha explores Idriss sacrifice and his care for social problems , , all are sympathy towards his society. Moreover, in a group of references to his humanity and marvelous similes, the poet

emphasizes the moral and the critical role after being united with other writers:
... ... ...

These images trees, grass and breeze indicate being an endless source of charity, guidance and goodness. In addition, the image of Idris being crucified exposes the sacrifice

he offered throughout his life, and it still provides humanity with its idealist modes. In the third part, Shosha employs the stylistic structures including the wonder and interrogative implications; the first line includes one word , then many questions follow through the repetitions of how, which is repeated four times. Then, there are many verses initiated by and: !

The repetition of and multiplies the attributes of Idris. Then, in a euphemistic image, as he refers to the death of Idris in a light way, / . These two verses are


illustrated in to portray Idris as a full shaped moon in the sky, but, suddenly, it disappears which symbolizes Idriss death. The absence of the this beauty is announced to deliver a message of excessive melancholy. The use of the past verbs like in


Gomaa 106 , which state the inevitable fact of death, versus other groups of present verbs like in , which imply the problematic of to be and not

to be.

On the metaphorical level, An Apology is a striking portrait of a living image of Idriss works, guidance and leading role even after his physical disappearance. For example, the personification in , where death is personified to portray its

authority over human life. This domineering authority of death is removed or cancelled by the supposition of immortality in the simile as a bright star. Furthermore, the visual imagery reflect the past war and the struggle; as there are a lot of
. Meanwhile, the psychological conflict is marked by the visual image in

. Moreover, the personification in the dream which kneels, , which signifies Idriss uniqueness even after his death. The metaphors or the similes in trees, grass, and breeze expose Idriss relation to nature, which imparts upon him eternal implication connoting refreshment, rebirth and renewal. Furthermore, although the body is dead, Idris still , which are done by a living person and not a dead one. In the third part, there is a metaphor, , where the image of tyranny is compared to a monster which assassinated then once, and now it does the same with Idris himself. The metonymy in or the proud mountain indicates the glory of Idris and his poetry. In addition, there is a religious allusion in crucified to refer to the Christ, signifying the sacrifice of Idris.


Gomaa 107

Chapter two Action and Inaction


Gomaa 108 And indeed there will be time to wonder "Do I dare?" and, "Do I dare?" (37-38) From The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock

Daring to "disturb the universe" is not just the dilemma of both Prufrock and Hamlet - as imaginary literary figures rather than a problematic of the modern man in his general state. Resolution to act and to change the world around needs excessive thinking, which may be translated as some kind of disposition like in Hamlet, who fails to act on his beliefs. Terry Whalen in Philip Larkin and English Poetry, hints that "Ignorance", a poem written by Larkin, includes Hamlet-like situation or suggest a Prufrockian lineage concerning "decisions and imprecisions". The poem consists of three stanzas, with the rhyme scheme "ABBCC" with the same meter. Within the first stanza, Larkin sets the tension between "know nothing" and "someone must know", which conveys the case of human beings as
paradoxical; both knowledge and ignorance dominate their life. The disability of knowing,

the Lack of assurance of "what is true or right or real", and the immediacy and the urgency to know "must", are typically Hamlet like situation. Larkin states within the verses that there is a ghost whose reality is a matter of question. Being ignorant about things which man should know, is the problematic that Larkin like any one feels. Yet, in the second stanza, Larkin gives a panoramic portrait of public ignorance about "the way things work, / their skill at finding what they need / their sense of shape / land punctual spread of seed", and finally "Their willing to change". Steve Clark in his essay "Larkin's Sexual Politics" traces these points of ignorance, and suggests that "the


way things work" is supposed to him the decline of the body. Moreover,

"finding what they

need" is a reference to the desires this body needs. "Punctual spread of seed" is the process of


Gomaa 109 reproduction of birth, and then comes the end of the cycle represented in the ignorance about "willingness to change". Thus, man knows nothing about any physical process that takes place around or within him. Larkin introduces man's defeatism against what happens to him, expressing his unwillingness in the third stanza; when he gives the flesh "decisions" against our

"imprecisions". On separating between "our Flesh" and "us", Larkin assures that we are in no control of anything, or any process within us. The climax of our ignorance happens when we start to die, we don't know even why: "That when we start to die/ Have no idea why". Tension, ambiguity and irony beside Perfect use of the stylistic features dominate the whole of the poem; for example, from the very beginning tension is set obviously between the process of "knowing", and the process of "Not knowing", between our state of "be" ignorant, and our "must" state of being in the second stanza. Irony is raised, stemming out from our supposed knowing of the work of things, their needs, their shapes, and how they are reproduced and change, and our actual ignorance about them. "Yes, it is strange" at the end of the stanza stresses this ironical tone. Then, paradox increases the tempo of tension in the third stanza; for how it is our flesh, and it has decisions opposite to our imprecisions which we adopt throughout our life. This antithesis between "decisions" and "imprecisions" is what constitutes our human problematic. Larkin tackles this subject in a very unique way; for how we are exposed to certain processes either physical or mental and they are all out of our control, how we are supposed then to perform, react or event or decide! Knowledge is our flesh's, we just wear it "Even to wear such knowledge", without perceiving nor conceiving. "Have no idea why" is a stative phrase ensuring our fatal ignorance even when death comes.


The poem consists of many phrases "strange to now", "never to be sure", "But forced to qualify", "Their skill ", etc. This form of gathering these phrases in a certain sequence


Gomaa 110

gives the readers a sense spontaneous motivation of writing. The third stanza includes two main sentences with a subject and a verb "our flesh surround ..", and "when we start ", posing these two subjects together in such a way, stresses the fact of our unwillingness or out-of-control state which makes us passive, negative and inactive. The same meaning is
highlighted through the metaphor "Even to wear such knowledge", as knowledge becomes

like our skin or some kind of clothes, related to our body not us. The use of some lexes is very significant; for example, the variety in the nature of the spheres of our ignorance is shown within what is "true", related to our beliefs and cults, "right", related to our morality, and "real" which is related our existence or being. Ignorance, thus, is an excuse for why we are negative or do not have the ability to act nor to react; that is because we have no willingness of the things nor processes, which occur either within or around us. We are doomed with ignorance and wait for death, without even knowing why were we born?, and "why are we dying?. Clark comments on the poem writing. "Larkin resorts the disclaimers, statements about ignorance, handled with a scrupulous sense of paradox". (105) Moreover, many critics confirm that Larkin has his own ghost like Hamlet; but for Larkin it is the ghost of death. This spectre of death makes him sway between hope and despair, reality and illusion, acting or waiting. The process of waiting is a common event for both Hamlet and Larkin, as for us too. Humans are waiting for many things in their lives, but disappointment and frustration are the only comers. Within "Next, please", Larkin introduces a mediate stage between both inaction and action, it is the stage of waiting and expectancy which paralyses man's ability to act and fix him in such space of waiting till death comes. Regan comments: ".. "Next, please" powerfully renders the dramatic shock of existential experience as it breaks through all our habitual attempts to conceal the spectre of death" (39)


Whalen also states that "Next, please" brings Larkin close to Johnson in the sense both of them explore the vanity of humanity either in waiting wishing or expecting. The


Gomaa 111 poem comprises six quatrains with similar rhyme "AABB". Within the first stanza, ambiguity is established: Always two eager for the future, we pick up bad rabbits of expectancy. Something is always approaching; everyday Till then, we say.

Paradox arises from "Always too eager" habit, and how this habit is bad, and we are still performing or doing it. The word "Always" is repeated twice to represent the continuation of the process as part of human nature. "Something" refers to the sense of suspense which is removed by the second quatrain when the poet grasps the arm of the reader showing him which is coming. On the metaphorical level, the poet is such a guard or a guide on a lighthouse showing the reader "Man", the ship full of promises coming through the sea, they stand on a "bluff", observing "sparkling armada of promises" drawing near. The word "sparkle" gives us a sense of appearance versus reality, and establishes a tension which is discovered by the end of the poem, when "sparkle is turned to" "a black sailed unfamiliar" vessel. Again, the processes of "being", "wasting", "refusing" and "hasting" are related to the vessel not Man. This proves that Man has no will to do or act. All what he knows is "nothing" which is stated in "Ignorance". Man waits out of his ignorance of knowledge which he must know, but things are out of his control. The ships are slow, wasting a lot of time, never hasting. All what man does in return is to wait. These ships leave us in frustration "holding wretched stalks of disappointment", the


choice of the word "stalk" is to reveal how we have potential to act, but vessels come with nothing. We are left with only potential and no time to fulfill it. The third and the fourth quatrains describe the process of the supposed arrival of the ships of "hopes" which enable us


Gomaa 112 later to act. Larkin cares for physical and visual description of the vessels" big approach, brass work, rope, flagged figurehead with golden tits," This shop reaches its harbor, yet, it does not "anchor(s), it just "arches our way", although it comes before the last moments of our life, before death, it leaves again: "No sooner present than it turns to past / Right to the last". The climatic attitudes of disappointment and frustration mixed with the severe ironical tone are formulated with the fifth stanza, where "we", as a subjective pronoun, showing up for the first time in the poem, appears to "heave" and "unload", all the good "hopes and promises" of the ship into our life. Yet, waiting "devoutly" and "so long" is discovered to be wrong thinking. The craftsmanship in the use of the naval lexis and images makes the failure in expectancy felt bitterly. Apparently, the ships will dock and deliver their alluring cargo which was once described as "sparkle armada of promises", yet "we are wrong" sums up that we do not get such delivery, whether material, or sexual, all are in vain. Waiting should be rewarded "we are owed", we should move from such dry point of mediation between inaction and action. But our promises leave us, without fulfillment and we do not catch time to another "waiting", because death approaches as "only one ship is seeking us". Again, Larkin seizes the naval image of a ship, with black sails. The last stanza is the climax of irony. Waiting was some kind of temptation to meet death, which comes with "A huge and birdless silence". It comes with no motion nor celebration. The ship is eerie and sinister. It is Johnson's vanity of human wishes that the poem proves. Larkin's employment of the naval extended metaphorical portrait increases the feelings of frustration, the tone of irony and the paradoxical attitude of the poet. In other words, the poem may be narrated in such a way; "sparkling armada of promises" is carried on


the board of "flagged", ship with "golden tits". Humans are waiting on the pavement "to pick up bad habits of expectancy" and to "heave" and unload "all good into" their lives, as they


Gomaa 113 "are owed" for waiting. Yet, irony comes to frustrate them; the ship "never anchors". Instead, another "black", unfamiliar vessel "with" a huge and birdless silence" delivers them death in silence. The climatic irony in the last stanza is represented in that instead of receiving the promises as rewards of their waiting, they receive death. The use of the comprehensive naval process of waiting for delivery, and then its failure makes Larkin close to the school of imagism of Ezra Pound and Sylvia Plath. Moreover, from Russian formalist approach, the whole naval operation which is used metaphorically to express the failure of human promises is defamiliarized. The use of some metaphors "wretched stalks of disappointment", " sparkling armada of promises", and "towing at her back / A huge and birdless silence" is to enrich the psychological feelings of
frustration and inevitability. Larkin within this poem, explores not only the passivity of

human beings, but also, of himself. People do not act or even react, they stand in a space of negativity between the two spheres. It is the process of "nothing to do" and "nothing not to do" which Larkin and Human beings do, especially in relation to their own hopes, and prospective promises. Moreover, the poem "Toads" offers another different attitude of Larkin in a positive way towards acting according to the social system represented in "work". Throughout the poem, Larkin holds a comparison between two different categories, those who "escape" from work, and "I" which is reference to Larkin himself who is committed to work. Thus, "Toads" represents Larkin's commitment to the social system acting in a positive way, and not like the attitudes of both "Ignorance" nor "Next, please". Within "Toads", Larkin employs his craftsmanship as a symbolist; he symbolizes


work in two different images of two Toads; one for people who look down to work, and the others one lying inside himself; which make him have all what he wishes, within a social context. He offers double vision, social and personal, in a context of positive and negative


Gomaa 114

acceptance of work. For this reason, "Toads" is an exposure of Larkin's symbolist gift, and his social vision, opposite to his personal view. He mixed between reality and symbolism. Whalen comments on Larkins concept of reality: Reality is present in the typical modernist masterpiece, but it is transformed into an objective correlative for a rarefied statement about the poet's spiritual quest. In short, and

simplifying quite deliberately, there is a way in which the modernist purchase on reality, at its most symbolist height, mines reality for symbol rather than bodying forth reality as a living presence. The world of the modernist poem is not the familiar world; it is a landscape of the mind in which concrete metaphors, images and symbols act as the signifiers of a complex spiritual internality. (95)

Such a kind of poetry mixes between the world of the internal psyche of the poet and the outside world. In "Toads", there are two Toads; one of them is external and the other one exists inside the poet himself. The poem comprises nine-four lines stanzas. They are divided semantically into five stanzas for the description of the first toad and the reactions of variable classes of people towards it and the second division includes the last four stanzas devoted to the internal toad and the poet's reaction to it. In the first stanza, the poet establishes the main tension in the poem, which will be highlighted more by the end of the poem. The tension within the first quatrain is totally personal and individualistic; it is the tension between the poet's


commitment to work and using wit to escape from it. Symbolically, toad symbolizes work, and "squat" refers to how "work" works out in us; its relation to us is kind of "squatting".


Gomaa 115 "Pitchfork" is a very significant word, cunningly, it refers to the poet's wit to "escape" such ugly brute "work". On the syntactic level, the two questions "why should ?", and "can't I use.?", propose such hesitation within Larkin which does not prevail till the end of the poem like other poems, but it vanishes by the sixth stanza, after careful inspection and acceptance of the true beauty of work. The choice of "the toad" as a metaphor for "work" may have some mythical origin; it may be a toad, thus it has two reference to such a prince in the fairy tale who is transformed into interpretations; the exterior which is ugly, and the interior which is

beautiful. The use of the "pitchfork" as a simile for "wit" is also revealing because it may be used to pick something or fend off a foe. The second stanza moves from the internal tension inside the poet, to the description of the first exterior toad, with its influence on people. Toad's influence is linked to "sickening poison", which people spend "six weeks" bearing it for the sake of "paying a few bills!". The ironical tone controls the line of thought and is affirmed in the last line "That's out of proposition". The tension appears again, by the coming of the third quatrain, represented in two attitudes towards work; those who escape it finding it poisonous and not worthy, and the poets stand which will show up at the end of the poem. The first category are named in an alliterated form to convey their affinity "Lots of folk live on their wits/ lectures, lispers, / losels, Loblolly-men, louts". "Wit" is not only a pitchfork but also a tool for those people to escape. The fourth and the fifth quatrains have a causal logical relation with the third because they are its direct result. Larkin examines the poor who seem to escape work, they eat "wind falls", and "tinned sardines"; the first represents the idea of being filled with nothing, and the


second is a reference to the severe poverty. There is another category of "nippers" which is metonymy for the children, who may be partially naked and malnourished.


Gomaa 116 In the section of five stanzas, Larkin portrays those whose wit fail them instead of make them succeed, here, lies the paradox. They use their wit to have "nippers", "unspeakable wives" and "tinned sardines" instead of improving their lives. The simile in "as whippets" introduces animal image within the picture full of naked children and silent wives. The metaphor in "Eat windfalls" is to convey how they are fed up with illusion. There is no use of "caesura" except in the stanza where he multiplies those who have the negative attitude. This shortage of the use of "commas" may give hint to the chaotic nature and disturbed mentality of those people. The other section introduces the other member of tension "I" which starts a personal hesitation, "Ah, were I courageous enough", "To shout stuff your pension". Yet, here, Larkin dares to explore the answer, and to cancel all the possibilities of failure unlike those who are mentioned above. His willingness stems out from his psychological depth and imaginative sphere " that's the stuff/ That dreams are made on", "pension" needs to accept

"squatting" of the toad inside himself. The process of "squatting", this time, includes "heaviness" "as hard luck", coldness "as snow". These two similes echo the non-existence of the pitchfork of wit. Persistence and patience are the tools by which he can get his rewards "The fame, and the girl, and the money". This part of the poem opposes the concept of not delivering the goods in "Next, please". The fame, the girl and the money may be equal the good on the board, and not to be delivered. The last stanza established another important tension between the two kinds of toads, but it is set and seen according the two natures; "the physical", which the first category views, and "The imaginative" which the poet reconsiders. Larkin in a very positive attitude gathers the two kinds of toads together: "One's spiritual truth/ But I do say it's hard to lose either /


when you have both". Pagan comments on the last part of the poem writing:


Gomaa 117
The closing stanza is blatantly equivocal, insisting that while

the physical nature of work does not necessarily justify the appeal of an imaginary release, it cannot altogether do without it. In the end, the two attitudes to work commitment and escape are presented not so much as alternatives dependent ideals as mutually

. The final effect of the

poem's antithetical structure. "one" other"/ bodies spiritual / either both" is to mystify rather than clarify the issues at stake. (86)

Moreover, Regan comments on the words "spiritual truth", confirming that they are a reminder that "Larkin's political liberalism is closely related to an increasing widespread agnosticism in the post-War year". The poem, thus, manifests Larkin's positive move towards the freedom of being active or even inactive instead of waiting. If Hamlet reacts against Polonius and the pirates, Larkin reacts against those who consider "Toad" burden. But on the personal level, this toad work does not satisfy him till the end, he returns again to passivity and non-fulfillment, Maeve Brennan admits in her book The Philip Larkin: I Knew that: When the poetic muse deserted him in the last few years of his life, personal sorrow took over and his soul became once more trapped in the dark recesses of his own mind. By the mid1970s, feeling that he had also given of his best professionally, even "the toad work" no longer afforded the challenge and fulfillment it had once done (135)


Gomaa 118 In a serious and grave move towards "action", Larkin, the atheist, attacks and criticizes the church. In "church Going", "Faith healing" and "Water", Larkin embodies his own ideas concerning the church and its role as a religious institution. The title of "Church Going" is some kind of a pun; as it may refer to annihilation of the role of the church, or it may mean "going to church". Critics confirm that these three poems belong to the post Christian period, when the church became part of the secular and not religious tradition. Finally, it may also mean the customs that keep the church alive. The poem consists of seven nine line stanzas with strict rhyme (ABABCADCD), and rhythm (iambic tetrameter.) The narrator is also an atheist who goes to a church, wanders around, and leaves unsatisfied. This dissatisfaction is the same as Larkin's. Although it seems a negative stand, still it is a sort of "action". In the first stanza, the narrator steps inside the church to explore what is going on; he discovers that "nothing going on". Then, he moves to describe the features of the church from inside in a physical and not metaphysical way; there are "little books", "flowers" that sprawl losing their original colour because they have been picked up since Sunday, and also there are "brass and stuff", which are references to the species of engraved sepulchral memorial. "The holy end" refers to the pulpit and the surrounding area. The organ is "neat" and "small" which means the church is poor. The air or the atmosphere of the church is "tense" and "musty". A critic comments on the last part of the first stanza; saying that in a Christian's point of view, the narrator uses "God" in a disrespectful and blasphemous way. In respect for the church, the narrator has taken off his hat and "cycle clips", in awkward reverence (a gesture) of respect. It seems like the narrator is a bit wishy washy about his feeling towards the church; one minute he is uninterested and rude, and the next he is showing respect. From


this point, tension between belief and disbelief arouses; "Another church" carries a negative association like "Brewed God", yet this association is opposed when we read "awkward


Gomaa 119 Reverence". The narrator, like both Larkin and Hamlet, has a Hamlet moment situation, "to believe and not to believe; that is the question". The tension extends to the second stanza, woven through the repeated descriptive mode of the church whose ceiling looks "almost new, / cleaned, or restored", someone may know this, but the narrator does not. "I don't" is again a declaration of blasphemy. But this declaration becomes ambiguous by the ironical move on mounting to read verses from the Bible "Hectoring large scale verses", till he ends in a certain point. Irony arouses when "echoes snigger briefly", and he "sign(s) the book", and "donate(s) an Irish sixpence". A critic says that donating valueless coinage to a church can be interpreted in two ways; first, he donates to show his respect for religion; or second, that donating to the church has no value. Still, he respects it. Yet, again, the Hamlet- Like situation conveying ambiguity and irony startles the readers when the narrator leaves the church thinking of stopping as a waste of time. The third stanza offers a completely pure atheistic view towards the secular function of the church instead of its worthless religious role. The narrator repeats going to the church, still, he has the same feelings of loss and confusion. The ironical tone then increases on suggesting to transform them into museums including the church artifacts: parchments, plate, and pyx, in locked glass cases, so that they cannot be stolen. The rest of the church should be used by the "rain and sheep", Their parchment, plate and Pyx in locked cases, And let the rest rent free to rain and sheep Shall we avoid them as unlucky places


The other choice is to consider the churches as unlucky churches and avoid them altogether. The fourth stanza juxtaposes two opposite concepts together in a very ironical tone; religion and superstition. The rites performed inside the church, which are supposed to be a sort of


Gomaa 120 belief, turn into superstition for "dubious women" who come after dark asking for bless and healing together. Touching "a particular stone", picking "simples for a cancer" and making the dead walk, all become a sort of superstitious games and riddles. "But superstition, like Belief has gone" conveys the ultimate atheism; believing in superstition will end just like belief in God. The only things which remain after the vanishing of the churches are "Grass,
weedy pavement, brambles, buttress, sky". A critic says "(T)he church will be overgrown

with nature; what was once built from the earth will return to the earth leaving only a few superficial remnants". (net) Continuing in shedding the light on how he is less deceived by religion, Larkin on the tongue of the narrator draws the attention to how the church loses its original old purpose; it becomes more obscure. The narrator ponders who will be the very last person to seek out the church for its original purpose. He gives many suggestions; for he may be one of the "crew" who maintains the "Rood- lofts", or "ruin-bibber", who is "randy for antique", or someone who regularly visits old ruins or churches, or someone who gets accustomed to the smell of Christmas. The visitor wants to hear the organ play Christmas music, wearing "gown and bands", he also wants to smell the scent of myrrh (gum resin, from trees of eastern Africa and Arabia, used to make incense; one of the three presents given to the infant Jesus (Malthew 2 and Luke2)). Irony again ends the stanza, as the last visitor may be the narrator himself. Tension returns again to overwhelm the sixth stanza; as Hamlet-like situation emerges in a neat way to express the poet's hesitation between respect and disrespect, belief and disbelief. Although he knows that "Ghostly silt" spread over this "cross of ground", nonetheless, he intends to travel there through these trees, to try and experience the power of


the church himself. He wonders how the church has stood for so long, without being destroyed, so there must be something there. This "special shell" was built to celebrate


Gomaa 121 marriages, births, and the lives of the whole who have died. He then announces two opposite attitudes at the lasting couplet: "what this accountered frowsty barn is worth", which shows his disrespect, opposite to his stand in "it pleases me to stand in silence here". The two different stands are what characterize Larkin's hesitant pose towards religion. The dominant pose in the last stanza is what startles the reader; the narrator realizes religion will always have a place in the hearts of people. The church is described as "serious", which means "religious", in "house on serious earth". In church, many compulsive acts are interpreted as destinies; destiny is said to be God's will. Everything has a reason. The fear of God's wrath holds people accountable for their actions. Religion teaches people to do "right" and to reject "wrong". It helps to keep the social entity. Then, doubting again ends the poem; as only those who are dead know the truth about whether there is a heaven or not. Commenting on the last stanza, David Lodge says that it has "a dignity and grandeur of diction" (78), which "comes as a thrilling surprise after the downbeat, slightly ironic tone of the preceding stanzas" (79). Meanwhile, Regan records how the poem sheds the modern society becomes marginal. Regan goes on showing that "one of the consequences of the shift in the postwar years towards a more secular society was that the "transcendent" significance previously embodied in the church and was transferred to an ideal of "the self" (88) The same meaning is assured by Jonathan Dollimore who states that salvation in the post-war era becomes located in the pseudo-religious absolute of personal integrity. On its lexical level, the poem includes many revealing words which set the atmosphere of the church either physically, "brass, seats, stone, lectern, donate, Sunday, Pyx, whiff", or appealing to different senses illuminating the curious atmosphere of the church like "musty, frowsty" which recall olfactory sense, in addition, "snigger", thud" appeal to the


auditory sensation. Moreover, the psychological impact of the church on people and the


Gomaa 122 narrator is mirrored through many words, like "tense", bored, obscure", which portray confusion and vagueness. The word "dubious" conveys the attitude of both the narrator and the women. "Serious" is reused as religious although it has another meaning since 19

c. describing the

church as "suburb scrub" is a cultural naming due to the change of its role after the war. "Pleases, serious, awkward" convey the ambiguous attitude the narrator towards the church, opposite to "not worth, snigger, unlucky, must die". Moreover; the use of punctuation is very significant. Larkin multiplies the uses of "," and "-", with the run-on line technique to give more formality and reverence to the language although, in its depth, lies ironical tone.

If the persona of Larkin is cemented within the figure of his narrator, in another attitude, he observes only separating himself from the emotions overwhelming the poem, this is shown in "Faith Healing", Janice Rossen states in his book Philip Larkin; His life's work that the poem "Faith Healing": Seems to sum up Larkin's reservations about experiencing and expressing emotion. It parodies the sense of merging and connectedness which some people seem to achieve through religion; and significantly, experience of exalted love is described through nature imagery. The poet keeps an ironic distance from the display of emotion he observes; yet at the same time that he deplores it, he suggests that he can secretly sympathize with the desire for physical and emotional healing which women in the poem feel. In the course of dramatizing the appeal of the faith- healer to the women, the poem shows the


primary terms of that appeal-nature- are twisted, maimed, and out of joint. (36)


Gomaa 123

Hamlet-like attitude towards religion swaying in two different dimensions continues in another poem "Faith Healing", what is different in this poem from "Church Going" is that Larkin decides to be an observer, detached from the emotions involved. Inaction takes a new direction which is to be just a witness on how faith dupes people, recording this in a very neat detailed imagist poem. This is considered to be "to dare", "and not to dare", "to be and not to be". "Faith Healing" has also an ambiguous title; it carries different connotations, it may mean that the process of "healing" done to faith, or by it. Obviously, it is a total contradiction. Like many of Larkin's poems, "Faith Healing" is based on a real event. Once he visited cinema seeing an American evangelist in action or "curing some elderly women. The poem exposes the process of the fake healing like a surgery, done in haste, and has no serious results. The poem consists of three-ten line stanzas; on its logical level, the stanzas have contiguous relation with each, that means that women's state becomes different in the three stanzas by the change of both time and place. For example, the first stanza represents a zerolevel, a scene gathering, a "women", and "he" whose identity is defined through his voice "American". The women have no adjectives nor modifiers to describe them, even their actions are nothing except that they "file". The scene is recorded through a fixed camera which takes a long shot where the stewards persuade the women to go on. Irony is there, it carries a bitter and critical purposes; for in this warm atmosphere full of "loving care"- which only seems so, the evangelist only stays with every one "twenty seconds" to diagnosis what is wrong. "Now, dear child what's


wrong" is just a sort of compulsive habitual question, and not real compassionate one. The man is moved by his own self-righteousness "stands / upright", "Directing God", as he has


Gomaa 124 assumed power over God. In addition, the way the women's problems are referred to as "this eye, that knee" gives another sense of uncaring attitude. Larkin's eyes are transformed into a camera, and his pen into a painting feather to paint what his eyes shoot. This first shot includes ironical hints, "loving care", "spring rain" and "Dear child", are met with actual uncaring moves "dwells some twenty seconds",

"clasped" and "exiled". The word "exiled" is very connotative, because when someone is exiled, it is done out of his will. The adverb "abruptly" signifies harsh treatment. Moreover, zooming of the camera takes another shot of "this eye, that knee", which is another ironical hint, as the Evangelist thinks only of the physical sickness. The verb "demander" gives a sense of authority. The second and the third stanzas are not shot by the same camera, it is a panoramic shot this time, which sheds the light on the lives of women after the first scene. Those women will eventually stray "back into their lives", the evangelist, although phoney, has provoked genuine influence within them. Other women stay "stiff"; their physical features are described as "twitching", with "deep hoarse tears". Despite their age, the "idiot child" lying within themselves responds to the hint of kindness "To- re-awake at kindness". Kindness represents for them some kind of joy, which makes "Their tongues blort", and "their eyes squeeze grief". This stanza mirrors the reaction of women after the phoney healing; Larkin through an objective camera, sees them as "dumb, "idiot child", even when the camera takes a zoom shot by the end, it records blorting of the thick tongue and the squeezing of "grief" within the eyes. They are left with a lot of questions without answers. "Unheard answer" is a paradox exposing the feeling of confusion and loss.


On the metaphorical level, the reaction to phoney kindness personifies the eyes which "squeeze(s)" the concrete "grief". This is to show how they are nave. "Deep hoarse


Gomaa 125 tears" is another paradox which conveys the sense that their reaction does not fit the situation. Then "what's wrong?" comes not as a question rather than an exclamatory form. Their joy ending the second stanza is transformed into sadness in the last stanza. Larkin then delivers
the final message in a very neat and objective way; it is "loving" each other and being

"beloved" by everyone, which is the only guarantee of being cured, and not such fake and
phoney evangelist. Nothing else cures "that nothing cures". On loving each other, nature

becomes sympathetic towards us. "That nothing cures" may be read ambiguously; it may be read as "That" a demonstrative, or as a relative clause, in both readings "nothing" has different meanings, it may be a reference to "Loving others", if "that" is a demonstrative. In such a case, Larkin confirms that what is considered by people as nothing is the only thing that cures. The other reading negates being cured by anything (except when we love). Then, Larkin ends the poem in a scene in which both nature and women in "flowered Frocks", are gathered in some kind of pathetic fallacy scene:
An immense slackening ache As when, thawing, the rigid landscape weeps,

Spreads slowly through them that, and the voice above Saying Dear child, and all time has disapproved.

The stanza begins with "what's wrong?", and the answer follows "all's wrong". No sooner Larkin isolates himself by letting the readers involved in answering "what's wrong", than he interferes again after a prolonged silence as a witness, "all's wrong" is a subjective involvement. It is again a reminder of Hamlet-like situation "involved and not involved". "Moustached" indicates negatively the weird nature of those who are deceived easily. The personification in "Landscape weeps" holds some kind of tension against the phoney caring


of the evangelist. Two contrasting attitudes are juxtaposed within the first and the last stanza, the fake and the real, in two different opposite shots by a camera; "pain" is portrayed as "An


Gomaa 126

immense slackening ache" opposite to "the knee" and "the eye", in the first stanza, this pain being "thawing" makes what is "rigid", weep.
Hamlet-like situation towards religion is mirrored also in another poem, "Water";

where Larkin's agnosticism is set in contrast to his fascination of the Christian faith. Larkin is quoted as saying, after reading the bible, "it's absolutely bloody amazing to think that anyone ever believed any of that. Really, its' absolute balls. Beautiful, of course. But balls. " ( ).

The very contradictory terms which describe religion as being "beautiful", but "balls" are what establish tension within Larkin himself. In his own views. The poem begins by the first voice "I" to show his personal involvement unlike in both "Church Going" where the narrator is his representative or in "Faith Healing", where he is completely absent and detached. The paradox in the first stanza lies in that how he could "construct" religion by the use of water. The choice of lexes is very expressive; for
"construct" signifies "fabrication" and "fantasy" which overshadow Larkin's view towards

"water", Larkin tries to adjust religion to suit

religion. The second stanza offers another personal view of the church as a place of escapism "Going to church/ would entail a fording", the choice of the word "fording", is symbolic; it connotes somewhere safe, which means in its deeper meaning "death". Yet, ironically Larkin writes "to dry, different clothes" On the symbolic level, the author is appreciating that religion is a pleasant comfort for some people. His challenge to religion is raised within the third stanza when he compares the blood of the Christ in Larkin's "Liturgy" to "a furious devout drench". The symbolism in "drench" is highly evocative, the poet removes religions' colour, potency and flavor. He parallels religion to water "And I should raise in the east/ A glass of water". Larkin makes


direct use of science "where any angled light / would congregate endlessly". This is a reference to the theory of refraction appearing to capture light within the glass of water. The


Gomaa 127
symbolic reference beyond this scientific theory lies in that science is often coined as an

opponent to religion and Larkin is aligning himself and his own religion. Yet, again, Hamlet like attitude appears in "congregate," and tension increases the tone of hesitation as if Larkin

suggests that it is acceptable for science and spirituality to coexist peacefully, both in the world and within a person's mind. Symbolically, the use of water is intended by Larkin to show that religion, which is now impure, should be pure. The message being expressed is that religion is inherently corrupt due to being man made. Meanwhile, water, being the pure and the natural, life giving substance, would be a cleansing force to rid religion of its many flaws and downfalls. For this reason, "A furious devout drench" is a supportive idea, it is a reference to baptism. The suggestion is that Larkin is angry at the state of religion, but he feels that vigorous washing with water could purify it. On the rhythmical level, the poem flows easily like water, sometimes organized, and others not. The monosyllabic words "If I were called in" help to make it easily readable. On the imagery level, comparing religion to water serving many purposes; first: religion is to be fabricated, second: it needs to be purified. This reminds us of the metaphysical conceits used by Donne and Herbert. From the new critical point of view, the tension is always there; it is portrayed on many levels; firstly, between religion, and water, secondly, between respect and disrespect towards religion inside the poet himself thirdly, between science and religion. Commenting on Hamlet-like attitude in "Water", a critic writes: "Water" is an intentionally enigmatic piece. Larkin seems to toy with his readers, whether they are religious or not. The underlying message is that religion seems a foolish fancy, yet


one cannot dismiss or ridicule it fully, due to the power it holds over so many people and the fact that one can never be


Gomaa 128 absolutely certain whether or not God exists. Larkin seems at ease with the idea of there being a God, but not with the way organized religions manipulate this idea. A deeply religious audience may find much at fault with Larkin's egotistical opinions of their church. An atheist reader of this poem may feel slightly disappointed that Larkin seems to hold back from a knockout blow on occasion. ( )

Thus, the lack of totally clear cut message mirrors the beliefs of the poet. As an agnostic, Larkin had not dismissed spirituality completely, even though he did not embrace Christianity. If Hamlet becomes the victim of the ghost, which reveals to him the truth of the murder of his father on the hands of both his uncle and his mother, and as a result, time becomes his own main enemy, as he suffers a psychological conflict between action and inaction, time for Shosha has become also an enemy and a pressing factor that causes Shoshas interior psychological conflict. Again, this results in being a victim of two paradoxical modes of behavior, action and inaction, positivity and negativity. His reactions to the world surrounding him are, thus, characterized by denial and forlornness. Consequently, each one has his own ghost, which affects human deeds. This makes of Shoshas poetry a crucible where both fear and worry are fusible, where he is hunted all the time by the obsessions of pain and bitterness which make his outlook to the world is as the same as Hamlets and Eliots in The Waste Land. Hence, time with its different phases ageing,


moments, life, hours, days, nights has turned to enemy to Shosha, which noticeably affects his mode of behavior and his reactions towards action and inaction. Dr. Salama comments on the antagonism of time to the modern poet writing;


Gomaa 129 Time comes with every negative quality helping in the
contrition and the defeatism of man making a victim of the




of these


Besides, these are perceived as

characteristics of the

element of time

following: First, this time is a pot of the assassination of the

human dreams. Second, the realization of the importance of time is one of the most vital human cases, bestowing the most precious feature to him, which is the humanity. Third, the poets damnation for time is due to being responsible for the assassination of dreams, changing values and shifting customs, beside, the smell of blood leaks from it. (141).

Consequently, the negative effect of time upon Shosha is reflected in his psychological strife where his incapability to change makes stands as a barrier between the poet and his choices. He is haunted by his self-ghost, which makes his fusion with the external world a fantasy. As a result, his psychological isolation and his self-exile become his last refuge, due to his failure to adapt with the external reality full of intolerable conditions and the loss of values. This obsession of the conflict between the self on one hand, and the concept of time as an enemy, and the outside world on the other hand, turns the self to be a disabled victim in front of the choice of actions and inactions, thus, it stands in an intermediate space between both. For example, in his poem Retreat, , Shosha depicts his own feelings of amazedness, disability and incapability in the adversity of the outsider world. He begins the poem with a state of a voluntary ramble through the self-memory world. This rambling gives


a false impression of possessing the will to act; this is affirmed by raising the question of hesitation , Should I retreat?. Then, the response comes to stress the fact of being


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uncertain and unsure if the truth and reality either inside or outside, exactly like the uncertainty of Hamlets ghost. He tries to avoid the contact with the external world, for this
reason, his wandering is internal and personal. The first sign which marks his encounter

with the external world is full of fear and worry in the form of or a lovesick , The flitting wings of the departing birds. The ray which voice and disappeared denotes the absence of hope making Shosha dive into his self world, , I contemplate. The experience of contemplation, here, is shown through the verb a sign of escape into another world which seems to him a realm of will and determination to do. The movement from the outside to the inside is to display a decision to escape which is vanished by , I do not intend to escape; hesitation, thus, dominates the scene, we feel like Shosha is chased by his own ghost, attempting to find a compromise to accommodate with the feelings of bitterness and worry that overwhelm the world. The word
the moment as a representative of time imparts the feelings of disappointment and loss.

Depression comes at the end of the scene when he discovers that the dream has been murdered and there is no intention for taking action, due to the overwhelming chaos prevailing his sub-consciousness. Then, the self is totally separated from Shosha, trying to move him to the stage of action: ! Can you give life to it? which glows heat in its


organs And then, water falls And things snicker in the chest


Gomaa 131 The verses witness a call of the self to enliven the mode of acting, to give the rebirth of the dead dream, and not to surrender or retreat. Self-consciousness towards the stand of negativity and positivity appears to be an incentive factor, urging to activate the heat and the sense of snickering as signs of the rebirth of the dream. Again the question boomerangs to the self Are you worthy / for the endeavor / cruising the house of Mecca / enjoy carrying the rock

" / / " The self itself denies Shoshas right if religious holiness through the image of cruising around the sacred house of Mecca. The doubt is the only feature that relates Shosha and his self. This increases the tone of tension inside the poem, as the self calls for acting, meanwhile it doubts about the positive response of the poet himself. Thus, the self pushes the poet to an endless cycle of duality, for how it urges him to act, and at the same time, it is doubtful about his positive reaction. As a result, a state of
tension and hesitation, through which he is encountered be a certain reality, hoping that he

will not be conquered nor tempted by the mask of spuriousness and dishonor of people around. This call for being adapted with the false principals of the waste land, in an attempt to define a mode of positive reaction which makes of Shosha an activist in dealing with the worlds inside and outside. Hence, it invites him to stop his knife in the flesh of the bare night, and to pour his wine into the glass of the self. This stopping symbolically

represents a stage of acting against the factor of time night, and the process of pouring the wine is a mark of celebration. Yet, this warmhearted convergent between the self and the poet or the sub-


consciousness and the consciousness does not last, as the self attempts to escape from the poet in order not to be affected by his hesitation and cowardliness, nor thinking of retreat like him. As some kind of response towards the selfs decision, the poet announces not to retreat.


Gomaa 132 However, we see him retreat quickly to his internal world, declaring again his mode of hesitation controlling him a face perching inside my memory, . However, he attempts to act, thus, he raises, goes forward, not to trip nor stumble, moving forward, . But suddenly, this hopeless trial is lost in such a space of reality which is dwelled by whizzing of winds, and the tottering of the doors, which make him jogging. As a result, he is jogged away, to a solitary world away even from the self. His realization of being withdrawn, , is an implicit confession of his disability to take action. He stresses the fact that he is vacant or empty, as he lost his memory and his time. Retreat represents an accurate analysis of this ongoing conflict between both the sub-conscious and the conscious inside Shosha. Such a boomeranging movement inside the self and the memory obsesses Shosha and makes of him a victim of hesitant attitude. Moreover, such separation between the self and the poet reflects the mode of duality domineering his reactions toward the outside world with its bitterness and loss. The self addresses the poet to move and be an active specimen, yet, the sense of paralyses controls his actions. The occlusion of the poet upon his memory and his subjective time that he has lost is an attempt to re-evaluate his stand, yet, he fails. Freud stresses the fact that the unconscious, which is represented by the self inside the poem, may echo certain ideas which once occupied the conscious, but it fails to adapt with them, as a result, they are oppressed. William Tames through his book The Principles of Psychology states that the unconscious mentality is full of many concepts that are pivotally attached to certain actions of the external world. For example, within the poem Wandering is an unconscious act reverberating inside the poet, and as a result, retreating is an outside boomerang of the conscious. Between these spaces


of wandering and retreating, comes a group of verbs like conquers, tempts, wake up, give me, pour, and go . Them jog, judge, realize, desiccate,


Gomaa 133 and lose . These verbs reflect such boomeranging movements between the sub-conscious and the conscious, or the action and the inaction. This is done as an attempt to escape the surrounding world which is stuck with bitterness, worry, lovesick voices, and flitting of the wings of the departing birds.
Moreover, the imagery represents such tension between the paradoxical modes of action and inaction, for example, the phrase the taste of frustration, is a metaphor, where it describes Shoshas failure in establishing a healthy relation with the outside world. It also appeals to the sense of taste it is a gustatory image. Moreover, memory is metaphorized as a city or a huge space where the poet escapes to, which evokes the sense of defeatism and negativity. The visual image in The ray is absent, refers to the disappearance of hope in the waste land or the modern world. The personification in Innocence of a dream has been murdered, , where the dream resembles a baby girl who has been killed, it is a conventional image of infanticide borrowed from the Arab old world before the spread of Islam. It indicates the depravity of innocence in the modern world and the disappearance of the moral principles and intimacy. The auditory image in things are snickering, ... reveals the attempt of enlivening the mode of acting attitude. There is also a personification in cannot be conquered by the peoples anxiety, which illustrates the sense of anxiety as a domineering authority over the people, but not the self.

Bare flesh of the night is a metaphor where the self pushes the poet forward to murder the time as a creature, to get rid of this intolerable sense of hesitation. There is another personification in space dwells in me, ... where the poets sense of waste makes of him a dwelling of the outside space. Such a special unity and incorporation paradoxically sheds the light on the loss of the poet, as he could not find a refuge to involve


him. Moreover, the poet personifies the dream as a baby girl to signify the loss of innocence. It is note worth being mentioned that the journey of the poet inside his memory begins with


Gomaa 134 Im wandering inside my memory, and it ends in I lost my memory, which refers to his confession that he is totally lost.
Thus, Retreat records Shoshas duality towards taking an action or not. This

causes tension between both his sub-conscious and his conscious which makes him stand in an in-between are. His strife against the outside world increases the tone of hesitation; he fails to find a compromising plan through which he may adopt with the senses of loss, bitterness, misery and melancholy that involve the world. His action may mean changing the world and explore it with a will, which he himself lacks. Even when the self or his sub-conscious ghost
urges him to react, he could not. Yet, the echo still exists inside him, and the frustration

dwells outside, between these paradoxical spaces, he stays in a Hamlet-like attitude. The self performs the role of the Hamletian ghost, still, uncertainty overcomes its trueness. Either wandering or contemplating does not lead to anything except failure. This self-exile and isolation denote Shoshas innocent dream to be murdered. Yet, in an attempt to give it life, and rebirth, Shosha writes a poem entitled The sparrow of the dream. In this poem The sparrow of the dream, Shosha starts to ask who is able to release the sparrow of the dream. This question echoes Shoshas attempt to get into the mood of acting again getting rid of his passivity. The sparrow of the dream dwells in the porthole night, where it is overwhelmed by darkness. Again, the question is addressed by the self, which is ambitious to cling with the rays of light and hope, which are lost among the recumbent spheres at the seas shrubberies, . Again, like in Retreat, the self calls for the poet respond to the outside world, and to be active. It seeks to destroy the barrier of tepid time, which is bleeding. Shosha expresses his own amazedness, loss and whimsy; for how the bird is prisoned within such skyline


which resembles space . The self repeats, then, its call for the poet to act who is


Gomaa 135 able to provoke the universe with fire and fume / and challenge the rock of the bald mountain while touching the nights neck? " / " The images of the night and the bald mountain refer to the darkness prevailing the outside world. The sparrow of the dream symbolizes such a lost compromise through which the poet could explore the waste land. Thus, he repeats the question again who is able to release the sparrow of the dream and stand to face the woe?, . In this tome, the self defines the price of such an encounter resulting from releasing the bird; it is to face the woe of the world. Although it is just one sparrow, but it is enough to sow Shoshas positive start to act and react with the world. In unpreceded sign of the compromise and unity between both the self and the poet, to face the outside world, Shosha employs the pronoun us in who is able to strip us from such horrible or sullen time or age, . The use if us stands for the unity, which does not last long, as Shosha retreats again to his isolation, adopting again the mode of negativeness:
My fires make extended wires And I am entangled inside the circle-

Of thistles but proceed My head weighs while carrying me And the night burdens me with-


My nightmares Shoshas consciousness of the existence of thistles, and the entangling, and the nightmare, becomes an obstructive factor to proceed towards a more effective role. Despite this, he


Gomaa 136 decides to step at the land of doom which is coated with flaming wires. He is surrounded by antagonizing environment where volcano and a bald frond exist. Then, the denial of the self to all these conditions which make the act of releasing the sparrow of the dream an impossible issue, is announced repeating the same question, who is able to release the sparrow of the dream?, ending the poem in such a way that evokes the sense of loss and waste which forms endless and eternal cycles of strife between the sub-conscious and the conscious. On the symbolic level, the sparrow of the dream stands for the concept of hope and the implementation of action. The overwhelming night is a symbol of the outside world or the waste land that Shosha cannot face. Moreover, skyline symbolizes the huge space of unconscious where Shosha roams to fine an equation to create a plausible world where he can ... in which time is compared live with and in. The metaphor in time bleeds
to a wound that bleeds to prove its absence and waste. Additionally, the visual images in

The recumbent spheres at the seaside, cast the light upon the space of unconscious. In till , there is a metaphor where time is compared the time of the flood flows
to a river flowing, denoting its waste, phrases in the horrible, sullen time, extended wires,

bald frond, and volcano, remind us with the description of Eliots The Waste Land, as part of permanent hell. The verb weighs shows the paralysis of the movement of the poet.
Significantly mentioned, the poem includes one verb connoting a positive more towards

acting which is step, yet, this move is confronted by verbs like weighs and burdens which signify the domination of the inaction predicament. Besides, the poet multiplies the rhetorical questions which do not wait for answers, like who is able to release the sparrow of the dream?, and who is able to provoke the universe with fire and fume?; this indicates the


poets dramatic mode throughout the poem.


Gomaa 137 Thus, the poem ends in the same point from which it starts. It denotes again like in Retreat such in between space that Shosha occupies. He tries to step forward, but he is paralyzed by the conscious perception of the external obstacles which prevent him from progressing. The difference between both Retreat and The sparrow of the dream lies in that the second gives the reasons and the conditions of his paralysis. Yet, the ending is the same; negativeness and passivity conclude both of them. In another poem entitled The Smouldered or the burnt eyes, Shosha explores one of the most crucial issues of Mankind, which is the idea of choice, but, he has framed it within a personal and romantic context. The repetition of the question I have a choice, but what do I choose? interprets the poets dilemma whether he has a will in choosing his own lover. Yet, paradoxically, he denies this option when he perceives her own beauty and charm. In other words, if Prufrock dares not to disturb the universe by his choices and Hamlet cannot choose due to the qualms of the ghost, Shosha is obliged to choose what destiny has imposed upon his through the beauty and the charm of his own beloved. The poet starts the poem by describing his own beloved through phrases like the snipper desire . Her beauty is limitless and , and her face as being melted in yearnings her charm is beyond boundaries. However, the feature of time is displayed through his smothered moments or , which represent a reason beyond his disability in taking action or to be positive. Although he yearns, his hands are disabled, even his silence overwhelms him to that extent that he could not get rid of it. Out of this state of adoration and the obsession of such beauty, his eyes are burnt, and stick to the mode of inaction.


On the metaphorical level, Shosha metaphorizes yearning as seas and cities, fascinated eyes, spectrums born every night, beaches of populated towns, castles and ships


Gomaa 138 The portrait of the various spacious pure elements of nature signifies his own attempt to search for ideal worlds where he can stretch and establish his own castles of emotions and feelings sailing away from smothered moments which give the impression of narrowness in both time and space. As for the worlds of the yearnings they are portrayed as being places of dream and virtuous love paving the way to a choice stemming out from the self and not imposed by destiny. However, the existence of another antithetical image of the yearnings increases the tone of tension; for if the first portrait of the image of the yearnings is related to the seas and the ships which make of him all the time an object transfer me, hinders me , denoting his lack of will and the determinism of the choice, I do not know how, in what, and to where?, the antithetical image is completely opposite to this: ... ...
Yearning is a frenzied way Feeds over my blood and my nerves

Burns me burns my lashes Delivers me forever to the-chocked moments Glowing In my smouldered eye These two opposing images of the yearnings are viewed within the case of choice, as he loves


her and this deprives him of the choice, for this reason, yearnings work in a paradoxical way inside him, Except you, do I have the choice to choose except you?, he means that he has not choice in choosing her although chooses her. This is a romantic personal exploration of


Gomaa 139 the idea of inevitable choice in love. He announces this case of choice which has paradoxical connotations in many times through the verses: !
Who can push such fate working through Man? This overwhelming rhythmical flood This burden is colored either with yearnings or dolors Sweet or bitter, alike!

Shosha refuses the idea of fate being the only determining factor of Mans choices and options, whether they are bitter or sweet, bad or good; for he loves his beloved, but he refuses such thinking that due to her beauty, fate imposes her love upon his heart, which makes his eyes burnt. Days and nights pass unchangeable like his love which is fixed because it is fated I know nothing except that you are for me ... . According to him, she is a familiar face, attenuating his melancholy. In addition, she is compared to the light of his world. He resembles nothing except that she is only for him. This feeling is what makes Shosha think that fake works deeply through him to make him obsessed with her to such an extent. On the level of tension, the image of yearnings is portrayed in two opposing ways; once, described as seas, specters, they are beaches, and in another time, they are a phrenetic way, and being fuelled by his blood and nerves. This increases the tone of tension between Shoshas will and the fatal imposition upon him. Secondly, there is another level of


tension between Shoshas paradoxical percepts of accepting his beloved either for her beauty of for being the choice of his destiny. His passive attitude towards his fate is shown in Do I have the will to choose, but what will I choose?, and who is able to push such fate


Gomaa 140 working deeply through Man?, which exposes evidently his dilemma. This negativity is also depicted through verbs like drowse, be silent, transfer me, take me away, fuelled by my blood and my nerves, which make of him an object without will. This opposes his own realization of the urgent need to react and choose away from his destiny, which establishes a permanent sense to tension. On the metaphorical level, there is a metaphor in the melting face in yearnings , where he likens the yearnings to a fluid object as a reference to her beauty. There is another metaphor in the silence explodes where silence is compared to a volcano to show what extent this attitude fidgets Shosha. Yearning is a phrenetic way , is an implicit metaphor where he portrays a negative image of the yearning. The effect of this yearning extends to another level where it is fuelled by his blood and his nerves. It indicates Shosha being a victim and an object without will or choice before the beauty of his beloved. The melting age behind the illusion as a wink is a doubled implicit metaphor, where the age is compared to a material substance which melts, beside, illusion is likened to a wall. Moreover, the personification of fate as a living human working his power within Man is to show the limitless authority of fate over Man. In addition, there is another metaphor in or the suffocated moments, where the moments are compared to a creature surrounding the poet evoking the narrowness in space inside and around the poet.
There are many antithetical words like night, morning, sweet, bitter; they reflect

such psychological conflict between the conscious and the sub-conscious. Moreover, there is an opposition between the words which refer to light, and the words which indicate dark,


throughout the poem: as smouldering, flame, fire, lightening, light are set against night,

ash, smoke, both opposite groups of words make of the poem group cinematic shots.


Gomaa 141 Thus, the dilemma of choice and the refusal to be just a victim of fate are the main reason beyond the problematic of action and inaction in this poem. Shosha does not act, and when he does, he feels like it is destiny which chooses for him. He loves his own beloved because of her beauty and charm, but Does he have the choice to leave her?, or it is just an inevitable choice that his beloved is imposed upon him, and he does not own the choice either to love nor to leave her. , the idea of exploiting In another poem entitled Time to catch time time before ageing and death is the main idea of the poem which reminds us with Larkins poems. The poet realizes through this poem that ageing is one of the problems of time, one of the inevitable sequences of this is death. Thus, we must catch time before it passes. He starts the poem with a gleam of hope shown in a flame, amid the middle of darkness. In addition, there is the image of the river filled with preceding youth, who are running in The wilderness of dream . Both images the flame and the river indicate the features of the youth: enthusiasm, eagerness, rushness, courage. The poet then moves to another portrait of the time of youth when desires overwhelm the young men. Yet, all these values and feelings are colliding by the reality shown through the mirror which never beautifies nor lies; it is just an announcement of ones age. The self or the sub conscious addresses the poet or the conscious is you are in the mirror / and the mirror is inside your eyes / , as it is an implicit confession of the inevitability of the ageing and the transience of time. Such mutual incorporation between the poet and the mirror is a sign of the lack of choices and the inevitability of death. He has no ability to do change. In spite of the fact that the age comes as tolerant drizzle , however, youth is a hope that represents the


dream. The best way to resist death is to live a seeming young life , in an attempt to catch time before death comes and life ends. Those who fail to haunt time become


Gomaa 142 dead, being cast away out of the river. The poets yielding to the element of fate is depicted from time to time a flame shines to me or a dodged doubtful dawn . Death never stops nor even slows down, it is like an arrow shot by the hunter which is fate. At the end, time passes, ageing comes, and the night of waiting for death prevails. Thus, what remains for Man to lose. Moreover, the reflowing of the waves in the depth of the river, which becomes devoid from the feelings of youth like yearnings and enthusiasm, are signals for the old age with its depravity of passion. Other signs of old age are displayed in the heart being empty from prophecies, and the palm being unable to wind or move, it is paralyzed because of its old age. Thus, it becomes the victim of death. Shosha portrays Man as being unable to neither move nor act because there is a powerful fatal authority which controls his own actions and reactions, this is shown in the death who you are facing / is death with its ample and firmed limbs / . These verses clarify the face that Man is negative and passive in front of the power of death. The imperative verb in wrap is some kind of a positive movement of the self towards the direction of the sub-conscious, and not the conscious, thus, it is an internal movement signifying a resistance to the mode of negativity. The poet is unable to react because of the cycle of life and the flow of seconds, hours and days: wrapping is a kind of pupating of the self on itself, to avoid the confrontation of the outside world. This is part of the haunting plan of time before the winter age . The title of the poem is definitely an evidence of the passing of age through its years, months, days and moments while Man fails to interact with this inevitability unless he could


catch the time. Within the poem, the poet creates tension between the power and the inevitability of death and the disability of Man, and his hope to haunt time before it elapses. Life with all its enthusiastic youth and the desires of time beside the flaming dream, oppose


Gomaa 143 the portrait of death which is launched as an arrow from the hunter of fate. The inevitable coming of death provides Man with such feelings of depression and frustration, thus, Man could not do anything except wrapping, waiting to catch time before death catches him. It

is noteworthy being mentioned that the first word time is indefinite to signify the age of Man with all its modes and implications. The second word the time is definite indicating death with its universal rites. This stresses the fact that Man should exploit time before it passes, because the universe is indefinite, meanwhile, the life of Man is definite. , and On the metaphorical level, metaphors like the river precedes , a time overfilling with desires, , where the river and the desires and a time are all metaphorized to urge Man to catch time before the coming of death. The visual
image in flame shines, , is an enthusiastic gush of youth filled with energetic

spirit. All is gallant is a metonym of death, as no one could work against it. Besides, there are other visual images in dawn, hunter and night, which reflect the opposition between the inability of Man and the inescapability of age and fate. personification in passion wont come back to the river, the sterileness of the ageing of desires and feelings.
In addition, there is a personification in capable of bending his head, , which signifies the influence of ageing on Man shown through the change in shape and

Moreover, there is a
, which evokes

the heaviness of movements, overburdened steps, . Then, the metaphor in well-knitted ample death, , in which death is compared to a shroud which tightens its threads around Man, as Man has nothing to do about it. The word wrap indicates that the truth of death imposes certain reaction which invites us to work, even if it is just wrapping within ourselves before encountering it. Turning to the motion of the horses in


releasing the black horses, , overshadows the positivism of youth with its desires. Additionally, the repetition of the word glow or flame refers to the importance of


Gomaa 144 catching time before it vanishes. The opposition between some definite and indefinite words like in dawn, life, winter, time versus the doubt, the coast, the night, the death, the leader evokes the necessity of Mans subjective time against the time of death. Implicitly, Shosha in By the Name of the Word, , holds a comparison between two opposing images of Sindbad; the first is related to the positive image of the mythical Sindbad who wondered through the world, fighting and trying to save his own beloved or his crew. His smile causes happiness to all people around him. This Sindbad becomes a symbol of positivism in his interaction with the outer side world with all its bitterness, darkness, corruption, and melancholy. However, this Sindbad vanishes, and the other modern image of Sindbad appears in the poem with all his own inactive stand. Shosha starts the poem by describing the contemporary Sindbad through specifying the lands where Sindbad comes from as being lost and doomed. The modern Sindbad roams the world this time carrying his own sin, even the world around him is not vast, and his castles are not shiny. He attempts to cleave through his wounds, in a voyage full of tears. Hence, the atmosphere is completely different from that of the old m ythical Sindbad, Today, there are no extended caravans nor flags!, . The non-existence of a cloud to shade the caravan of the modern Sindbad. His procession does no longer include in the middle of the crowd. By such description, Shosha reverses the banners, image of the mythical Sindbad, portraying a negative image of him. Even when Shoshas poetic camera moves to describe the people watching this Sindbad, it records their ineffective and inactive attitude, their waiting is a mode of inaction like their guest: / , in our eyes, the tears of our pride and shut / our lips, the rebellion of our pains is silent. Even the tears have died, and the pains are oppressed; people,


among them Shosha himself our eyes our lips our pride, have no will in doing anything even complaining. This displays the ultimate negativeness.


Gomaa 145 Then, the poet addresses Sindbad who comes from Safeen and Naples at which Saladin used to rest, stating that Sindbad has come after thousands of years. But this time, everything is different, silence has been broken down and words as well, ... . This state of the endless silence and the stoppage of the words signify such depression prevailing in the modern age. No silence and no speech exist; this is an in-between case; as there is neither life nor death. Yet, death emerges in the scene again to symbolize the loss of hope the soldier committed suicide in Hetten, . This desperate image of Sindbad who committed suicide in Hetten, reverses totally the mythical image of the true Sindbad who did not surrender nor retreat. Shosha intends to deep the gap between both the past with its positiveness, and the present with its negativeness. The second part introduces the poets attempts to create glimpses of hope and remove these symptoms of depression. Although the first part displays a very frustrating image of the modern Sindbad, the second part reflects a reverberating call from the inside to the outside, or from the sub-conscious to the conscious, through the verse O, word, you were not defeated. The apostrophe O, word echoes the attempt to revive the sense of hope through the means of poetry. The word is compared to a bullet which all the modern Arab poets have to shoot, metaphorically, the negativeness and the inaction mode of behavior dominating the modern era. They seek to get rid of the feelings of shame through a shout that is implied through their poems. Poetry for them becomes a source of pride, inherited from one generation to another,

as Shosha writes, it is always tainted with blood, as a reference to the sacrifice they offered for the sake of change. The word of poetry is the new mythical Sindbad; it inspires the people


with rebellion and revolt. With the word of poetry, the melancholic old past with its servility, passivity, tyranny and oppression; thus, the mythical Sindbad has come back again through poetry. This is what Shosha perceives. Although this image of Sindbad conceived of through


Gomaa 146

the positive role of the poets in the society, is surrounded by the same harsh reality, symbolically, portrayed through no extended banners and no flags, no caravans cleaving among the crowds, , but still, he performs his role perfectly as he lashes the shores and the coasts, , and opens the oysters and the pearls. The modern poet practices through poetry what the old Sindbad once performed; fighting, encountering, moralizing and changing the realities of people around him. The modern Arab poet is the savior of the modern age. He is compared to Motassem the great Arab Khalif who prepared an army to attack the Roman army simply because a woman called him as a result of the Roman sexual abuse to her, to save her: ... ... ... "" " " !" " ... Today no logic no words The agonies of Amoria spoke And its wound overwhelming through days
If there were no new Motassem in its yard Is there Abu Tamam among you?!

Hope that poetry encourages people to be enthusiastic, resisting the modes of subjugation and humiliation. He calls for a new Motassem in a form of the great poet Abu Tamam to motivate people towards action and get rid of their passivity. Aby Tamams poetry is his weapon, it is the modern Sindbads sword. Thus, the new Sindbad is the symbol of the modern Arab poet who should fight the roots of despair and bitterness in the society; he tries


to take off the masks of misery and hopelessness and replaces them with hope and happiness. The poem as a whole epitomizes an effective paradox depending on portraying two contrasting images of Sindbad; one is the broken image of the other. In other words, the


Gomaa 147 modern Sindbad represented the distorted, broken and inactive reflection of the legendary one. Yet, this defeated image of a modern Sindbad disappears, and new one emerges symbolizing the poet performing a moralizing and a heroic role in his society, attempting to change the status quo. The broken image of Sindbad has many defeating psychological and materialistic signs; he carries his sins burdening his shoulders, he is not surrounded by the shading clouds, nor caravans, nor vast space to move on through it. As a result, he lives in a death in life state, where there was no silence nor speech. On the contrary, the other image, or the new modern Arab poet, has a complete perception of these horrible conditions of the modern world, despite this, his decision to perform the role of Sindbad whose outside reality is the same, but his psychological readiness to fight and change is totally different. The poet states through the title, that it is the word that causes such subversion. Yet, this word may be an escape from the real battles to the hypothetical battles as alternate worlds where living legends exist. The mode of action here is transformed into a world of poetry, to find other implications of subverting and changing the realities. Another paradox is stated in the poem affirming the former one; it is the absence of the real Motassem, in contrast to the search for the hypothetical hero in the battles of poetry who is Abu Tamam. This call for Abu Tamam is some kind of psychological compensation to the non-existence of the real legendary and positive images. In other words, poetry becomes a field of action replacing the mode of inaction based on the absence of Al Motassem, and other heroic figures that were absent in Eliots The Waste Land. But if Eliots opinion is that the solution of the state of loss dominating in the waste land is being shaded under the Red Rock which is religion, Shosha sees that poetry is the solution; as it creates public figures even if this is metaphorically done. Thus, poetry,


for Shosha, is a positive psychological provision supplying the feelings and the motions with


Gomaa 148
what enables them to be actively living. For this reason, Shosha called his poem By the

Name of the Word, as the oath is done by the word which is something very precious. On the metaphorical level, the contrast between the images of Sindbad is the focus of many metaphors and similes portraying the problematic of action and inaction. For example, the metaphors is fight in the gown of the years, , and he carries the

sin of his time, evoke such physical and psychological loads imposed upon the modern figures. Thus sin and the years being materialized connote the heaviness of Mans attempts to subvert and moralize. The personification in our pride tears are shut conveys the overwhelming oppression which works as a domineering force over people. The same meaning is stressed in the personification the rebellion of our pains is silent on our lips, as it indicates the suppression of any rebellious voice calling for change. This results in the silence broke down and the words as well, which includes two metaphors; as the silence and the words are compared to a machine or a motor. In the second part, certain sounds are shown in the words bullet and a shout, although they are kept ad imprisoned inside the sub-conscious. Moreover, the personification in O, word You were not defeated emphasizes the real struggle and the atmosphere of war between the morals of poetry and the corruption surrounding it. Poetry is always a symbol of the victorious knight, whatever far the feelings of injustice reached. Its pride and sacrifice are what make poetry stand against the figures of the social corruption. Even the letters are compared to materialistic objects tainted with blood to signify the life of sacrifice. The modern time is personified as a humble man, and his face is melancholic to show the change taking place in the modern age. Amorias agonies spoke is a personification indicating the greatness of Al Motassem through attenuating all the sorrow of the people of




Gomaa 149 Verbs express the two cases of both action and inaction prevailing inside the poem. For example, the negative image of Sindbad in the first part carries the sin of his time which is a negative connotative meaning, the same is applied to adjectives muted and silent, . Moreover, the verb broke down connotes passivity. Even when the knight had the will to do something, he committed suicide, which expresses the feelings of the loss of hope and surrendering to despair and death. But, the positive verbs are attached to the image of the word never defeated or beaten, rebelled, catches and sweep, which are all positive verbs evoking a state of hope and optimism. Although words and silence are still broken down, Amorias agonies spoke, the verb spoke is related to the agonies. In addition, the only sound stemming out from the self is a shout, but it does not exceed it. Furthermore, the repetition of some words expresses like pains, no processions, no castles, no boundaries, the reality of the age which lacks a legendary figure able to subvert the status quo. This shows poetry as an icon of rebellion and revolution to resist and overcome, even hypothetically, any signs of corruption and injustice. In another poem entitled Protestation or , Sindbads voice is raised and announced although the poet does not name the hero of the poem as Sindbad, we know him from the revolutionary and positive adjectives attributed to him bestowing the atmosphere of hope to the poem. If the figure of Sindbad is changed into a fighter with the metaphoric sword, which is the word to subvert the feverish reality, in By the Name of the Word, he is a symbol of revolution against all sorts of oppression and injustice. In Protestation, the title of the poem reveals a positive stand against the bitter reality. The poem comprises two parts; in the first part, Shosha portrays the rebellious voice against the negativity of the bitter


outside the world; it is aroused with woe and patience . Then, the poet moves to the physical description of this hero who affected this crazy world; his eyes are full of


Gomaa 150

fire, his mouth smells with anger, and his head slopes back to the extent that he falls on his shadow. The stummering steps display the feelings of instability, although it is very much crowded, he is still fighting against misfortunes and tributions. He is rapturous inside these crowds. Shosha moves with his poetic camera to record the reaction of people towards the symbolic figure if Sindbad; the eyes around him are glowing, and examine him and classify him. But, those crowds are cowards because they refute any kind of change, they prefer to live in darkness instead of encouraging this symbol, adopting his principles and ideals, they step on him and sweep his body. As a result, the symbol figure disappears inside the empty circle, and his eyes which are full of fire and flames disappear too. Silence dominates as a sign of negativity. They refuse any voice of action, embracing the mode of inaction.
Shosha declares his subjective existence as a witness through the subjective pronoun

I saw him, denoting his stand among the silent crowd watching the hero. He does not decide to which side he stands by. The poet describes the heros internal feelings proud soul about to get crazy, . This symbol may be seen as part of Shosha himself, which brought Shosha face to face with the outside negative conscious. The second part introduces the scene of the disappearance of the symbol or the sub-conscious positive attitude, and the dominance of the conscious realization of reality; as Shosha wonders did he die?, then he announces that he does not know if he (the symbol) dies or his voice is imprisoned. The only thing that Shosha decides is that his protestation did not move anybody; Shosha then ironized the suggested destiny of the symbolic figure:




Gomaa 151 Or the police of the road arrested him To keep or maintain the cleanness of the city which in shame Gets hungry of gives birth Whatsoever The verses represent the features of those coward passive people who only care for satisfying their needs and practicing their daily physical habits like hunger without any serious attitude towards subverting the whole surrounding reality. But, at the end of the poem, Shosha sends a message of hope to us, as the voice of change embodying this symbolic figure or the lost Sindbad, hides in a certain place waiting for a certain moment to move people:

! His voice is still there Hidden in the muted bullet And the alert shout Dreaming to move the country!

On the metaphorical level, all images participate in indicating the effective role of such rebellious and revolutionary figure and the negative reaction of people towards him. The poem is written in the form of cinematic shots; the first scene contains the shouting of the sub-conscious against the whole world which turned into wild; it is raised in woe and patience , addressing the auditory sense. Moreover, his eyes are two stacks of flames, is a metaphor, where the poet compares the eyes to erupted


volcano that glows with fire and anger. There is another cinematic scene where the head inclined to the back and the stummering steps indicate his hesitation. In another scene, he describes the crowds as Rot, which is a significant word implying a lot of meanings; it may mean their negativity, or it may oppose such positive shouting stemming out from the subconscious.


Gomaa 152

Then, the poets poetic camera records the withdrawal of the crowd, and the monopoly of the rebellious figure of the whole situation, he challenges the disastrous things, , and fights every source of tyranny and oppression. Moreover, the poetic camera zooms in, recording the atmosphere inside the subconscious as noisy, , and then in a quick move, it goes back to zoom out pose, to shoot those eyes filled with fire. The image of the eyes is a synecdoche, as it is a reference to the whole body; those eyes examine and classify him. The poet, then, in another scene notices that this symbolic figure disappears, wondering where he went. The metaphor in his cracked voice, signifies the synesthetic image, as it juxtaposes both auditory and visual images together. In addition, there is another metaphor in as if his protestation shakes men, as his protestation is compared to an earthquake denoting its influence, but unfortunately, it disappeared, hidden in the muted bullet is another metaphor as it gives hope that at certain moment this heroic image will come to change those people who practice their daily habits in a very general cinematic scene without caring for such a legendary positive Sindbad who waits for the moment when he can move them making them kill their prisoners and kiss the hands of their own liberators.


Gomaa 153

Chapter Three Self-Knowledge and poetic Identity: Modernist and anti-modernist


Gomaa 154 Nicholas Bishop in his book Re-Making Poetry: Ted Hughes and New Critical Psychology states that Larkin belongs to the post-war-Movement which focuses on the ego
personality, reinforcing the familiar territory to conduct for the poet and the reader alike.

Such a relation between both the reader and the poet depends on the modern use of symbols. These poets seek to remove "The unmanageable chaos of recent historical experience, the bewildered recoil of the self from that flux", and they desire "to replace it with an abstract stylistic ideal" (27). Movement poets use the term emblem for "symbol". Larkin belongs to such Movement in the sense that his poems include the persona's

awareness of the limitations and insufficiency of his conscious attitude. Yet, Larkin foils to stand on the bridge between abstracting ego and flexible, exploratory "emergency self". Poetry, thus, is an idea of knowing the world around, outward and non-human poetry, as Bishop elaborates. This is similar to the romantic attitude towards nature, yet, it is mixed this time with modern predicaments. This is what Whalen affirms "Most of Larkin's poetry is engaged in visual

participation in the observable physical" (97). He refuses the obscurity if the modern art. In an interview with Ian Hamilton, Larkin expresses his reservations about the Modernistart: What I do feel a bit rebellious about is that poetry seems to have got into the hands of a critical industry which is concerned with culture in the abstract, and this I do rather lay at the door of Eliot and pound But to me the whole of the classical and biblical mythology means very little. ( )


Larkin, thus, is annoyed by the obscurity of the Modernists, and dislikes escape from the familiar world. For this reason, he exposes a real preoccupation with the real perception. At the same, he shares great interest in the Imagism school which also belongs to the modernist


Gomaa 155
movement. Yet by doing this, Larkin denies only the modernists "more cryptic dimensions,

those which involve an attenuation of reality" (96). Consequently, most of Larkins poems focus on the visual process of the material world, looking, noticing, gazing and even staring. The poems record familiar and ordinary spheres with extraordinary details. Imagists, in general, attempted to retrieve the Empirical influence of poetry, for them, the poet needs to re-create the familiar. Even their language, it tries to convey visual concrete senses. For this reason, Larkin tries to have his own personality through his poetry, we can see in him Lawrencian social contact with the world, the pessimistic view of fatality of Hardy, the symbolism of Yeats, and Eliot, and also the ideational representations of the Romantics. He mixes between both anti-modernist and modernist attitudes. In other worlds, Larkin's self-knowledge stemming out from his own episodic memory is opposite to his poetic identity which is related to his own semantic memory. The Lockean view of the self with its knowledge is that it is sprung from two kinds of memories, episodic and semantic. The episodic memory is the autobiographical memory which records the private experience of the self, forming an identity and a literary persona which is different from that which is formed by the semantic memory which is "more generic, context free knowledge about the world" (
). The identity formed by the semantic represents some kind

of obligatory data, like the date and the place of birth and religious concepts, one's own personality and even the class he belongs to. We produce our identities from our own memories. Consequently, according to the concept of the episodic memory, modernist means partly that he was born in a modern era, being a

Larkin is not obliged to be in the

shoes of the Modernists nor the opposite. At the same time, his experiences is life, his


literary, social, and personal knowledge along with his personal tendencies create his anti-


Gomaa 156
modernist attitude in the episodic memory. Thus, being Lawrencian, Hardysque, romantic or

Yeatsian is something connected to a certain Larkinian identity. John F. Kihlstrom, Jennifer Beer and Stanley B. Klein comment on the relation between self-knowledge and identity saying that selfhood or self-knowledge is part of one's identity. To elaborate, Larkin's perception of the external world around him depends on two different sources, which in turn create in him two opposite identities; the first source is his compulsive existence in and unwilling belonging to the modern age which make of him naturally a modernist. The second source is "semantic memory" which is represented in his tendencies and obsessions which make of him a willingly anti-modernist. Whalen elaborates Larkin "wrote in spiritual company with a series of contemporary British poets who also quite consciously seek heeling connection with the familiar world outside the self". (113). "Broadcast", for example, is a poem which sheds the light on how Larkin writes in both terms, modernist and anti-modernist. By modernist attitude, we many mean the techniques of writing, either the symbolism and the rhythm of both Yeats and Eliot, or the Imagism of both Plath and Pound. As for what is anti-modernist attitude, it is related to what is romantic and Larkinesque. In "Classical Reading review, May 2010: Philip Larkin Special Issue" John Drexel states that "Broadcast" includes both romantic and Larkinesque together. What is Larkinesque about the poem is that Larkin keeps a distance from his persona, he becomes an observer, but not a completely detached observer. This distance is a feature of Larkinesque writing. Still, the investment of emotions and this creative imagination along with his attitude towards the woman are romantic. The poem consists of three six stanzas with a strict rhyme (ABACCB) and with "iambic tetrameter" rhythm of the first line of every stanza. The poem is both objective and


subjective, in the sense that it records a scene in which the poet listens to a broadcast of a


Gomaa 157 radio, where there was a concert, yet he gazes into the distant concert visualizing a lady whom he may love. From a modernist point of view, the first stanza reveals some kind of tension between the existent of a place where Larkin is not present, evoking an image "the lady", physically and emotionally, which challenges such a distance. Imagination is juxtaposed with reality, this is the main tension. Through the radio, we hear "giant whispering", "coughing", "scuttle on the drum", and the the violins". Such a distant, musical and noisy atmosphere opposes such a highly conscious feeling of the persona which seems remote, yet, this supposition is eliminated by "I think of your face among all those faces". The romantic feeling of loneliness is intensified by using the radio as an instrument, connecting him with unnamed woman. "You", "I" and "faces" are there to stress such an opposition between the persons "I" and "you" existing among "faces". According to the modernist approach, the readers do not care if this "I" is Larkins or not, and "You", biographically, is Maeve Brenan or not, but what is important is that Larkin stretches his imagination to ritualize such a scene which seems paradoxically both remote and close. Irony within the first stanza stems out from comparing the concert to "vast Sundayfull-and organ frowned on spaces", Larkinesque agnosticism overcomes him. This anthem of England when "the queen" is mentioned, and "a snivel on

juxtaposition of both the church atmosphere and the concert's anthem supports Larkin's view of changing the church into a secular place. The Queen is a reference to "God save the Queen" an anthem played by "sudden scuttle of the drum". The "huge resettling" is the audience in the mass act of sitting down after having stood for the anthem. The second stanza represents a move of Larkin's camera of imagination into a


zooming pose giving more details about the lady or "You", where she lost one of her "unnoticed gloves" on the floor "Beside those new, slightly-outmoded shoes". Darkness


Gomaa 158 causes loss of sight, the whole scene withers away. The persona performs its role in

imagining, making what is "there", "here". The paradox between "there" and "here"; the concert, and the room, dominates the whole poem. We are remoted from the very beginning by the objective atmosphere of the concert heard through a radio, yet closeness is stressed by the element of imagination. Irony is also stated through the extended metaphors when Larkin compares the concert to the church, the word "devout" in the second stanza is a continuation of such an ironical tone. Drexel states that the reference to the woman's gloves makes us think of hands, and it is not far to imagine her hands as folded together in an attitude that resembles that of prayer. The awareness of the opposition between "here" in the room, and there at the concert emerges in the last stanza, when he expresses his despair that he cannot "pick out" her hand, because of "being distant". Again, the tension is there, it is set between the reality and imagination, between the remoteness of the concert expressed by "The glowing of wavebands", and "rabid storms of chording", and "applauding", in one side, and the "Leaving me desperate to pick out / your hands", on the other hard. This challenges the real remoteness through imaginative romantic feeling of longing. Self-knowledge within "Broadcast" creates Larkin's different identities which set in contrast to each other, formulated by certain modern poetic tools like irony and paradox. In other worlds, the episodic memory represented in the experience of the lady, is mirrored through thinking of the lady, recording the loss of her glove, and trying to pick out her hand. This romantic feeling stemming out from Wordsworthian spontaneous overflow of feelings and emotions in the moments of tranquility creates a romantic sphere when subjectivity overwhelms the whole poetic experience, and dominates the whole imaginative scene.


Meanwhile, this is opposite to the semantic memory mirrored through the musical atmosphere of the concert "whispering and coughing", "scuttling on the drum", "glowing of


Gomaa 159 wavebands", "storms of chording", and "applauding" which creates the objective mode, this is totally modernist. In addition, the use of modern technique of irony through metaphorizing the concert as a church, gives us a hint about Larkinesque agnosticism. Larkin wants to hear the concert as a secular alternate for a religious ceremony. Furthermore, the existence of the persona of Larkin who is semi-detached is also another Larkinesque technique.
What is noticeable is that although the poem is full of auditory images "whispering,



the anthem of the Queen", still, visual images recalled through

imagination, have a sound existence "glove, faces, hands", that shows that imagination is stronger than reality. Thus, using modernist techniques of paradox, irony and diving through the psyche of the character sets Larkin's identity as a modern poet. Yet, no sooner do we believe this, than we face his romantic subjective, and Larkinseque use of semi-detached persona which forms an anti-modernist identity. "Home is sad" is another poem, which exposes Larkin's Hamlet-like situation concerning the identity. The title of the poem is totally romantic; it personifies "Home" as someone sad because of the depravity of its tenants. Nostalgia, sadness, loneliness and longing for a family are all set Larkin as a romantic poet. Moreover, his Larkinesque persona as a detached observer is there; he does not use "I" this time to set an objective scene full of psychological feelings, and minute physical details. The poem consists of two stanzas, with the rhyme scheme "ABABA", with iambic pentameter. In the first stanza, Larkin makes use of the romantic images, in portraying "Home" as


a sad person suffering due to being empty of its owners. His identity as a romantic poet is formulated by the experiences of loss and sadness of family stemming out from his episodic memory. "Home" becomes a reflection of the romantic dilemma, it is like the romantic


Gomaa 160
pathetic fallacy Angela Johnston state's that Larkin gives emotion and personality to the

house which "remains as it was left". Readers begin to mourn for the home in the same way that the home grieves for the missing family. It wants to win back its family "of any one to please". The phrase "no heart" is to reverse the former suggestion of personifying home. Larkin seeks through this reversal to set such a distance, in an objective way, between the readers and the poem. Again, Larkinseque persona, as a detached observer, interferes to make the readers share the same distant attitude, "to be involved and not to be involved", a Hamletlike attitude. In the second stanza, "home" cannot bear to face the fact that it has no longer its family. The denial is expressed through the representation of nostalgic minute physical details of the domestic state in the past when the family was there ". the pictures, and the cutlery / the music in the piano stool, the vase". The economy in the use of words is a technique employed by Larkin to state his detachment. The poem reveals Larkin's different identities; his own romantic senses of loss, nostalgia, and melancholy are an outcome of his personal memory, what is real "the feelings" is mixed with what is not real "home" as a person who feels, emotions overcome reason. This is typically romantic as Lillian R. Furst states in Romanticism: The Critical Term. He confirms that subjectivity is one of the key features of the romantic attitude. In "Home is so sad", Larkin cunningly portrays "home" as mirroring the subjective attitudes of most people, Johnston states that: Readers can fully relate and sympathize with the home because of this parallel. Most people experienced leaving home for the first time or moving away. Because the emotions the speaker


gives the home are so close to what a human's would be in reverse situation, we are able to recognize the similar emotions


Gomaa 161 the home is dealing with. This personification further

emphasizes the home's loss of its family (2).

Personifying home is also a romantic image, its affinity to the humans, makes the poem real. Moreover, the detachment of the Larkinesque persona as another poetic identity is marked by the use of caesuras; there is a caesura or a natural pause, which is created by the gap between the two stanzas. It leaves the reader with silence to make a distance. This detached tone of the poet illustrates how the home becomes more and more hopeless with the passing of time. Moreover, another tool of detachment is the fragmentation of the syntactic structure in the last line "you can see how it was: look at the pictures and the cutlery, / the music in the piano. That vase" the sentences become so brief to capture the stillness of the inanimate objects. The inclusion of the audience as, Johnston writes, shows the breakdown of hope as "you" is addressed in a tone like an order, "look at the pictures", which is another tool of detachment of both the readers and the poet. Still, the use of "Home" as an objective correlative, in Eliot's way, symbolizing the human feelings of loss and nostalgia relates Larkin to the modernist identity. The "home" views itself as a vessel, or vase for a family, if it is empty, both identities are lost. "Home" becomes a symbol in a new critical sense, it refers to the loss of memories and identity. Thus, "Home is Sad" mirrors Larkin different poetic identities. As a modern approach, the poem as a whole may be read as an imagist one, describing a home with its occupants elsewhere. The home longs for its owners to come back, similar to a dog left at home waiting for its master, or a child being left at a daycare center. The whole poem is built on one image "home" with its contents conveying its nostalgia to its inhabitants.


This reminds us of poetry of both Ezra Pound and Sylvia Plath, Pound in "In a station of a Metro", portrays the appearance of people like the "apparitions", and their heads


Gomaa 162 are compared to "wet" branches on a bough. "The apparitions of these faces a in the crowd / Petals on a wet, black bough". This metaphysical imagist short poem reveals a lot about the modern imagism school. Similarly, Plath compares herself to a phoenix who resurrects many times: "Out of the ash / I rise with my red hair And I eat like air." Within "The Whitsun Weddings", Larkin introduces another paradoxical attitude between being modernist and anti-modernist; the romantic affinity is there within the poem, John Reibetanz confirms in his "The Whitsun Wedding: Larkin's Reinterpretation of Time and From in Keat's contemporary literature" that: The Keatsian stanza of "The Whitsun Weddings", "underline the poem's thematic concerns in an equally masterful way, but Larkin's structure is as different from Keats's as his themes are. A succession of similarly rhymed stanzas (all ababcdecde)

leads the reader on an unbroken movement through time that mirrors progress on the train. The unfolding of this narrative action links the stanza into a tight sequence, and this effect is furthered by Larkin's characteristic habit of running his stanzas into each other. As both narrator and newly married couples are picked up and carried along on a fixed timetabled journey." (531).

This similarity between both Keats and Larkin aims at a certain conclusion, which is that Larkin in writing his poetry relates himself to the dead romantic poets despite the fact that he still owns a modern touch.


Reibetanz states that Larkin shortens the second line of every stanza, unlike Keats who shortens the line close to the end of the stanza. This shortened line expresses "the burst


Gomaa 163
of energy, offering the possibility of other directions.. Larkin's stanzas direct us to the

unrelenting flow of time as surely as Keats proclaim the remoteness of art from its course" (533). Thus, both of them share one vision towards remoting art from reality. Keats wrote in "Ode to a Nightingale":
Thou was not born for death, immortal Bird. No hungry generations tread thee- down The voice I hear this passing night- was heard In ancient days by emperor and clown

Perhaps the self-time song that found a path Through the sad heart of Ruth, when sick for home, She stood in tears amid the-alien corn, The same that off times hath charm'd magic casements, opening an the foam Of perilous seas, in faery lands forlorn.

Meanwhile, the stanza in "The Whitsun Wedding" is composed somehow similar. Success so huge and wholly- farcical, The woman shared the secret like a happy funeral, While girls, gripping their handbags- tighter, stared At a religious wounding free at last And loaded with the sum of all- they sew, We hurried towards London,- shuffling gouts of steam.

Now fields were building-plots, and poplars cast Long shadows over major roads, and for Some fifty minutes, that in time would seem.

The shortened line in Keats's poem is "the same that off times has" which comes by the end


of the stanza, meanwhile, the shortened lined in Larkin's is "the women shared" which is

posed in the second verse.


Gomaa 164

Moreover, what is anti-modernist about the poem is again the detachment of Larkin himself as an observer belonging to the middle class, describing the wedding ceremonies of the working class couples. As soon as he sets his tone as an observer, he changes his attitude in the last part of the poem, adopting a contemplative vision. Thus, the poem is divided into three main parts; the first part is where Larkin describes the train with the physical landscape, urban, and rural, at the outset of his journey. In the second movement, the poet only watches and expresses with detachment the whole scenes of the wedding in different stops of the train. Then comes the third movement which exposes the solitary bachelor pondering the significance of what he observes, these different attitudes are totally Larkinian. Still, the poem is full of symbols, paradoxes, and timing technique which set forth the poem within the modernist perspectives. The awareness of time is conveyed through the title, "Yhe Whitsun Weddings", which is a time of spiritual rebirth in the Christian church, where Sunday or Pentecost, is to celebrate the descent of the holy spirit upon the followers of Jesus. Traditionally, whit Saturday was regarded as an auspicious day for a wedding and it was a popular choice among the British working classes. Moreover, a wedding is an expression of a loving commitment, bringing with it the prospect of future happiness and the expectation of a new life. Within the first movement, which starts from the first verse, time is set in the past, which records the whole experience within the past tense, remoting the poet from his text, setting him as an observer. This initiates the distant Larkinian tone "I was getting away" and
"one twenty on the sunlit Saturday" represents the full conscious awareness of time through

the semantic memory. Through an imagist modern technique, Larkin visualizes the departure of the train, creating an image of continuity between sky, city and water that the train itself mimics, "The


river's level drifting breadth began, / where sky and Lincolnshire and water meet". The city's


Gomaa 165 hurrying bustle dropping away with the train's departure. The form of movement that connects distinct locations and points of time. Within this part, in the first stanza, the poet addresses the reader's sense of touch "cushion hot", smell "the fish dock" and sight "blinding windscreens". The rhyme in "ay" causes some kind of irritation and worry, the reverse assonance in "Whitsun..sunlit" is to emphasize the brightness and heat of the day. The train journey first takes them through suburbia before it passes close to the quays, then out into the countryside along the river Humber. The train from the starting lines of the first movement is set as a symbol of life, full of all senses. Sight, sound and smell. Moreover, the paradoxical tone or the tension between the flowing of water, and in turn the train, and the irritability, of both being conscious of time and hotness of the day, reveals such sub conscious conflict within Larkin, from the very beginning till the very end. The second stanza within the first movement records another tension between the easy naturalness of the landscapes evoking pastoral sweetness "wide farms", and "shadowed cattle" set against the "industrial froth". Words like "Hedges, rose," represent the fantasy of the landscape giving the portrait of sensual imagery against "the reek of buttoned carriagecloth". This contrast began to disappear when in the third stanza Larkin declares that he did not "notice what a noise / the wedding made". This sudden change in the metrical composition of the second verse conveys a sense of an immediate action which negates the sense of pastiness the poet adopts. Again, the auditory senses through "whoops and skirls" are set in contrast to the visualization of both "sun" and "shade". Hitherto, Larkin had only been aware of what he could see in the sunlight on the platforms of the different stations. Initially, he had mistaken for horse play by the railway porters the sound of wedding guests saying an unfolding


goodbye to newly married couples and so had paid them no attention "I look for porters Larking with the mails,/ and went on reading". In the early part of the journey, it was the


Gomaa 166 physical landscape which had caught the poet's eye. But now as the train pulls slowly out of the station, he becomes aware of the smiling perfumed young woman on the platform, dressed in cheap imitations of the latest female fashions, and watching the train depart "grinning and pomaded, girls/ In parodies of fashions, heels and veils / All poised irresolutely watching us go". From such a point, the poet sets himself as a middle class observer who gives a detailed account of the weddings of the working class. The second movement starts portraying a primary tension between two images; those girls who were "waving goodbye" and the newly married couple who have "survived" the wedding ceremony and the subsequent celebration of the "event". The girls are on the periphery of the main event, yet, what strikes us is such a tension which is crystallized subconsciously in how Larkin views those working class couples. He registers his observation through the adverbs "promptly" and "curiously", which are followed by startling mockery represented in describing the older generation in this particular wedding party. The fathers with broad belts-under their suits And seamy foreheads; mothers loud and fat, And uncle shouting smut,

The words "broad belts", "seamy foreheads" and "shouting smut" convey such a sense of disdainful attitude towards the working class wedders. However, once again, the poet's eye is drawn to the unmarried girls who stand out from the others because of their hair styles, accessories and different coloured dresses. Their "nylon gloves", "Jewelry-Substitutes" are continuous Larkinian indirect hints to their downto-earth taste. "Mothers loud and fat", and "an uncle shouting smut" demonstrates the


grotesque description of certain individuals who are transformed into types from Larkininan point of view, although he is still an observer. Then, Larkin goes beyond what he can see on the platform and imagines where the wedding receptions had taken place earlier in the day:


Gomaa 167 cafes And banquet. Halls up yards, and Bunting-dressed Coach-party annexes.

The suggestion of how little heed will be taken by the couples of last minute advice flung at them like confetti "the last confetti and advice were thrown". The second movement is a marvelous portrait of such a tension between Larkin as a middle-class observer and the wedding parties with their companions, as part of the working-class environment. The third movement starts from "the woman shared/ the secret like a happy funeral"
till the end of the poem. Larkin adopts a contemplative vision through which he interprets

different conscious pictures to express certain sub-conscious obsessions. Firstly, Larkin began to shoot the whole scene moving outward to inward, moving from the facial expressions of the various guests on the platforms as they waved goodbye to the departing married couples, to the children, who found the farewell is boring. But, for the fathers, it is delight mixed with success that dominates their feelings. Again comes the comment of Larkin to interfere the whole scene, as he describes the whole scene as "wholly farcical", which implies a sneering, mocking, dismissive class attitude on the part of the poet. The phrase "happy funeral" conveys the reflective mood of women who are acutely aware of what lies ahead for the bride; the good times, and the bad ones. The response of the unmarried girls on the edge of the wedding parties is the most complex: "girls, gripping their handbags tighter, stared/ at a religious wounding". There were many interpretations of the phrase "religious wounding", as it may refer to the newly girl's first painful experience of sexual intercourse. It may suggest the pain experienced as a result of the bride's inevitable


separation from her family following the religious ceremony. The phrase reflects Larkin's perspective, not that of the girls.


Gomaa 168 The train, then, went on, approaching the metropolis, there is a change in the physical Landscape and we are subtly reminded that the day is moving on, "Now fields were buildingplots, and poplars cast/ long shadows over major roads". For the remaining fifty minutes of the journey, the twelve couplets, alone together, for the first time since their wedding ceremonies, recall embarrassing moments from earlier in the day, "I nearly died". A

significant shift in perspective now occurs while he shares the physical journey and the passing view with the honey mooners. Paradoxically, he still remains a detaches observer, a choric commentator, missing the significance of this shared journey as he watches the couples watching the landscape slipping by: ..and none
Thought of the others they would never meet Or how their lives all contain this- hour.

Each couple is setting out on a different journey in life and will never meet again. All are now at the same starting-point. But they are too happy and excited as working class unlike the reflective middle-class poet.
The tension within this part is set sub consciously between those couples who are "sitting side by side", and "their lives", conveying the sensations of unity and harmony,

opposing Larkin's celibacy and isolation. The closure of London, the metropolis, is stated in a very witty image where Larkin juxtaposes what is pastoral with the metropolis "spread out in the sun / Its pastoral districts packed like squares of wheat". Then, when the train comes to its end, again, the paradox exists between the sweetness of the naturalness settled in the subconscious, and "walls of blackened moss", hinting to environmental pollution. Then,


Larkin delineates the final slow acceleration of the train: It was nearly done, this frail Travelling coincidence; and what-it held Stood ready to be loosed with-all the power


Gomaa 169 That being changed can give.

"Changed" here has ambiguous connotations, because it is not known who is to be changed as a result of the train journey. The word "power" also has not a fixed reference; we dont know to which thing it may refer. Finally, Larkin restores his own subjective attitude despite of his observing camera, in the final image of the poem, when he hints to those dozen couples who are on the train, and how they had earlier fallen in love, "there swelled / A sense of falling, like an arrow shower". There is the suggestion that they are now at their happiest, at the outset of their
marriages, they are victims of cupid arrows. If the poem begins in "the sunlit", it ends in

"rain". This may be an interpretation of the words "changed", and "power", as its the psychological change through which Larkin himself gets out of poetic power, from the mood of "sunlit" to the mood of "rain", after recording such harmony and love among the working class couples. Tension prevails throughout the poem through many levels; on the level of the contrast between both the pastoral sweetness and the industrial awful world, Larkin employs
visual and gustatory senses to convey such a contrast, for example, the visualization of

"canals with floating", "wide farms", "short-shadowed cattle", "hedges", "rose" and "acres" oppose other visual images related to the industrial life like "industrial froth" and "walls of blackened moss". In addition, such juxtaposition of the olfactory senses "the reek of buttoned
carriage cloth", against "a smell of grass" reveals implicitly Larkin's modern attitude towards

the city (like many other modern British and Arab poets).
Secondly, there is another tension between the psychological sub-conscious attitude


of the poet and the conscious perception of the

delighting scene of the wedding celebrations,

the visual images of "grinning" girls with their "pomades" which appeal to the olfactory sense, and other visual signs of joy and happiness like "heels, veils, bunting-dressed, confetti,


Gomaa 170 mauves" are set in contrast to the isolated, melancholies attitude of the poet conveyed through an indirect way, through "they watched the landscape, sitting side by side", and "A sense of falling, like an arrow shower". "Like an arrow-shower" is a simile deepening the sense of
depravity of the poet, startling the readers with such ambiguous attitude of being both a

detached and subjective observer, which is totally Larkinan. Thirdly, there is a tension between both the form of the ode in three levels, the form, the thematic concerns, and the concept of time. For the form, Larkin uses the same form of the ode concerning the rhyme, but with different rhythmical variations. For the theme, "The Whitsun Weddings" has the theme of personal perception of the scene of the wedding like in "an ode to the Grecian Urn", and how it is reflected on the psyche of the self of the poet.
This is very similar to Lockean concept of the sensations as the scene of "waving

goodbye, parodies of fashion, coach party annexes, confetti, advice girl with gripping handbags, shuffling gouts of steam", penetrates the perception of the poet to reflect certain contemplative vision through which he expresses the sub-conscious feelings of loneliness. By doing this, he violates his detached observation. Fourthly, the prompt and curious observation of the middle class poet, sheds the light on his attitude towards the working class weddings; words like "seamy, lout, fat, smut and farcical" record Larkin's bias attitude.
Fifthly, there is another tension between the different moods of the poet varying

through the poem. It is seen at the beginning mixed with nature (Pathetic Fallacy); it is "sunlit Saturday", enclosed with domestic scene "All windows down, all cushions hot", and at the end it is "rain" that remains. Hotness against coldness is what the poet perceives, the joy of the wedders against the melancholy of the poet. Furthermore, the movement of the train


which is accelerated at the beginning opposes its slow movement performed by "tighed brakes", at the end. It coincides the tempo of the poet's mood or even his heart beats. Now, he is about to end his life without marriage, he didn't, does not and will not feel such harmony


Gomaa 171 nor is penetrated by the same arrows. The whole poem in the symbolic level is a journey of Larkin's marital life which ends in winter although it starts in summer. Moreover, on the level of vocabulary, "happy funeral" is an oxymoron which represents the tension between what the couples expect, and what they will really face. "Larking" is a pun conveying the tension between two ambiguous meanings, either it refers to the writings of Larkin or the news that the porters carry. Moreover, time is always there, it has many functions; firstly, it sets the poem with the semantic memory, secondly, it differentiates between Keatsean odes of immortal vision and Larkinan mortal perception "one twenty". In addition, on the phonetic level, there is cacophony, which is tension in sounds, in "came close", and "tightened brakes" which conveys the sense of doomness. "Rain" at the end of the poem is considered to be a symbol of rebirth and regeneration in the modern sense. Moreover, the last verses include some kind of epiphany through which Larkin realizes his misery.

Thus, the poem is an expression of Larkin's swaying between modern and anti-modern attitudes, either through the use of the tension, symbolism or his loss of hope which represents his own modern stand, or his own anti-modern vision mirrored through his own romantic pathetic fallacy, the use of Keatsean form of an ode or his own Larkinan detached attitude.

Whalen in his chapter "Poetry of Reality" states that "Larkin is a poet of reality who, as a result of his explorations, turns up his "intensive" moments, his epiphanies, as individual miracles of logic" (112). Epiphany as a repulsive moment is totally conceived of as a modern concept in which the connection between the modern surrounding and the inner subconsciousness of the modern writer is unveiled. In his "Sad Steps", Larkin introduces a


modern dilemma of the modern character in general which is the moment of epiphany as Larkin admits throughout the poem that he is no longer young to enjoy the scene of the moon


Gomaa 172 like other young lovers, "Is a reminder of the strength and pain / of being young, that it cant come again. / But is for others undiminished somewhere". Still, there is such tension between both the romantic view of the moon and the feeling of reality, which is unfolded at the end of the poem through the moment of epiphany.
"Sad Steps" was written in 1968 and appeared in Larkins 1974 collection "High

Windows". The title comes from a sonnet written by the 16th century poet Sir Philip Sidney, "With how sad steps, O Moon, / thou climbs the skies/ How silently, and with how wan a face". Although both poems focus on the image of the moon, which is an all-powerful entity, Sidney seems to have respect and love for the moon, while Larkin is envious and fearful of the moon. These two poems are different also in the way that Sidney was young and in love when he wrote his poem, while Larkin was in his mid-forties when he wrote his. Sidney as a young lover compares between his state as a courtly young lover who complained about his beloveds neglect. She is dwelling the world of the moon.

On the contrary to this attitude, Larkin is seen in an average age; age changes how he views and experiences life; the message is that youth is filled with naivety and unabashed fun and happiness while old age brings wisdom and sorrow. Consequently, the main theme of "Sad Steps" is the loneliness of the old age and death; the narrator looks to the moon and is envious of its singleness and immortality. We are born, we live, and then we die; conversely, the moon starts as nothing, grows full, and is nothing again, it has a never ending cycle or rebirth. Furthermore, the narrator is also envious of the young, because they are inherently blissfully unaware of their own mortality.
"Sad Steps" includes both modernist and anti-modernist attitudes together; Larkins


self-knowledge of the world around him is represented in the use of the symbols, imagist technique, defamiliarization, tension, irony, in addition, to the technique of juxtaposition.


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Yet, Larkins poetic identity is exposed in his romantic and detached attitudes. "Sad Steps" comprises six three line stanzas with an interesting rhyme scheme that links the stanzas into three groups (ABA BBA CDC DDC EFE FFE). The rhyme is spondaic trimeter. Larkin mixes both lyricism and crudeness, in an attempt to jar his reader from the typical poetic frame of mind. The opening line is deliberately vulgar, "Groping back to bed after a piss", the juxtaposition between vulgarity and lyricism is one of the modern techniques the poet adopts. The poet seeks to affirm that the poem is written for "average people" than high society. "Groping" connotes a sense of darkness opposite to the light of the moon. The narrator parts the thick curtains of his bedroom window and is startled by the magnificence of the moon. Parting the curtains or the pulling back of a veil is commonly known as a modern symbol of the revelation of the truth. The tension stated in "the rapid clouds which unveils the moons cleanliness", is to mirror the wisdom which Larkin reaches after such an old age. The moon is a symbol of immortality; it is set in contrast to the image of the poet himself. The moon is not affected by time; conversely time has caused the narrator to grow older and weaker. The end of the narrators life is coming closer and closer while the moon is just brilliant. The second stanza marks the beginning of the lyrical tone. It also conveys the ironical tone which reverses the romantic vision represented in the sense of loneliness suggested throughout reading the poem. The stanza begins with "four oclock", when the narrator discovers the moon. The sky is described as "cavernous" and "wind-picked". The clouds are moved hither and thither by the wind. Once Larkin has established his lyrical tone, he begins to mock it in a very ironical way, "theres something laughable about this". Irony lies in that


although the scene is depicted beautifully and lyrically, Larkin tends to describe things as they are rather than trying to make simple objects or actions seem more profound than they


Gomaa 174 are. By doing this, Larkin violates the modern concept of portraying objects in an obscure way without profound way as Whalen states, Larkins personae invades the physical way by "an attending intelligence" (108). The third stanza invokes another modern structuralist technique which is the poet

defamiliarization. Larkin reinforces the tension between the immortality of

represented in the dominant light of the moon despite the existence of the clouds, and the morality of the poet. The moon is seen once again as an all-powerful entity that cannot be diminished. The moon "dashes" through the clouds. Even the clouds are described in a familiarized way as "cannon smoke" through which the light of the moon penetrates to lighten "the roofs below". "Stone coloured light" refers to the moons light as being grayish. The paradox between the clouds and the light of the moon is to show the power of the moon.

The fourth stanza checks the moment of epiphany through realizing that he is older than young lovers, and he is not like the moon neither. Larkin starts the stanza by three connotative adjectives "High and preposterous and separate". The romantic vision is testified through the isolation of the moon. It echoes Sidneys romantic agony and isolation. Larkin relates the moon to love "Lozenage of love". A Lozenage is a diamond-like in shape or figure. The poet bursts out into a frenzy of hyperboles or overstatements in an attempt to recapture the whimsy of youth. Moreover, he describes the moon as a "Medallion of art". The moon is a tablet or panel bearing a portrait or an ornament, and should be revered like any other medallion. Yet, again, irony startles the readers, when the poet explodes no, which expresses that he is not equal to the moon. The romantic descriptions of the moon as being image of isolation, highness, love and art are not applied to the case of the poet because he


meets many hardships.


Gomaa 175

The fifth stanza introduces the Larkinian detachment from the whole scene, although the experience starts as a subjective scene "I pick thick slightly, looking up there". The syntactic formula does not include "I", but still, the experience of "shivering" is reflected implicitly on the poets psyche. The poets comparison to the moon ends in the fact that the moon is harder, brighter, and its light reaches farther than he will ever be able to see. It alone can withstand mankinds biggest enemy which is time. Larkinian detachment is still doubted, because the complexity of the experience is deepened inside the psyche of the poet. The moon is a powerful entity that opposes the poets conscious realization of being weak and mortal.

The poem concludes in that how the sight of the moon reminds the poet of the strength and the pain that come with youth. The moon lives in a never ending cycle of rebirth. He feels a sense of being single and emptiness as he is now reaching closer and closer to the end of his life. Moreover, the poem as a whole is written in the form of a concentrated image where the main image is the moon involved by the clouds which are "rapid", through which it is

"clean", "high", "preposterous", and "separate". It is related emotionally to love, and has artistic shape like "Medallion of art". The word "dashes" underlies and demonstrates the whole image, as it defines the relation between the main components of the poem, "the moon" and "the clouds". The imagist portrait is interwoven through dynamic movement "shivers" and psychological feeling, "pain". Then comes the word "undiminished" to describe the main difference between the poet and the moon.


Thus, the moon as a symbol of immortality, "laughable" as an ironical tone against the romantic atmosphere, the lyrical tone which is juxtaposed with the crude word "piss", the tension between the morality of the poet and the immortality of the moon, and the strength


Gomaa 176

and enthusiasm of the young lovers opposite to the weakness and the misery of an old poet, all these modern keys are set side by side with the romantic and the Larkinian attitude, for this reason, "Sad Steps" includes Hamlet-like attitude.

If Larkin suffered the problematic of being both modernist and anti-modernist as a result of the contrast between both semantic memory and episodic one, Shosha did the same; both of them have rejected to an extent their modernism, attempting to escape into a wider emotional realm of 18

romanticism especially in their thematic and emotional response to

nature and certain issues around them. It is worth being mentioned that Shoshas romantic approach is more projected in his poetry than in Larkins. Still, both of them sway between adopting subjective attitude and being just observers employing the Eliotian technique of the objective correlative to process their subjectivity in an indirect way. In addition, certain modern technical formal devices, related to the New Critical School and Russian Formalist School prevail the analysis of Shoshas poems tension, paradox, irony, ambiguity and defamiliarization. Many critics assure that Shosha belongs to a new modern-romantic movement in the Arabic poetry, which is called Neo-Romanticism, which proves his own fluctuation between modernism and romanticism. Dr. Enani writes in his Prefaces to Contemporary Arabic Literature in the Post Mahfouz Era commenting on the appearances of many Arabic movements in the modern Age in his essay Neo-Romantics: Abu Sinnah, Shoosha and Guwaida: Having established the main variation of the modernist impulse in the new poetry, namely the romantic undercurrent in Abdul Saboor, the ironic tone of Jaheen, the sarcasm of Soroor and the


Surrealism of Qandeel, we may now advance to the Neoromanticism of Farooq Shoosha, Muhammed Ibrahim Abu


Gomaa 177 Sinnah and Farooq Guwaida. They are grouped together, for all their individual differences, because they share the same poetic faith. A basic hope in mans ability to overcome his predicament through the recognition of truth, the power of feeling and the belief in the past; and I have called it Neoromanticism because the movement represents a revival of the European romantic spirit which had informed the work of the Apollo Group in the 1930, Ali Mahmoud Taha, Ibrahim Nagui and Abu Shadi. (207)

Enani states that Shosha belongs to a new movement which shares the same romantic attitudes with the European Romantic Movement. For example, he gives example of Shosha whose poems, as he writes, belong to the Modernist Movement especially in idiom and structure, however, the main emotions and ideas are romantic. In other words, Shoshas poems are easier to relate to Shelley and Byron than to Auden and Eliot or, indeed, to Gunn and Hughes. Shoshas imagery is not too abstract; but his ideas are, and his generalizations reveal an interest in the universal standards (of truth; sincerity etc) which Wordsworth had inherited from the eighteenth century. Thus, what is modern about Shoshas poetry are both his idioms and structure (like symbols, Paradox, tension, the irony and the use of imagist technique like in Larkins) Meanwhile, what is romantic about him is the use of the abstract, natural imagery Pathetic Fallacy, and his feelings and emotions which stem from subjective attitudes.


Moreover, Dr. Ghali Shokry in his book Our Modern Poetry: To Where? stresses the fact that Romanticism in modern poetry is not a shameful act, as he (the modern Arabic poet) could make this romanticism modern through employing the romantic lyricism in


Gomaa 178
creating modern vision (179). Ghali, thus, defends the attitude of the modern Arabic poet

who adopts the romantic trend against the accusation of neglecting some contemporary political issues in return, confirming that romanticism, for the Arabic poet, is just a point of view and a formalist or a structuralist approach of the poem (120). By a point of view and structuralism, Ghali may mean what is related to the poets feelings and sentiments in the first sense, and not the internal structure of the poem. This concept is applicable to Shoshas Poetry and many other contemporary poets whose verses are overwhelmed by such flow of romantic implications and predicaments. Besides, there are other modern devices create some kind of problematic in the modern Arabic poetry. Commenting on the development of the Arabic poetry and its aspects of both which

Modernism and Romanticism, Dr. Enani in his introduction to Anthology of the New Arabic Poetry in Egypt writes that the contacts with the west had enabled a different generation in 1930s, to read and translate English and French verse, as a result, new concepts came to be adopted and the efforts of a leading member of that generation came to fruition. AL. Aqqads revolt was romantic, pure and simple, and the concepts he advocated could directly be traced to Wordsworth and Coleridge. (16). Thus, since the introduction of the modern predicaments into Arabic poetry, there were attempts to resist. The feeling of the poet as man speaking to man was adopted as a rejection against the elevation and the sophistication
of the modernist western influence upon the Arabic poetry. Besides, sincerity, idealism and

true emotions were against the philosophical vagueness and the plural truth of modernism. Thus, if Romanticism exists, modern techniques invade the modern Arabic poetry, with its different structures and idioms, Enani writes Modern ideas such as organic unity, development . Etc. came to be adopted too, and the critical scene brimmed with notions


never before acceptable in Arabic. (17). In addition, the new formula had modernist elements, and it reflects the imagist ideal of composing musical phrasal. Like Larkin,


Gomaa 179 Shooshas self-knowledge is related to his own modernist awareness of the techniques of organic unity, paradox, irony, tension and ambiguity, meanwhile, his own romantic feelings

and images. In addition, Shooshas self-knowledge is woven within his semantic memory, on the contrary to the episodic memory introduced through his neo-romanticism. For example, Shoshaa romanticism is exposed in his poem , where the experience of thirst, alienation, exile, pains and miseries become a reflection of the peoples dilemmas through a pathetic fallacy frame. This is considered to be a unique representation of the concept of the German idealists philosophy of unifying natural elements with human elements. amid the Arab desert waits for salvation, like those Arabs, who wait for
Prophet Mohammed to come to save them from the sterileness of both environment and

ethics as well. Thirst, isolation, exile and sterileness are not physical features rather than moral ones. is a symbol, in the modern sense, of all the sufferers and the needy

persons; if it complains about the hotness of the sun, and paradoxically, the coldness of the weather, and being trodden by feet, it is as the same as Arab people do. Despite its loneliness, it wonders what else will come after all this intolerable environmental and moral sterileness:

These verses represent

an inner vision concerning s

sub-conscious feelings

reflected on the conscious realm. Through its eyes, it records what happened in the world, as


... , , prevail, still time of oppression and tyranny dominate. This portrait paves the way to the predictable fact of the birth of Mohammed ( ).


Gomaa 180 The word new in the poem comes as a prophecy that something will occur, and such an unbearable state will not stay forever. It is some kind of foreshadowing.
Moreover, these chaotic movements overwhelming the universe are given religious dimensions, as this is because the world is deprived of such a reformer who could correct and improve the peoples ethics and behaviors. The phonetic mode is aroused in , , and , which mix what is audible with what is visual in a marvelous way. Shosha attempts to address the ear of the readers to give an impression that such horrible feelings of isolation and alienation come to an end through natural pathetic fallacy, whose elements of nature start to express its wonder and hope through . Moreover, this kind of poetic variety of response either human or natural hints to Shoshas personal vision towards the need for a modern Islamic rebirth which re-establishes a discipline of

ethics through which humans are reformed; this is what Dr. Mohammed Al Sayed Salama stresses. Thus, the poet employs the romantic experience of to mirror a human need to the Prophet Mohammed, to save it, and all the humans as well from perils. s loss
and isolation are typically human. It is unique in its misery and agony /

. This thirst is moral and spiritual more than being physical; Dr. / Salama writes this thirst is significantly and deeply spiritual more than the lexis itself conveys, as it seeks to rest its body and relax, to be protected from the burning sun. It needs

something that to be shadowed by (100). " .)100( " The appearance of Prophet Mohammed is announced in the second part of the poem;


he symbolizes hope,

and light which would remove all the features of pessimism and

darkness. He is described as being , coming out of the land and grows to be a tree which


Gomaa 181 has boughs, fruits , and safety. The poet describes Mohammed as being , it explodes in , his heart is full of joy although he himself suffered the state of orphanage, for this reason, he swore not to leave melancholies. All these descriptions and attributes are related to the sentiments and emotions more that external physical modes. What the poet seeks to prove is that the coming of the Prophet changes the whole people innately as heart became decent and flexible, after a state of dryness and stiffness (101). The observing stand emerges, although in a plural pronoun , . This moral change done to the hearts from being harsh to be decent, distinguishes the coming of the prophet marking his moralizing role. He Prophet Mohammed gathers and folds all love threads to be poured into the hearts of people rendering them more flexible and amiable: / / . Even his heart beats and throbs are a kind of prayers to God. All pray Allah, Allah to enrich such sacred mission carried by the Prophet, who would sweep darkness and lit the universe. Prophet Mohammed symbolizes, for Shosha as a romantic poet, the abstract standards of both truth and ethics, like any 18

c. romantic poet, Shosha is inspired by the moral emblems

related to Mohammeds mission in reforming the universe. William Blake, Percy Shelley, Samuel Coleridge and John Keats sought the abstract standards of truth which are too ideal for them to exist. For This reason, they consider themselves as prophets who deliver such truth to the universe. In the case of Shosha, the Muslim poet, he views Mohammed as a modern savior to the modern world because of his Islamic and ideal standards and modes of behaviors. Then, Shosha records one of the most striking situations in the life of Prophet


Mohammed, it is the day of conquering Mecca, defeating its people, it is called Al Fath Day, when the Prophet forgave the Meccans, although they hurt him and his family, dismissing him out of Mecca to Al Madina. After Al Fath, Mohammed with his ethics in


Gomaa 182
forgiving all the Meccans, freeing them instead of capturing them, became an ideal person

concerning mercy and religious tolerance. His morals overwhelmed the hearts of people. This ideal image uncovers the modern immoral principals:

The contrast between the positive attitude of the Prophet and the negative image in , sheds the light on such a conflict between Shoshas pursuit beyond the ideal romantic truth and the horrible modern status quo. Mohammed has proved how man could
overcome his own self-desirable feelings of revenge and vengeance; his humanity becomes

like flaming light in the modern surrounding fed up with darkness and animalism. Additionally, the poet moves to multiply other moral situations cinierging
Mohammeds followers and companions who stood beside him defending him and sacrificing

their souls for such a noble target. They had gone through many battles proving their honesty and loyalty to the Prophet. By doing this, they exemplify again the ideal romantic truth and ethics:



Gomaa 183 The description of the Prophets followers and companions as being , which were the honor of righteousness, and martyrs who irrigated by their blood such Islamic mission reveals to what extent those men were loyal and honorable to their ideal Prophet. The question of belonging to these noble generations is aroused in an ironical doubtful tone / . The stress on the fact that we belong to them only through blood increases the paradoxical mode as he states that it is just a blood relational belonging and not a moral one, this paradox is confirmed in our page/ and their page. The indefinite interrogation form in How could we belong to them? negates and supposition of being like them for how we, living on such intolerable waste land belong to such ancestors whose land was lit by their own moral and ethical attitudes. Finally, the poem ends arousing explainable terms for why we do not belong to them and how we could change this:

The verses state Shoshas inspiration to have a better future full of hope and ambitions,


removing all feelings of fear, indifference and neglect. Still, the paradox between the Arabic ancestors and the modern generation increases the tone of persistence and insistence to subvert the modern conditions. Dr. Salama writes These paradoxical images express the difference between the past with its beauty and honor in contrast to the present being guilty due to its events (103). Negativeness versus positiveness, purity and innocence versus guilt and impurity, fakeness versus righteousness, all these aspects represent the contrast between


Gomaa 184 the ancestors and the modern Arabs. Shosha aspires to subvert this land from being fragments or wastes to be the land of prophecies. Moreover, the romantic aspects within the poem are observed in two main immediate to the individual experience of , particularities; first, the poem is related which suffers isolation, loneliness, hotness and coldness. The second is Shoshas personal scheme and aspiration of projecting the ideal experience of Mohammed and his companions as being the saviors of the modern waste land. Both experiences are merged in one complex modern

and romantic frame to provide an outstanding personal vision. The compulsion of tyranny, darkness, sterileness, corruption and wasteness associated with this chaotic movement prevailing through the universe, adds more psychological dimension which

enlarges the comprehensive effect of the romantic experience marked by the coming of the Prophet. Even, the metaphors suggest such a romantic transcendental philosophy attributed to the Prophet and his men:

, are all metaphors where Shosha interprets the

response of the natural elements into personifications, as the flute is sad, and the palm trees have

whispering gossip. Audio, visual images within these portraits manifest the artistic creativity of the poet. Furthermore, is another metaphor underlying the social uneasiness, disturbance and anarchy dominating such an era. Additionally, the apprehension of the
Prophets role in these inescapable conditions is processed through many other metaphors


where the Prophet is compared to to sustain the romantic like moralizing mission. Another metaphor in ... in which Mohammeds face is likened to a volcano of courtesy which hints to the amount of goodness the Prophet


Gomaa 185 grants to humanity. The indefiniteness in the word face signifies the greatness and the glory of such a face. There is a synecdoche in as he means Prophet Mohammed and not just his heart. The effects that the Prophet had on humanity are incorporated in a group of outstanding metaphorized images; for example, the tough heart is melt, and the solid mountain becomes decent and mild, as if the heart is a liquid and the mountain is a
person, which conveys the serenity and the transcendentalism of the mission of the poet.

These ideals are related to the romantic pursuit beyond the abstract truth. Moreover, the threads of love become concrete knot to incite sympathy and decency into the hearts of the people. The sacredness and the holiness of the mission are associated with , who enables this mission to dominate and prevail. Then, the second part ends in a revelation of phonetic space done through the apostrophe Allah, which imparts hope and solemnity to the whole scene. The third part witnesses the scene of conquering Mecca, and the Prophets release of all the Meccans despite their past hurt done to him and his companions. The personification in where the truth in the modern age is shut up and becomes .
This negative indication within this personification opposes the positive attitude of Al Fath

Day. The loss of values and the principles make of the truth . The ultimate romantic attitude comes when Shosha moves to describe the sacrifice of the Prophets companions along with nobility and piety; the simile on and the metaphor in evoke and strengthen their moralizing impulses they incite through people. The extensive elaboration of the war vocabulary the free, the captured, the swords, the martyrs, the blood is associated with the conventional environment of the Arabs at that time.


The preoccupation of the dilemma of whether Shosha along with his generation belong to the ancestors is evoked by the question . Shosha implicitly negates


Gomaa 186 such affinity through the personification , as the land is compared

to a pregnant mother who refuses to carry her children except after performing their moral and noble role in the society like their grandfathers. The remarkable metaphors in

are to record a radical shift to the waste land which needs , to be purified an undertaken as being sacred, to transform this land from being of fragments to be of prophecies. On the other hand, the aspects of modernism are represented in the poetic idioms and the structures within the poem; for example, Shosha employs modern technical devices like organic unity, tension, paradox and symbolism. For example, there is a paradox at the beginning of the poem, between two opposite states; the first which is connected to the life of or the people before the coming of the Prophet, and the state after his coming. The antithetical words between the two states evoke such paradox; survives in darkness, sterlileness, isolation, thirst, even hearts are tough and the faces are cruel, against the second state which is distinguished by . Antithesis extends into other aspects our page, their page, sky, earth, which indicates the tension between the two generations. The same meaning is confirmed in a land of fragments, a land of prophecies. Moreover, the paradox between the Prophets mercy and the cruelty of the Meccans is exposed in the antithesis the free, the captured. It is worth being mentioned that both Shosha and Eliot provoke religion either symbolized as Red Rock in The Waste Land, or the image of the Prophet Mohammed in . Both solutions set explicitly the salvation through the religious impact. But Shosha stresses the fact that this moral mission of improving the universe depends on the amount of



that the preachers offer to make the voice of righteousness , and to deliver

the earth to a better future. Moreover, Shoshas self joins the plural pronouns we to melt


Gomaa 187
within the plural selves, this is shown in .

All these verbs come in the present tense and indicate reaction and not action to refer to the admiration of the plural we and the wonder involving them on the coming of the Prophet. Besides, the parade of the rhetorical questions in , articulates again such paradoxical cases between , both lives, before and after the Prophet. Thus, communicates with the readers through its own romantic aspiration to the religious idealism depicted through the image of the Prophet Mohammed moralizing aims, along with its modern technical devices which help articulate the tension between both the life of the Arabs after and before Islam. Shosha is captured between his episodic memory including his romantic aspirations and his semantic memory establishing his awareness of the modernist techniques.
In another poem entitled The Nile, Shosha reflects such problematic concerning modernism and romanticism through metaphorizing the journey of the river Nile through Egypt as a mythical journey of Man getting knowledge through life. Contextualizing the river

Nile as an old man passing by the districts of Cairo, Al Attaba, and Al Mosky, observing how the Egyptians change morally, as no one opens the door for him nor helps him despite of his repeated knocking. This journey implies boundaries; starting point and ending line; the Nile as an old man starts from the eastern banks moving through Cairo suburbs till he reaches the point of west bank, throwing his gown and sleeps. The journey is circular, without any kind of change either internal of external; it is initiated by his sleep, an immobile point, and then ends in the same point. This immobility is not just restricted to the kinetic movement


rather than it indicates a larger social and moral stability. No sequential results are to come except more irritable psychological indications that people change to the worst.


Gomaa 188 The poet uses the technique of the poetic camera zooming in to shoot the river Nile as an old man , then the camera moves in a flash back vision to record how time of tyranny extended long time ago. This affinity relation between the extension of time and the existence of oppression and tyranny paves the way to the final striking shock concerning the deteriorating morals. This also refers to the depth of such oppression inside the psyche of people. Shoshas camera moves to another scene where those liars neatly falsify the truth, as one of the human reasons beyond the loss of the ethics . Place dimension is recorded within the camera as being full of explosive mines and barriers / . By doing this, Shosha defines the place, time, the quester, and the enemy or the faked people to evoke the mythical concept. Then, the old Nileman gazes into the districts of Cairo, Al Azhar, Al Mosky, Al Attaba, The Castle, The Pyramids; these features are picked carefully to reveal religious, historical and folkloric dominions. The poet acknowledges the psychological dimension of the old man who roams like a sailing ship, knowing no one, inferring to the moral decline that the Egyptians reach. This negative attitude is expressed in many questions arousing wonder; for if the clothes of people change, their morals and facial features change too: :


Shosha shows the experience of the Egyptians as flux, admitting the retreat as a reversal moral movement in the eye language, and the change of the facial expressions in


Gomaa 189 accordance to the change in the colors of the clothes and the retreat of the sea edd. The overemphasis in the loss of the human values is illuminated by . The journey goes on, while the old man knocks the doors asking for help and rest. Yet, no one answers, and nothing changes; this constancy is projected through and . Despair involves him, thus, he decides to sleep again on the west bank marking the end of the journey. This end suggests a different implication from that of , as Shosha here makes him hero surrender to the negative state and the indifference of people without any positive attitude unlike . Two different identities are exposed within the poem; the first is such a romantic identification cemented because of Shoshas tendencies and his personal experience, and the second is the modern impositions represented in the modern techniques. First of all, the portrayal of the river Nile as an old man, as an extended personification throughout the poem, brings forth such romantic feelings of sympathy. Being neglected is a subtle reference to the opposition between romantic image, the old man, and the modern code of behavior. Another personification is presented in which sheds the light on the change in the peoples behaviors. Besides, there is a metaphor in where he compares the heart to a flaming object, yet, its ray vanishes eminently because of the loss of morals. The same meaning is shown in . All these metaphors and

personifications share of fact which is that the Egyptians particularly, and Man generally loses faith in ethics. is another metaphor as he compares the old mans dream to a sailing ship. This image of a mythical hero in an imaginative ship is dramatized and romanticized only in legends. The word dreams comes to introduce the idea of romantic aspiration opposing the


reality oppression and tyranny. In addition, visual images play a significant role in showing the contrast between reality and the aspired dreams; the ways of the old man are filled with barriers and mine fields, the sky is no longer purely blue, even do not fly, all assist the


Gomaa 190 fixation and immobility. Even the metaphor in , in which lying is transformed into an art which indicates moral degeneration. Modernism in the poem is represented in symbolism and tension; as the journey of the river Nile is a symbol of the eternal journey of Man to get knowledge about Mans internal moral development. The Nile itself is a symbol of values and authenticity. The choice of the ageing old man is a reference to his wisdom. The language of the eye is a symbol of human contact and the behavior code. The ray of the heart is a symbol of the social spirit that God has created in us. Moreover, there is tension between the old mans authentic values and morals, and those people whose ethics are lost. Vocabulary stresses this tension, the Nile dreams, , which signify the pride and the aspiration of the Nile. On the other hand, there are other words which oppose the description of the Nile, like , oppression, lie. These antithetical groups of words indicate the opposition in the psychological states in the two cases. Moreover, there is another oppositions related to the movements of both the Nile, and such movement related to the place it goes through; the Nile walks, knocks the door, treads, passing by Al Mosky, but his surrounding is . The adverb neatly, is a reference to the fact that lying becomes a language of living. The verb changes is repeated twice, then the word retreat is to stress t he idea of the change which is confirmed by , then the final result is to be kicked by the legs. This genius circle of verbs represents stages of deterioration of ethics. All what people in Egypt care for is to construct towers, but deconstruct morality . This indifference impresses the old man, as a result,

, and sleeps. This end claims that Shosha lost hope in changing people. Besides all


this, Shosha does not employ any subjective pronouns which announce his personal involvement, but still, there are some other elements used as Eliotian objective correlative,


Gomaa 191 like the adverb in neatly, and the metaphors in , , . In another poem entitled It is the night, Shosha has depicted two images of the night; one which is his, and the other is the worlds. These two opposing images are juxtaposed cunningly fulfilling the concept of the organic unity. The poets night is projected through a romantic frame; he describes it in a very amazing way:

This formalist portrait of a subject followed by a predicate (verb and attributes which occupy the place of the nouns), vary the different faces of the personal romantic night. The use of and is another structuralist device which is employed to multiply the meanings of the night, with its variable functions in the poets life. The image if the night is associated with the phonetic level my voice, my pronunciation, with the timing patterns my birth and my time, and with the visual image . In the second part, the poet uses again the formalist structure in multiplying the object in the coming verses to portray other ritual aspects of the night.



Gomaa 192
The image of the night is conceived of as ritual facts like my waking, and my death. It represents an automatic life opposite responses. This description of the night paves the way to , the coming romantic identifications, which starts in then, this is followed by the

flourishment of the seasons, hugging among people, and the coming of the spring with its beautiful flowers , dreams, along with other natural elements. All these images are identified with the poets night. The end of the second part is just a completion for the first one; structuralisitly, this part consists of many multiplied prepositional phrases following each other by the coordinator and,

Then, the third part carries a surprising description of another night which comes to reverse the former image of the poets night; if the personal night of Shosha is associated with the dream, the spring, the flowers and the beauty, the other night is absorbed through the miser time of reality where " "" "
It seems obvious that these two nights indicate or symbolize Shosh as opposite identities,

romanticism and modernism, aspiration for a better future and the horrible reality. Such large horizon related to the poets night gets narrower and narrower in the second night, which


reveals such painful feelings and the sense of exile and loss:


Gomaa 193

The second image of the night may be interpreted as another phase of the first one after being broken and destroyed by the bitter reality. It dwells inside the poet himself, on facing the sterile reality, it is metamorphosized and deformed. In other words, romantic sub-conscious realm is encountered and to be beaten by conscious awareness of toughness and harshness. The beautiful night has departed, and the miser one comes. This is processed through the departure of the beautiful face and the fruits which are to be desired. The use of the metaphors and other images convey Shoshas romantic renewed manifestations within his poetry, for example, the poets night is compared to which participate in evoking and appealing to different senses of the readers and the poet as well. Moreover, most of these vehicles, (as the metaphors consist of both vehicles and tenors) are preceded by the subjective pronoun my, which emphasize the personal subjective involvement. Then, in other metaphors, the poet specifies the nature of the poet as a universal rite and not just a human recognition; it is , , where the night takes other metaphysical dimensions.
However, the romantic feelings of loss and misery are stressed in the last part where the

pessimistic tone prevails, for example, the personification the miser age,

and ,

the tears of the stars, and , involve a sense of waste and solitariness indicating a romantic attitude, ultimately, the poet relinquishes his night to move other pessimistic
images, as the wind stops playing music, the stars weep, and the flowers stop narrating,


opposite to the former images of the fields, romantic hugging and beautiful breeze, and the sun rising flash which reminds us of the romantic natural description in Written In March. Moreover, the subject experience marks the romantic involvement through the use of my dominating the verses of the poem. Shosha is not ashamed or embarrassed in showing his


Gomaa 194 personal vision in expressing the opposition between his night and the surrounding real one. On facing each other, the poets night left without thinking of return. This is again a pessimistic romantic view. On the other hand, the form of the poem belongs to the modern techniques, it has no rhyme or rhythm, and it is written in free verse. Besides, there is an extended tension between
the night of the poet with all its associated optimistic and striking natural images, and the

other modern night with all its pessimistic indications. These two opposite states are , which narrates stories in the accompanied by antithetical cases; for example, first night, stops in the second. Similarly, the large horizon is narrowed in the second, and becomes like an exile. Even the creatures which fill the universe in the first move chaotically and get lost in the second. All these contrasting states increase the tone of tension within the poem. Additionally, it fulfills the concept of the organic unity. Thus, the poem offers a unique incorporation between both modern techniques of tension, and organic unity in addition to the paradox implied through the poem, and the romantic feelings of exile and isolation, besides, the romantic concept of pathetic fallacy prevailing the description of the two modes of night. In another poem entitled The Beauty Bathing in the River, Shosha endows his poem with two opposing modes of writings, the first is connected with the romantic ideas and feelings, and the second is such modern techniques. This poem is divided into many stages; in the first stage, the poet starts to describe the beautiful lady being referred to as Beauty in the title. Her eyes are full of love, covering her face. Around her, the waves move in an ebby movement to reflect her sub-conscious feelings. Moreover, represent another


movement around her. The scene then records in cinematic shots, the beauty refuses to bare herself to bath in the river till her femininity reaches its peak. This symbolizes her virginity.


Gomaa 195

On bathing in the river, that means losing her virginity. , Paradoxically, she desires to be hugged by a lover who is on the bank of the river. Her purity is depicted when she washes her body from the milky river. Hence, bathing in the river indicates implicitly the loss of virginity, innocence and purity. All what she is eager to, is the merge with the body of her lover; this functions as an indication to the temptations around her. She only gazes, waiting her virginity to reach maturity. Her desire and sexual eagerness are drawn in /. / This announcement is refreshed ever and anon on dreaming of such a moment of meeting epitomized in getting rid of shyness and turn the virginity. The poetic camera shoots a scene in which a beauty sits on one of the banks of the river, and a lover waiting for her with open eyes to exploit such a moment of meeting and a milky river in the middle are. Till virginity is completed, the beauty washes her body by the hotness of the sun, and at night she dries her body. But her sub-conscious aspires for such when she merges in the lovers body, or the golden knight. In the second stage of the poem, the poets poetic camera shoots the scene of the beauty when the heat of her desire fills her body, as if it is . Her breaths fill the air too with fire. Then, he describes her eyes and her beauty in very striking images:




Gomaa 196 These images of states , , full of , the desire in the sense of temptation, her beauty burdens her body making her aspire for sexual fulfillment. The visualization of the images is to elaborate in describing the conflicting impulses waving inside her. In another move, the beauty suggests to those lovers around her; they are

waiting for the moment , such a moment of is of very close now as the beauty steps forward to the river. Still, she is afraid, shivering and trembling, due to her first experience of hugging, nakedness, and losing virginity. She begins to respond to the temptations of the lovers bathing in the river, which embraces her trembling body. On bathing in the river, Shosha depicts her beautiful body features through his word
oh which releases such space of admiration which is not just his, but also the lovers.

." " " " Then, the moment comes marked by the image , they exploit , when . This satisfaction and fulfillment is highlightened and stressed through the verses: !

The process is completed, and the beauty lost its virginity, the camera records another stage concerning the reactions of people around her gossiping, talking and conversing about the beautys loss of purity. What happened between her and her lover moves from one mouth to


another. They think that she has betrayed her body and her beauty responding to the internal desires and the external temptations. Another stage is depicted through her attempt to escape


Gomaa 197

the eyes which chase her after she gets out from the river naked. She fears scandal, using to cover her bare body. All what she seeks, then, is to search for another day,
when people witnessing her nakedness and her self-indulgement in temptation and desire,

will not exist. She wants to escape to new day with new people. No sooner does she get out, than she becomes indifferent to all these eyes leaving the river full of blood instead of being milky. This blood is the bitter outcome of slaughtering her innocence and virginity. She has gone bleeding. The poem is full of the romantic feelings and situations; firstly, before bathing in the river, most words indicate her romantic eagerness for fulfillment, for example, , waves, to be tempted by. There is a metaphor in which signifies the stage of incompletion. The river is compared to a milky ray which hints to the purity of virginity, later on turning into bloody. is an amazing image through which the process of merging between bodies is operated as if washing with each other. It is worth being mentioned that Shosha by achieving such emotional and sexual satisfaction violates the romantic immortal emotional unfulfillment. For example, John Keats in his poem Ode to a Grecian Urn portrays many phases upon a Greek vase, one of these phases is two lovers who are about to kiss each other, but they do not. This dramatizes the sense of incompletion which assumes immortal pursuit beyond perfect abstract ideals. Moreover, in the second part, the metaphors posit the question of her beauty and her desire full of heat, for example, ... is a metaphor in which her desire , is compared to a source of heat firing the air. The same idea is stressed in where her breath is likened to birds which fly in air connoting the freedom of sexual impulses within her body so that she could not imprison it any more. is another metaphor


which illuminates her beauty, which tempts everyone around her. Again her beauty is uniquely depicted in ... ... which evaluates the


Gomaa 198 wonder of her eyes full of pure nectar. Shosha tries to gather different images appealing to . Besides various senses, visual , and gustatory is another metaphor, as Shosha compares her body features to perfumed dust, which is an image
including both visual and gustatory terms together. The process of satisfaction of fulfillment

is metaphorized as drinking the honey of the river , which exposes her own physical sexual enjoyment. The eyes are also compared to or lanterns, which indicates its brightness and light. After bathing into the river, symbolizing the loss of virginity, the beauty is watched by , and , which are transformed into humans who are gossiping around her betrayal to her body. There is synecdoche in which refer to the people who witness this shameful act, and not just the eyes. Moreover, the romantic features are illustrated in many aspects of the poem; for example, the poem is initiated by a gorgeous scene where the beauty sitting on the beach, surrounded by , washes from the milky ray. She makes sure that her femininit y has not been completed yet. Till thus moment, she rubs her body with the musk. Her decision to bathe into the river means that she surrenders to temptation, it is also a romantic scene on which she hugs her lover, both legs, his and hers, are merged together. Even her fear, shivering and trembling are seen through a romantic vision. Moreover, is a reference to the sexual organ. Her bleeding at the end of the scene represents the sacrifice she has offered to enjoy and exploit the moment. Such sense of loss, emotions and sentimentality reveal the romantic thematic ideas. But still, she does not seem to regret, this is considered to be attitude of indifference and carelessness, which are related to the modern world.

In addition, paradox as a modern is processed within this poem to link two main states focuses on the stage of dissatisfaction due to the immaturity of virginity and femininity. This


is supported by group of words like , these lexes connote the senses of the incompletion and


Gomaa 199
dissatisfaction against the second state of the fulfillment and satisfaction, which is sustained

by other opposite words like , . All of these words record the temporary length of the enjoyment time. Besides, there is another kind of paradox represented in the movement in the two stages; the movement in the first state is marked by chaos and anarchy which signify her sub-conscious wavy and wishy-washy , feelings, this is shown in , . But this movement is moved into her internal psyche , and , in the second state after sexual fulfillment and the loss of innocence. Moreover, there are two paradoxical states of the river, one before she bathes when it is milky and pure. Besides, after her bath, it becomes bloody. Shoshas observing attitude is noticeable within the poem, he becomes like a camera

man who shoots all these series without being involved. Yet, Shosha employs the objective correlative in expressing his own stand shown through words like , , , , , . Finally, the main symbol is the title itself The

Beauty Bathing in the River which refers to the process of losing virginity through . , The same incorporation of both the romantic and the modern traits is repeated in An Ebony Face, where the poet gazes into a face of a lady comparing it to many other images. The face is a source of light amid the night. It is also a source of warmth in the coldness. The face, moreover, is a mirror of emotions and ecstasy. In the second part, the face irrigates the thirsty spirit and makes it dream. It provides the world with the perfume of the jungle in which . In the third part, he imparts other striking qualities upon such an ebony face, as it speaks although it does not talk, for the lips flame. In addition, the


promises fill her eyes as if they are volcanoes. In the third part, he addresses this ebony face in a dramatic monologue form, addressing her as if she existed inside the poem:


Gomaa 200 ....

In these verses, her face is not a source of fire, paradoxically, it incites breeze and purity. For this reason, he addresses her not of people. Romanticism is depicted the personal emotional terms that the poet employs to
describe this ebony face; he compares her face to a sun shining causing warmth as if it flames. Moreover, he personifies it as a man irrigating thirsty spirits / .

to hide this amazing face because it attenuates the miseries

In the same verse, he compares the thirsty spirits to the sterile land which need water (or love). There is another metaphor represented in comparing such a face to volcano throwing flames, which is stressed through the simile as a volcano. In the last part, there is a simile / which contradicts the former simile; as he likens the face to the sea breeze. These two paradoxical similes shed the light on the importance of the face in peoples life. The apostrophe in epitomizes the subjective involvement. On the other hand, the structural terms and techniques are attributed to the modern stylistic features. For example, there is paradox related to the variable influences that the face imparts upon human life; once it gives light and fire, and in other time, it is associated to the


sea breeze. This paradox increases the tone of tension between the world with and without her. It provides thirsty with irrigation, and imparts the light upon night. Antithetical states like and , and and all reveal the striking effect


Gomaa 201

that the face has, and how people and nature could not do without it. Paradox extends to the , and last part, as the face has two contrasting features and , all these contradictory phases express the ability of the face to subvert the conditions of mankind. Moreover, the poem is written in the way of giving reasons, then, stating the results; as the first three parts include the details of such a beautiful face with its wonder and uniqueness, then, the final request to keep it and not to hide it because it is a source of happiness.


Gomaa 202

Chapter Four No Man is an Island: The Private and the Public


Gomaa 203 Things standing thus unknown, shall I leave behind me If thou didst ever hold me in thy heart Absent thee from felicity awhile, And in this harsh world draw thy breath in pain To tell my story. Hamlet act V, Scene II (350 353) (Donnes poem)

By the end of the story of Hamlet, he realizes that his closeness to Horatios heart shall have kept him, for a while, from death, however, he may find in death a release from his
own suffering. His experience with all its fluctuations of different human emotions and suffering represents Hamlets private dilemma which turns to be a story told by Horatio to

everyone to make people acquaint with it. Hamlet, thus, moves from his egoistic realm where he suffers a lot of ghosts to another universal wide horizon including all humanity. His suffering is no longer his, but it is mixed with the experiences of human being. Larkin, like Hamlet, mixes between both what is private and what is public in the sense that Larkin sticks to his own social reality reflecting his own understanding of the world around him through his poetry. For this reason, Larkins poetry turns to be a mirror of

the social reality, not within the ideological sense, rather than being a reflection of the

organic living connection, or in the Wordsworthian words "sad music of humanity". In an interview with Robert Philips, Larkin says about the nature of his poetry: You must realize Ive never had ideas about poetry. To me its always been a personal, almost physical release or solution or a complex pressure of needs wanting to create, to


externalize, depending on the circumstances.


Gomaa 204
This exposes how Larkins private experiences concerning "creating, justification, praising, explaining and externalizing". The connections with the human contact and the

world in general as part of the social reality are mirrored with his poems. The recurrence of Hamlets experience and Larkins private reflection of the world around shed the light on how they become part of the whole as "No man is an island". Commenting on Larkin as a social poet, Whalen wrote, that Larkin is a complex social poet, but "Larkin does not give us a social ideology. What we are given instead are analysis and a sense of mystery as they compete with one another throughout the poets chronicle" (91). Thus, what is private, according to Whalens words is how Larkins imagination works out to record the physical world, not in a modern hyper way, but as it is recorded in his words. In such a sense, he is a typically romantic poet whose poems "participate in the spontaneous meaning of humanity, and their speakers grow to realize that they are part of the whole" (81). Larkin perceives the physical world with its common places and experiences through his own private imagination "I dont want to transcend the commonplace, I love the commonplace. Everyday things are lovely to me" (view points p.124) To put it in other words, Larkin seeks to recreate the physical world in a new, but not extraordinary, or hyper way. He just records his praising, explaining, justification and

reflection mixed with imagination to formulate a new magnificent portrait. He remains content to celebrate the feeling of grace concerning ordinary life, including common places, festive events, and even social history. Still, he keeps his own private intimate participation which makes of poetry a horizon where both what is private and what is public neither in clash nor in tension like other problematics, but in harmony. This is what Hamlet reaches by


the end of his journey; he is part of the humanity, he must share every feeling reflecting his experiencing with and on them.


Gomaa 205 Even what it is said that Larkins poetry is "a symptomatic document of a cultural decline in which it is fundamentally implicated" (Smith 1997, 179), does not mean that it includes any ideological concerns, it just comes to serve the taste of those liberal individual of the post war era. Consequently, Larkins poetry becomes his own representation of the physical world and his relation to the society. For this reason, he adopts the theory of both Eaglton and Althusser in seeing the literary text a reflection of the individual interpretation of the physical world and the writers relation to it and not a more reflection of reality as Macherey says. Eaglton explains: One might say that Ideology is less a matter of propositions than of "pseudo-proposition". It appears often enough on its grammatical surface to be referential (descriptive of states of affairs) while being secretly "emotive" (expressive of the lived reality of human subjects) or "conotative" (directed towards the achievements of certain effects). (Eaglton 199)

Thus, Larkins poetry is not just a production of reality or a version of reality in Machereys words, but it expressed "the lived reality" of Larkins participation with humanity, Moreover, it aims at "leaving" certain effects on the readers, and describing certain "state of affairs". It is understood then how Larkin conceives the public physical world and experiences with his private vision and imagination without any ideological judgments, nor broader macro interpretations. "What will survive of us is Love" is the main slogan of "An Arundel Tomb", a poem


belonging to "The Whitsun Weddings". This poem is an example of emphasis, which is a graphic description of a visual work of art. The end of the poem evokes such an organic connection with the living, for this reason, it mixes both what is related to Larkin to whats


Gomaa 206 connected to humanity which is love, Janice Rossen confirm that "An Arundel Tomb" presents "a public emblem of love and Fidelity". (33) The Arundel Tomb is "a fourteenth century table tomb of Richard Fitzalan III [died in 1376], the thirteen earl of Arundel, and his wife, Eleanor, in the chicester cathedral in Sussex,
England." (Ferguson, Margrate. ed The Norton Anthology of Poetry). Larkin visited this

tomb, and was so affected by the sight of the effigies. The main ideas mirrored through the poems are the reflection on death, the passage of time, and the ability of love to transcend human predicaments.
The poem comprises seven stanzas, the first two stanzas focus on describing the

physical shape of the

tomb (the effigies); the couple lay side by side which shows that they

are equal. Their faces became vague or "blurred" because of the influence of time. Nature and time stripped them of their identities. Their "proper habits" or clothing are unrecognizable and not visible any more. It seems like the Earl wears a suit of jointed armor, and she wears a dress with a stiff "pleat". At their feet lay their two "Little dogs", which Larkin finds "absurd", because they represent faint hint to compassion, love and loyalty in relation to the emotional impulses the tomb shines. The plainness of the "pre-baroque" tomb does not catch the eyes of the observer until the observer sees the Earls "left hand gauntlet" (a dress glove extending above the wrist) holding his right-hand glove; his right hand holds his wifes right hand, in a sign of eternal love and faithfulness. Larkin is influenced by such a tender scene, thus, he tries to recreate it in his poetry expressing how love is immortal in us like in the image effigies. The third stanza moves to the intention of the couple themselves; Larkin points out that the Earl and his wife did not intend to make of their tomb such a famous monument


signifying eternal love. Instead, they show such tenderness and compassion for their friends to appreciate as authentic emotions. If the couple had known what would become of their


Gomaa 207 tomb, they may have changed their opinions. But, the line "A sculptors sweet commissioned grace" may be read as an ironical hint for the tenderness and passion involving the effigies which are not theirs, but the sculptors. Their names are written in Latin which no one could read. In stanzas four, five and six, Larkin moves to describe the influence of time upon the tomb, and people. Larkin wrote that the couple would not guess the period they stayed in "their supine stationary voyage" and were subjected to "soundless damage" by the element of Nature "air". The voyage is a reference to the journey to the afterlife. For this reason, time has taken the friends and the family members away from the tomb. Generation follows another, looking at them, but not recognizing the Latin names "How soon succeeding eyes being / To look, not read ". Yet, Larkin, in a very artistic way, shows how the couple, although made of stone, are still linked with each other as if alive. "Rigidly", is a reference to the effigies which remain linked eternally, "together, seasons passed", "snow light" connote different seasons day, and years. The couple witness new lives of the birds "A bright / Litter of bird calls strewed the same / Bone riddled ground". There is an endless procession of "altered people" coming to the cathedral to wash "their identity". He may mean being altered by viewing such eternal love which may change people into a new identity like being transformed into Christian in baptism. Thus, seeing such a tender sight gives people a new spiritual rebirth, Larkin wrote. Now, helpless in the follow of an un-armorial age, a trough
of smoke in slow suspended skeins above their scrap of history

only an attitude remains.


Gomaa 208 These verses state the fact of immortality of the two lovers in their attitudes of both love and compassion, although they stand helpless in such "An un-armorial age", which lacks the concept of knighthood. The bodies of couple become merely "a trough / of smoke in slow suspended skeins", "above their scrap of history". "Attitude" refers to both the knightly manner of the middle ages, and their poses that convey eternal love and faithfulness. The final stanza sheds the light on the final message Larkin delivers through his poem to humanity; although the tomb is "transfigured" by time, still the lovers convey the same eternal attitude of love. Their tomb becomes "their final blazon" or their final expression of
adopting the same attitude in the life after. It proves that "our almost-instinct" is "almost

true", which is "What will survive of us all is love". From the very beginning of the poem, it is evidently shown that Larkins reaction to the tomb is rephrased through his relation to the concept of time; "blurred", "vaguely shown" and "faint" are a representation of the economical use of language indicating the deteriorating influence of time upon not just the effigies, but also on the human beings. Larkin employs language as "a communal thing" (Hulme, 1913, 14), to communicate certain message to the readers. Moreover, the phrase "with a sharp tender shock" evokes Larkins impression on seeing the intimate contact between both lovers. The minute details in "It meets his left-hand gauntlet, still / clasped empty in the other ." reflect his own rephrasing or recreating poetic process to the physical world around. Verbs like "clasped, holding" add animate touch to the statues. The relation between the statues and the friends and the family as part of the community around them is recorded through "old tenantry away". In addition, new tenants are represented in "succeeding eyes" which is a metonymy. "Sweet commissioned grace" is


to metaphorize the work of the sculptor who participates in beautifying their images.


Gomaa 209 Again the influence of time seen through Larkins eyes is portrayed through
"soundless damage", as time through its influential elements "air, sun .etc." affects them

through "Their supine stationary voyage". Larkin experience to his own through the couple who

fears death, reflecting an opposite "persisted, linked, through lengths and

breadths of time". Time for him is an enemy, but within the poem, it may affect the effigies shape and appearance but not their permanent exposure of love. The use of the visual imagery in "Snow light, glass, bright, birdcalls and endless altered people" stresses such contrast between the change of Nature including seasons, years, birds, and the humans against those effigies whose sight converts those into new identities, "washing at their identity". The metaphor in this verse is to affirm the moral and perhaps the religious understanding of the world around. Phrases like "un-armorial age", "slow suspended skeins" and "scrap of history" convey how Larkin views the effigies as something unique out of their time and place. This sums up his private rephrasing of the physical world "the tomb with its effigies". The metaphor in "scrap of history", reveals how the statues resist the concept of historical time,
sticking to their "attitude" which may refer to their immortal love. Then, comes Larkins

sounding impression which is summed up in "Time has transfigured them into / untruth". The personification in "Time has transfigured ... " mirrors the empowerment of time over them, as they are implicitly passive "helpless". Still, their "untruth" is not seen from a negative prospective rather than a positive one; "their stone fidelity", which is again a metaphor, making of a stone a source of fidelity and "almost true" instinct lying in "what will survive of us is love". Thus, Larkins use of the words and the imagery participate in his recreating or externalizing the effigies into a new physical realm where the statues lost almost their shape


or their appearance but not their instinct; love survives even if it is curved on stone.


Gomaa 210 Another reading of the last line of the poem "what will survive of us is love" suggests that it is an ironical statement, as the effigies "Final blazon" contradicts their own state as statues. This is Larkins inner thought towards love, that it does not remain forever, it is noticeably mentioned that he failed in three love experiences dying without children as he hated them. Furthermore, the use of caesura within the poem indicates variable possibility of interpretations. For example, in "snow fell, undated", "Bone riddled ground, and up the paths", "untruth. The stone fedility", the full stop and the comma varies showing the distinctive effects of time and the consistency of the communicative phase of the statue concerning love and compassion. As for the phonetic level, there are a lot of alliterations with
certain revelations; "holding, hand" shows consistency repeated in "supine stationary". The

alliterations in of smoke in slow suspended skeins convey again the constant attitude they had and still have over the change of time. Thus, through "An Arundel Tomb", Larkin steps further to recreate the physical appearance of the tomb with its statues; this makes of his poem a means to communicate
certain message through mixing his artistic recreation of reality through the use of language

and imagery. The poem, then, stands as if a text of discourse in a pragmatic sense. In other words, Larkin is the speaker, the reader is the listener, and the text is the means of communication through which Larkin does not only communicate the readers but also the physical and social realities. This meaning is confirmed by Peter Verdonk in his essay "Poems As text And Discourse: The Poetics of Philip Larkin": If we conceive of a poem as a mode of discourse, we are not


primarily concerned with its verbal structures as elements of a static object, but as elements of a dynamic communicative process between author and reader. The poems verbal


Gomaa 211 constituents are dynamic in the sense that, although presented simultaneously, they are encountered by the reader as a kinetic process of fulfilled and frustrated expectations, and of ever changing emotions stirred up by directive impulses in the text whenever it is read. (101).

This means that Larkin has employed all his poetic artistic tools (imagery language,

stylistic features) as "verbal constituents", which are dynamic in a sense that they are directed to the "kinetic" process of the readers interpretations. They stir the directive impulses to the reader to make him conceive of the message which is Larkins sharing human community viewing the effigies as permanently shining source of love. If "An Arundel Tomb" reinforces Larkins contact with the physical world represented in the tomb with its effigies, "The Explosions", "Show Saturday" and "To The
Sea" endure his sense of the importance of communities as part of the social reality. "The

Explosion" is written in eight even stanzas of three lines each, followed by a single concluding line. The poem describes a real event and then moves to reflect it on human fate. Again, the poet recreates the real event, an explosion deep down in a coalmine, and the day on which it happened. Although Larkin is detached, simply observing the day as he imagined it from the facts that he read in reports, he employs his language and imagery to rephrase this factual event mixing his own private views and concerns with the communal concerns and suffering concerning death, fate and rebirth. For this reason, the poem foreshadows the senses of both beauty and wonder in which Larkin expresses his sympathy for all mining communities that have suffered the disaster. He achieves this by offering images without


comment leaving the reader to fill the gaps for themselves.


Gomaa 212 Larkin in the first stanza observes the beginning of the tragedy of the miners; the explosion takes place in the underground at considerable depth "shadows pointing towards

the pithead". The heap of smoke covered the sun. In describing the event, Larkin is impersonal. Still, he employs words to describe the catastrophe portraying how "the slagheap" happens to the men. In the second stanza, he describes the scene of mine workers arriving to start their days work. The description of the men as having "coughing oath-edged talk", represents breaking the silence with comments that soon grew into conversations. Some of these men smoked pipes which is a reference to their personal habits. In the third stanza, Larkin moves to an intimate action in one of the miners lives; a young miner who pursued rabbits and returned with a nest of Larkins eggs that he found and left in the grass after showing them to his mates:
One chased after rabbits, lost them; came back with a nest of Larkins eggs; showed them; lodged them in the grass.

His relation to the communal realm is summed up in the fourth stanza, although he is
impersonal, he employs the vocabulary to affirm his sympathy and his praise to their living.

He offers random details of the scene of the workers arriving; their beards and the toughened material, their mining clothes were made from: "so they passed in beards and moleskins / fathers, brothers, nicknames, laughter". The use of the words "Fathers, brothers and nicknames" convey such intimacy among them. Many are known by nicknames and seem to enjoy each others sense of humour. They all enter the mine area through tall gates. These gates are ominous, with the suggestion of entering the gates of heaven or hell. They want


death to come, which is conveyed through the word "shadows". In the fifth stanza, Larkin refers to the main event returning to the details of the explosion, as the cows stopped "chewing" because of the vibration they felt in the ground.


Gomaa 213 Then, the sun is covered by a "haze" of summer heat, it lost its bright shine. Perhaps, the explosion created a dust haze that partly blocked the sun. Larkin avoids describing the
violence or grief resulting from the explosion. Stanzas six, seven and eight move to the

church services held for the miners killed in the explosion. The audience in the church among them Larkin who becomes part of "we shall see them face to face", "we" watches the corpses in the funeral inside the church. "Gods house in comfort" is a reference to heaven. Then, in a very human touch, Larkin states that the wives now see their husband through the windows of the chapel more intensely than they ever did during their lives together. They saw their husbands like figureheads stamped on a gold coin or imagined them walking towards them in
the golden sunlight. The last line repeats Larkins vision that is presented in the idea of

rebirth and renewal; perhaps the wife of the young miner who chased the rabbits has the vision of him walking with her to the eggs which will hatch symbolizing the human beings overcoming death. Larkins vision towards death, fate and beauty foreshadows the experience of the miners as part of social reality. Through the employment of words and images, Larkin shows the tragedy of the miners and his sympathy towards them. "Shadows, gates" become ominous images foreshadowing the idea of death which Larkin himself fears. "Pithead, slagheap", are visual images reflecting their physical surrounding. The intimacy of the miners life is mirrored through "coughing oath-edged talk". Further-more, the word "pit boots, pipe smoke" convey their visual habitual life experience. What increases our sympathy towards their misery is Larkins portrayal of the event of chasing the rabbits, and the image of the "Larkins eggs". Part of their domestics life is also visualized in words like "Fathers, brothers, nicknames, laughter".


These detailed descriptions of visual and auditory imagery "coughing oath edged talk" increase the tone of misery which reaches its climax by the coming of explosion followed by


Gomaa 214 their death. Words like "scar fed, stopped chewing, heat haze" give hint to the influence of "a tremor". Although Larkin is an atheist, he dedicated three stanzas to the funeral procedures of the dead; the vocabulary is completely related to the church: "Gods house of comfort" is a
metonymy for heaven. Larkins philosophy, mixed with the communal experience, is that

death does not defeat the living nor put a stop to the community. It does not bring despair. "Larger than in life" is a hyperbole which illustrates how they could defeat death. The visual imagery in "Gold as on a coin" glorifies their lives after death. The last line represents an optimistic view which is mainly related to the community rather than Larkin himself, it represents the image of "unbroken" eggs which mark the connotation of prospective optimistic view towards the future. The image of "Larks eggs" stands for an Eliots objective correlative set by Larkin to shed the light on the optimistic and Christian vision beyond the death of the miners. Beauty side by side with hope will remain despite of death.
Moreover, Larkins employment of the figurative language is significant in drawing

the readers or the listeners (as we deal with the poem as a verbal context), sympathy making him participate in talking with the miners, chasing the rabbits, and even smoking pipe. For example, the awful sight of the setting is shown in the metaphor ". Slagheap slept". Their intimate talks are metaphorized as if they are "cough", breaking "the freshened silence" which is compared to something concrete. In addition, there are a lot of dynamic verbs which help visualize the whole poem as a living scene, "pointed, came, chased, passed, and chewing". Religion is there through

"chapel", and "Gods house in comfort" "Cows, rabbits", and "Larks eggs" are related to natural visual images. It is also noticeable that the sun is mentioned three times, two of them


are related to the explosion, (before and after), and the last one is some kind of a foreshadowing of the miners lives after death; "In the sun the slagheap slept" before the


Gomaa 215 tremor, ".. sun / scar fed as in a heat haze after the explosion", and somehow from the sun towards them is related to hope in a better life after death. This gives a hint to how Larkin seeks to beat death but through the figures of the miners. Moreover, the use of (:) and (;) is a structural device to vary the kind of sentences as clauses "Cows stopped chewing for a second" and phrases "., lost them". This variation gives Larkin the ability to describe different aspects of the miners lives before the explosion and the wives reaction after their death. There are also a lot of antithetical connotations which aim at contrasting life with death, "sun, dimmed", "dead, life", "walking, sitting" and "talk, silence". Thus, the private massage passing through public communal experience is that despite death, grief or tragedy, beauty will always remain. The images of eggs, the gentleness of a miner who preserves eggs, a lively young miner chasing rabbits, men walking from the sun towards their wives, the humour of miners, all show that life is beautiful, Whalen writes that "The Explosion" is moment of awesome beauty "rises inevitably from the coarse details of the lives observed at the outset. The setting, atmosphere, carefully controlled suspense, action, and the concrete portrayal of the men and their small gestures, all accumulate into a dramatization which moves towards awe" (60). Yet, the poet refers to their wives sharing an optimistic Christian vision of their deaths, as the religious image of the dead "Gods house of comfort" reinforces the passing on to

idea that beauty triumphs over tragedy. This

strengthens the view that Larkins poem moves outside the self, through communicating human gestures. "To The Sea" and "Show Saturday" are among the poems which participate in


presenting the spontaneous meaning of humanity. Through these poems, Larkin succeeds in turning the human gestures and communal events into living organic connections with


Gomaa 216
humanity. Commenting on how Larkin mixes his own praise, irony and humour with the

beauty of the beach as a common place Whalen confirms in that: Larkins instinct for praise in "To The sea" is not diminished by irony; the humour in the poem is the humour of recognition, a smiling respect for the small beauty of the people as made
visible in their moments of off-guardedness and spontaneity.

All sense of the commonplace beauty of the people is caught in generous images of their gestures, not in the abstractions about them. (89).

To put it in other words, Larkin employs his own visible image to record the beauty of the beach years ago in comparison to the beach these days. He reflects such portrait with the senses of irony, humour and praise.
"To The Sea" comprises four stanzas with nine lines. The poem begins with an

impersonal tone, which prevails throughout; Larkin does not mention any subject pronoun which signifies his own nonexistence. He describes his first encounter with the seashore after years from visiting it throughout his childhood, "To step over the low wall that divides / Road from concrete walk above the shore". The sight of the shore brings back the childhood memories through which Larkin tries to idealize the past scene of the shore which is filled with "The miniature gaiety". The seaside was crowded with realistic images "steep beach, blue water, towels, red bathing caps". Larkin goes on giving more details of the shores scene; he mentions the "hushed" waves and the "yellow sand" and finally, such "a white steamer" which stuck to the shore in the afternoon.


In the second stanza, Larkin still idealizes the scene; he describes the activities practiced as "To lie, eat, sleep in hearing of the surf", listing to the transistors. The parents


Gomaa 217 move "gently up and down" leading their children who are "frilled" in white "grasping at enormous air". The children try also to move "wheel" to make the old parents "feel a final summer" which represents for the children a "half rite" of half annual pleasure. The third stanza presents Larkins present scene of the shore opposite to the idealized scene of the past, Larkins seashore Lacks "Famous Cricketers", "parents" and "listeners". The sky is "cloudless", the water is "clear" with "smoothed pebbles". Even "the distant bathers" have "weak" protesting shouts. The garbage fills the shore, "the cheap cigars", "the chocolate papers", "tea leaves" and "the rusting soup tins" that exist between the rocks. Then, he moves to describe the families who are "few" in number, starting in a very harsh journey to go back to the cars. The clearness of the sunlight has gone, and the steamer as well. Then, he ends in a moral indication that if this present shore includes the worst weather, the old shore portrays those naked old parents who teach their children to clown, and help the old. Larkin sets himself as an observer who illuminates communal experience through his own individual image of shore (in the present and the past). But his use of language and imagery exposes such contrast between the two shores including the intrusion of Larkin in some positions to express his own attitude through "objective correlative". For example, there is a difference in the physical shape between the shore in the past and the present; the shore in the past includes "steep beach" which gives the sensation of height "blue water" which gives the sense of purity. Moreover, "towels" and "bathing caps" add domestic and intimate dimension to the experience. Moreover, there is warmth in "warm yellow sand". The physical shape of the aged Larkins shore has a kind of tension with the past shore. It is full of "rushing soup tins", "the cheap cigars", "The chocolate papers" and "tea leaves".


The psychological impact and the moral impulses are completely opposite in the past and the present images of the same shore. For example, "gaiety" and "annual pleasure"


Gomaa 218 related to the past have antithetical meaning with the hardships the people meet in the present seashore. The moral impulses are related to helping the old people who does not exist in the aged Larkins seashore. In addition, the past seashore includes "A white steamer" which does not exist in the nowadays shore. Furthermore, the movement in the first shore is vivid; it is mirrored through "grasping", which is antithesis to "rusting", both of them reveal the contrasting settings although it is still the same place.
"Colours" are one of the most important visual devices to perceive the differences

between the old-aged Larkins beach and his past one. The yellow colour of the sands indicates clarity against such "rusting" which gives negative impression. Moreover, water is "blue" indicating its beauty in both ages. "Cloudless" is opposite to "milky". In other words, the perfect seaside scene is described using primary colours suggesting a picture of a postcard view. The vivid description gives an authentic viewpoint and makes imagining the beach very easy. Additionally, he has deliberately chosen a setting which will be familiar to everyone and is innately British. Although Larkin is an observer, observing the people on the beach, the figurative
images play the role of the objective correlative to connote Larkins subjectivity and his

private opinions in reflecting the description of a common place as part of the social reality. "Concrete walk" is a metaphor, to visualize his stepping on the beach. The psychological
influence of the beach is metaphorized in "The miniature gaiety". Moreover, Larkins words

are perceived as part of his expression of praising or externalizing the beaches; for example, the word "a rite" indicates a religious atmosphere to add holiness to the activities of the beach. "frilled in white" gives the impression of vividness and purity. The word "rigid"


conveys the harsh features of the old against the word "feel" related to the children. The word "flawless" connotes the idealism of the weather of the old aged Larkins beach. Larkin employs these words with their specific indications as objective correlatives through which


Gomaa 219
he violates his own observing stand, adopting certain connections with the physical world

around him. "Show Saturday" is a wonderful celebration of community. It is also unusual in the collection, as it presents a simple narrative, describing a rural show from fairly early on to its finish. Again, Larkin observes the whole procedure with a certain detachment. Most of the poem is devoted to recording the details of the show. He tries to give full details of the show to recreate the event in his new vision. The close observation of the scene makes of Larkin a detached cunning upholder. The enjambment between some the stanzas create a sense not only of the show sprawling but of the observer wandering from one part to another. The rhyme scheme (A B A C B D C D) helps to hold the poem together, perhaps it also my help to hint at the social cohesion, mixed with his vision. In the first stanza, Larkin describes part of the show where the gatherings are "dog and ponies owners". It is a grey weather, the number of cars of the supporters "jam the lanes". He then breaks into the first of several lists, each item followed by a parenthesized comment. dogs (set their legs back, hold out their tails) and ponies (manes Repeatedly smoothed, to calm heads)

The owners of the dogs attempt to show off their dogs by setting their legs back, holding out their tails. Even the owners of the ponies calm their heads by smoothing. The third gathering in the list is around the sheep either those with (thick wool, chariot, or those faces are black, "Black face". They make loud sound "squealing logs". By the end of the first scene, "judges in jeeps" are included within the picture, and "spluttered announcements" are made.


The second stanza lists another scene in the whole of the communal experience. Firstly, there is a man "with pound notes", with his hat and beard. Then, Larkin elaborates in


Gomaa 220 giving folkloric details of the show "Bead stalls, balloon men, a Bank; a beer marquee that / Half screens a tent selling tweed". The whole people "sit about on bales". Kids fill the spaces of the whole scene and the owners stare indifferently. The third stanza is devoted to the wrestling, a traditional pastime going back at least as far as medieval fairs, Larkin pictures the scene, its elements moving from the central focus image (". People, then cars; / then trees; then pale sky") to record with his poetic camera other parts of the scene where young man play "acrobats tights". Other two men compete on grass rocking each other. Yet, after that, they hug each other without malice. Although one falls, such one whose hair is grey, they are not aggressively fighting rather than being affectionate. Larkins poetic lens moves to the last part of the scene in the third stanza where there are people playing "immobile strainings" that end in "unbalance", as a result, there is someone falling unharmed, the other one stands "smoothing his hair". In the fourth and fifth stanzas, we move to "the long high tent of growing and making", where the village vegetable produced and handicrafts are displayed. Larkin shows a familiarity with the language of village phrase, like "six pods of / Broad beans", "four brown eggs, four white eggs, / four plain scones, four dropped scones" are typical of the words of the specified competition categories. Larkin praises the "recession of skills", perhaps meaning that behind each skill lies another; behind the skill of arranging scones lies that of baking them. The Larkinian detached attitude is violated when he declares his admiration for the gardening, cookery, and handicraft skills by repeating the words all "worthy, all well done". Moreover, he shows also his praise to the bees "But less than the honey combs". In the second verse of the fifth stanza Larkin begins to wind up the show; "the


jumpings over", leaving the ring to younger riders who use their "ponies in competition / Twice round the ring". The activities in this part of the show are represented in "Sliding off" and "riding bareback". The ponies are dragged for astonishing demands. Yet, the end of the


Gomaa 221 show is indicated by the movement of the horse-boxes to the "stock entrance" covered and bound, Larkin describes this as "shifting scenery". In the sixth and the seventh stanzas, Larkin juxtaposes both the communal and the social world and the private one. People of the folk begin to return to their home. The poundnote man for example, starts to "decamp". The car park now becomes empty opposite to jamming lanes at the outset of the show. Larkin marks the return of the folk to their own
homes through "private addresses, gates, and lamps". Loneliness of their life is associated

with "high stone one street villages". The individual "sports finals" stuck in their doors, and their individual allotments underline the contrast. They are now in the season of autumn after they finish the "Show Saturday" of summer. Hinting to their individuality, Larkin describes most of the types of those attending the show; there are men with their hunting dogs, women who are "wool-defined", children proud of their competitive riding achievements "all saddle-swank", wives who are not to be flattered "mug faced middle aged", husband who stare with fear and hesitation on leaving from the garden, and finally, the sons who are "curt-haired". All of them return to their local lives, practicing some familiar and local acts like writing their names on "vans" and "business calendars" which are hung up in kitchens. However, there are still some social communal experiences like "the Corn Exchange", and "market days in bars". Now, it is the winter in the last stanza, which is associated with the recession into the more humdrum work-a-day world. Yet, Larkin prays a heart-felt wish, even exhortation, to have a communication with the community included within the show, "stay hidden there like strength". Larkin seeks to keep in touch with "something people do". The only obstacle for him is time which is compared to blacksmith which Larkin seeks to defeat, It is an ancestral


community linking all those who take part, and all those who have ever taken part. Like the


Gomaa 222 turning of the year itself, it offers healing "Regenerate union". Finally, "let it always be there" is both humble and moving end of the poem. Mixing between Larkins impulses the public annual country fair is supported by many poetic levels. Firstly, the diction level, Larkin employs many words to indicate Larkins admiration to both the communal and individual life of the folk. "Grey day" shows the British interest in weather, "keen crowd" conveys the kind of people attending the show. The word "folks" suggests the simplicity of the event. "Incurious" denotes the same meaning, "hug, unharmed" conveys the feeling of intimacy among people. Words like "leeks, pods, beans, cabbages, scones, lambing-sticks" are related to the rustic folk. The word "less" may mean
"less" in price, or "albeit". The adjective "saddle-swank" indicates the sense of pride. The

adjective "mug faced" connotes the modesty of those women. Moreover, "recession of skills" reinforces the idea of Larkins praise to those simple people. "Dismantled" exposes the end of the camp of the show. Finally, the adverb "ancestrally" refers to the idea of tradition, which unites all people together with "Regenerate union". Secondly, on the level of imagery either literal or figurative, Larkin connects his poetry to "a living organic life" of the public folk. For example, there is animal visual imagery; "ponies", "dogs" and "sheep". Judges, pound notes man, the owners, the acrobats young men, the crowd of the marketing tent, and the members of the family after returning back to their homes, are all human visual imagery. Moreover, there are many visual images which are connected with the setting of the event itself like "beer marquee", "canvas", "lit-up board", "tent", "knitted caps" and "baskets".
Furthermore, there are vivid figurative images; For example, there is a simile in "like

great straw dice", which indicates the crowded scene of the folk gathering in the show. There


is another simile in ".. leeks like church candles" as Larkin adds religious ritual experience to the whole folkloric experience. Additionally, "like shifting scenery" is another simile


Gomaa 223 through which Larkins description to the whole scenes following each other as if shot with a camera, moving from one place to another. "It dies" is a metaphor, marking the death or the end of the show as a creature to assure the importance of the communal connection. There is also a personification in ".. how times rolling smithy smoke", which mirrors Larkins private dilemma with time, and how the folk along with Larkin seek to defeat time. In addition, the show includes a lot of movements "falls, shake", colours "pale, sky, brown eggs, white eggs and dark shining", and sounds "splutteringly, squealing". These add vitality and vividness to the whole scene. The use of adjectives is one of the poetic technical devices used by Larkin to shed light on the minute detailed description of the events; for example, "incurious, immobile, dark shining leafed, stiff-legged, keen, plain, wool defined, curt-haired, smithy and dismantled" all these adjectives are either related psychological, or physical state of being. On the phonetic level, there are a lot of alliterations in "Bead stalls balloon man, a Bank, a bear marquee", "main arena, more judges, meet", "straw, scene, spaces", "summer, Saturday", and others, all of them convey that this is a truly communal experience, shared by all. Meanwhile, there are other alliterations in the second part of the poem "stone street", "side, small", "car, curt" and "sale, swindling, something" which indicate the involvement in the private lives of the folk. Generally, the poem is divided semantically into three parts related to main three seasons; the first part took place in the summer when the activities of the show are running, the second is related to the season of the autumn when the Folk go back to their own private lives at their villages and homes. The third part is connected to the season of winter when there is no trace for the show, as it is described as "the dismantled show". It is worth to the


mentioning also that the poem sways between the folks private lives and their public ones, mixed with Larkins private impulses mirrored through his own poetic devices.


Gomaa 224
In other poems, the word "Public" moves to many other directions, as Stan Smith

states in his essay "Margins of Tolerance: Response to post-war decline", that "Larkins poetry is valuable both in itself and a symptomatic document of a cultural decline in which it is fundamentally implicated" (183). Smith confirms also that Larkin usually manages to maintain "an equivocal balance in his responses to such a world, poised between annoyance and deference". For example, both "Afternoons" and "Triple Time" are two lyrical poems which mix between both Larkins lyricism and his Public social history. On reading the first lines of "Afternoons": Summer is fading: The leaves fall in ones and twos from trees bordering the New recreation ground.

We notice the medieval English lyrical tone of sadness as Tom Paul in assures in his essay "Into the Heart of Englishness" that: The sad lyricism is rooted in a culture, but the poems plaintive terseness encourages us to elevate the emotion into a universal value and to miss Larkins real theme national decline. The autumn leaves fall in ones and twos, rather like colonies dropping out of the empire, while the poems tonal melancholy evokes the seeming permanence of a personal emotion that also happens to be universal. After many an autumn, we watch another fading season and feel sad (161).


This quotation exposes how "Afternoons" reflects Larkins private sad emotions towards the universal national decline of the British Empire.


Gomaa 225 On the surface level, the poem is about marriage, as the poem deals with Larkins view of young mothers watching their kids playing in a playground. He concludes that
marrying young and having children, lead to the mothers losing their identity and destiny. The husbands are skillful traders. Their albums have a writing "our wedding", near the

television which gives the sense of domesticity. The association of oblivion of the youth with its beautiful memories is diminished through the wind which "is running their courting places". The third stanza introduces the image of the children whose main activity to find "more unripe acrons" to be taken home. The last three verses reinforce the marginalization of
women losing their identity after getting aged. Yet, on the deep level of interpreting the

poem, the mothers are symbol of England, and "the wind / is ruining their courting places". The poem consists of three simple stanzas, with eight lines in each. The first stanza begins with "summer is fading" which reflects the disappearance of the British Empire. The leaves of the "bordering" of the trees; here, it is implicitly a reference to the fall of the colonies of the British Empire. After many autumns, there is national decline. Still, young mothers who symbolize England itself are setting to "free their children". In the second stanza, there is another image mirrored through the husbands who are in "skilled trades". The husbands within such picture may refer to the merchants, trades and other images which supported once the British glory. Then, Larkin presents "the albums" lettered "our wedding". These albums may be a reference to the history of England. Yet, the vanishing of the national glory of the British Empire, is shown in ". The wind / is ruining their courting places". The wind is a symbol of the historical changes that took place, moreover, "courting places" may be a reference to the historical experience. The third stanza introduces the image of the young mothers whose beauty has thickened and feel that


"something" is pushing them to the side their own lives, and this is also a reference to the diminishing of the imperial power.


Gomaa 226 On the semantic level, which includes both imagery and the relation between words, Larkin portrays the fading of the imperial power through the image of the married women after being aged. It is an extended metaphor as he compares England to a young woman who
married young and felt marginalized when she got old. "Summery is fading" is associated

with the idea of the cycle of life as everything must come to an end. "Summer" is related,
since the cavalier poetry, with the youth and enthusiasm. Furthermore, "the leaves" which fall

is an image signify the vanishing of youth. "The new recreation" is opposite to "fading", both of them give antithetical meaning: death and life. The word "afternoons" as repeated in the title but in a plural entity, reinforces the concept of archetypal repeated system of life. "Afternoon" refers to a stage of the middle aged time. "Our wedding" is a symbol of the time of glory of the great empire. "The wind / is
running their courting places" is a metaphor in which the wind is compared to a concrete

wheel or van which crashes the "courting places" of women, referring to the imperial colonies. There is another metaphor in "Their beauty has thickened" in which Larkin likens the beauty of something concrete. "Something" is an indefinite word connoting the changes that happen in the world. The word "pushing" shows the obligatory conditions which oblige England to lose its colonies. On the phonetic level, there is an alliteration in "swing" and "sand pit" which signifies the sense of plurality. Moreover, there is run on line technique which makes the poem to be read as if one line. in addition, the use of caesura in the middle of the lines is to make the
readers rethink about the different interpretations of the poem during reading the poem aloud. Thus, Larkins sympathy towards the young women who married young, and then


they suffered being marginalized is juxtaposed with the public which represented in the experience of England after losing its colonies. Paulin assures that "Public Larkin acts a part, cultivating a sober, suited persona with a gloomy tender private side. But that private side is


Gomaa 227
another form of concealment for it enables him to issue public statements disguised as lyric

poems". (162). In his book The scopes (or the horizons) of Modern and Contemporary Poetry in Egypt, Dr. Ezz Eldin Ismail comments on the process of the change happening to Egyptian Arab poetry from the modern romantic stage to the incorporation of the socio-political issues into modern verses writing: . . . )154(.

Dr. Ismail focuses on how

the modern Egyptian poetry in particular gets rid of its

romanticism; in other words, the focus is no longer on the individual self rather than the collective one, which in turn sheds the light on more public experience. As a result, the modern poet gets rid of such flowing personal emotions focusing on the painful reality instead. Moreover, Dr Eisa states that Shosha is one of these poets who care for some of his socio-political dilemmas. This does not mean the denial of the individualistic self completely


inside his poet, but it exists all the time to serve exposing national and social affairs.


Gomaa 228 In addition, Shoshas approach to these socio -political issues reflects his own personal and individualistic vision, but like Larkin, he does not crystalize any ideological predicaments, as Dr. Shokry stresses that the modern poetry merging between the individual self and the collective one. . . . )181(.

Consequently, dealing with the national and social matters within the modern poetry is

tackled through an individual vision mirroring the role of the self in the society. The word of poetry, then, is to register all the social, cultural, and political motives which help emerge and formulate the mentalities and the emotional impulses of people. Thus, Shosha, like Hamlet, needs to share the people in the society their suffering, ideas, miseries, and even admiration. He makes of his own poetry a mirror and a special camera picking, gazing, noticing and recording all what goes on around him with a very neat and concise poetic lens, in which one cannot distinguish between what is private and what is public. Subsequently, he does not escape his surrounding society rather than taking it as a refuge through which the poem becomes an objective correlative for all the thoughts of the citizens around him. Targeting these issues becomes not just a poetic thematic topic, rather than a human impulse working


out in his poetry. These ideas are shown in Shoshas poems like , , . , and


Gomaa 229 In his poem , Shosha portrays through his poetic lens the influence of Gamal Abd Al Nassers death on him, nature and poor people as well. Nasser is one of these poor people who felt awful and intolerable sorrow for his death. The poem focuses on certain dimensions, political and social but not ideological, what is private is that Shosha shares with these peoples sorrow and agony about Nassers death through exposing how his death affects the poor who are considered the only losers. The poet starts by picking certain natural elements which are also affected by this death; as if it prays in his funeral, and , in the bloody beach. It weeps for Nassers death and the ground under which he is buried. Nasser has returned again to the heart of Egypts land, part of it, he becomes a bud which grows to grant goodness to people even after his death. On the level of the natural village, it becomes speechless due to its shock, the cottage collapses because of its melancholy, beside, the sorrow prevails the whole village.
To enlarge the circular of the influence of death, Shosha moves to create another

scene where those widows and orphans are overwhelmed with sadness because they thought that Nasser will sweep a revenge over those who killed their husbands and children. After his death, this hope is lost. In addition, those victims of Sinai 1967 and Dunshwai, either losing their fathers or sins, become more wretched because of his death. They all are resigned to the feelings of misery, for their source of strength and inspiration of power died. In the last part of part I, Shosha arouses and interrogates rhetorical questions which construct a sense of suspense: ! ............



Gomaa 230 The poors objection finds no one to listen to nor reply after Nassers death. He was one of them feeling their suffering and sharing them the sense of being in need. Their loss of safety, wealth and medical care increases their melancholy over his departure because they trusted him in saving all their needs. The second part of the poem introduces Abd Al Nasser through the image of his voice, , it was sharp and kind simultaneously. Then the link between Nasser and the glory of Egyptian history is to identify him with the grandeur of the past / . His image is related always with the images of the falcons, and sun. To elaborate how he was a source of goodness, the poet multiplies the features of this goodness as the land is full of . The word anger conveys the mode of revolution that Nasser had throughout his life. The reign of Nasser was characterized by welfare, and the national freedom which relied in Egypts independence from Farooq the king. Shosha emphasizes this state of independence through characteristics
connected to Nassers years of ruling, strengthen the feelings of the personal and public

. The combination of the social and political

sorrow over his death. He is not only a representative of social justice, equality and welfare,
but also the voice of revolution which gets rid of the colonization. Shoshas insights are

always there, merged with the public sorrow. This mergement is extended into large horizons ... / , this shows that Nasser is still there even after his death, which does not stop his own charitable and rebellious spirit from being intensively exiting all the time. Concerning the social development Nasser had established, Shosha portrays Egypt as the is a symbol of science,

a person standing on the bank holding ;


represents work, and stands for hope. This is again confirmed in / . This sums up the scientific agricultural and artistic changes that took place within Egypt; it is full of statues, dreams, hope and


Gomaa 231 poetry. All people, especially, the poor, and the miserable feel that Egypt has become theirs after feeling that it is only the richs ... / / . Again, what is public, concerning the social influence of Nassers death on all the Egyptians, is transmitted in a form of an individualistic poetic creative vision, through which Shosha is no longer an observer, but a sharer and a participant. As for the third part, it focuses on representing the depth of Egypts sadness about
Nassers departure. It is to be personified as a daughter losing her father, weeping, and

tearing her clothes as a traditional Egyptian way of showing intolerable sorrow. What increases her agony is that she would not hear his sharp and kind voice again. He was , beside being a hand providing help for every needy person. His character is recognized as the sound of the complaint of the poor expressing their misery. In addition, he was a symbol of the sacrifice and redeeming. Imagery within the poem echoes such recognizable incorporation between Shoshas admiration of Nasser as a human and a ruler, and his sorrow over his death, in one hand, and the sadness of those poor people due to the loss of a kind charitable father. For example, in and the first part, Shosha personifies in their reaction towards Nassers death; the first leant, and the second . Even the land is personified as a mother who embraced her sons body. This is considered some kind of euphemism, as he employs a light image to express horrible implication. The metaphors in / implying Nasser as part of the land of Egypt, which is compared as a living creature in the second one, signify such unity between Nasser and his country. Furthermore, he is compared as a bud in , to mirror Nassers profit and charity he provides to all


people, even after his death. Melancholy is personified in to echo how it becomes a domineering feeling over people, who are intensively affected by his death.


Gomaa 232 Additionally, the image of with its mythical pessimistic predicaments, announces the terrible news of the departure of Nasser through the sound as a signifier, and
the concept of terror and terror as signified according to the structuralist approach. This feeling of terror is associated with those who lost their relatives in Sinai of Dunshwai. The

dramatic monologue in this part, between a daughter who lost her father, who may be Nasser or one of the victims of war, and the absent mother, echoes Shoshas private experience of sharing a public sense of loss. The depth of the effective sterileness that involved the land due
to his death is depicted in portraying the fruitfulessness of the land and the depravity of

charity and goodness, and security is echoed in the metaphors /. These two modes of internal and external nakedness, beside the depravity of goodness and security demonstrate to what extent Nassers vital influence is rooted within every item in Egypt, human or natural, physical or psychological, shown or hidden. In another personification, / , in which is compared to a human which makes the eyes ask for the help of Allah to bear such an awful disaster of losing the great ruler. Then, he answers the question in the previous part, at the beginning of the part; it is the loss of Nassers voice which causes such terrible feeling. The personification in , proceeds to affirm the variable indications in his character. The visual images in and the olfactory image in , beside psychological impact of rebellion in are projected to the

mirror a total portrait of the

influences of Nasser. There is a synecdoche in Egypt carries , as it gives specific implication through a total image of Egypt; by Egypt, he means every citizen, either


a student, a worker or any Egyptian. They work to build factories, writing poetry or curving statues in a nation which then belonged to them not to the foreigners.


Gomaa 233 In the third part, Shosha personified Egypt again as if a daughter losing her own father, weeping and tearing her clothes, this image appeals to the sight and hearing which forces the reader to justify his senses to recognize the whole meaning beyond the image. Egypt, as a daughter, misses Nassers voice which was echoing in the whole of Egypt. Then, the poet metaphorizes the character of Nasser as to state his social influence on the lives of the poor. Furthermore, the moral and the psychological influence are processed in the metaphors which announces his kind and humane fatherhood. Concerning Nassers loyalty to the land of Egypt, Shosha compares him as the language of the land, which rebellious and simple as well, he is also the lands , which symbolizes sacrifice and martyrdom. By doing this, Shosha manages to merge his private acknowledged feelings of admiration and love for the character of Nasser, with the over excessive emotions of the people towards his departure. He exposes the private and the public reasons beyond this intolerable melancholy, projected through all elements, human or nature. The construction of such characteristics of a hero who becomes a source of inspiration, power, strength and rebellion of all the classes of society especially the poor and the miserable people, deepens the feelings of sorrow over his death. Moreover, the use of the imagery is one of the technical tools through which the truth of the private experience reflects authenticity of the public and collective feeling, and mode of behavior. His images are not just a photocopy of reality rather than a transmitting process of revelation. The intensification of the image is indicated by the density of the private feelings, and not through the sense of reality. This incites the feelings of the reader to be overwhelmed by the connotative meanings beyond the metaphors and the personifications, not by the denotative meanings of every image. Thus, the word through the


construction of the image loses its lexical meaning to acquire another contextual meaning, recognized through an overall understanding of the text. This is what Dr. Mustafa Abd Al


Gomaa 234 Ghany states in his book The Poetic construction in Farooq Shoshas Poetry, he assures that the image in Shoshas has many features: .1 . ( ) .2 . .3 . .4 ( ) . .5 .
For example, in his poem echo, , Shosha employs his aesthetic images in a way that not just his sadness, but the overall excessive involvement in melancholy on the public

level. The sensual lexis

address all the senses of the readers, reflecting the physical and the presents a burden, the widow is

psychological feelings, as melancholy walks, it

terrified, the child asks about her father who is absent, and the poor raise their hands towards the sky. Even the missing parts of the incomplete dramatic monologue shed the light
on the dramatic melancholic frame of the poem. On the natural level, again imagery is structured to expose a meaning beyond the literal meanings of the words, as in ,


which , which are expressions of sorrow. Even the minds meet movements are related to the levels of misery, agony and pain. These movements are recognized on the mental level not just the sensual one. They leave such effective implications on such


Gomaa 235 mixture between what is private and what is public. Moreover, the words function to reflect the variable indications of the profit, charity and goodness offered by Nasser throughout his life extending after his death. For example, the word signifies the materialistic profit, unlike which implies the moral significance. Besides, the words indicate the rebellion dimension. Being the carrier of Thebes perfume or breeze adds historic and mythical horizons to the whole portrait. In addition, the words connected to those who are influenced by Nassers death are summed up in the widows, the orphans, the naked, the miserable, which display not just the denotative meanings rather than their variable significance and the enlargement of the social classes who are totally affected by such assistances which no longer exist. Even the word Egypt serves both specific and total implication, as it may mean the whole entity or every citizen and national element related to the land. It develops on all levels, industrially, agriculturally, scientifically and

technologically. Thus, words involve connotative meanings which go beyond their physical implications in portraying imagery. In another poem entitled Two Songs for Egypt, Shosha expresses his deep love and adoration for Egypt and its dust. He shows his indefinite and unlimited emotions and loyalty to the land of Egypt. The poet could mix between what is private, and the public image of Egypt with its victories and defeats. It represents the throbs of hearts and a sky ray which lits the ways of man, and melts his own sins. Moreover, it is the ultmum of hope and the new dawn. Being a martyr for the sake of this nation provides the man with a new life. Its beaches grant him with youth, which extends beyond time and place. He compares himself to a road within this great nation, upon which people tread, or a barrier which obstacles the coming of the enemies. Both Shosha and his nation turn into one unity, they are one, not to be


separated. For example, he sees himself as one of those who sacrifice their souls for the sake of the victory and the glory such a nation in October war 1973. Additionally, he is one of


Gomaa 236 those who travel away from Egypt, then come again, kneeling and prostrating to thank God for their return to it. Nostalgia and love are what make them eager to return. Then, Shosha moves to narrate to us the story of the great war of October, and how
the soldiers were shouting before their martyrdom we die, and you, Egypt, live, they

encounter perils and dangers for its sake: : ... The second song is entitled The Seventh Day as a reference to the day when the victory of the Egyptian army is announced over the Israeli one. The Egyptian flag on the west bank of Sinai declaring the defeatism of pride and arrogance, on the hands of those great soldiers whose sacrifice reshaping Egypts history. Sweeping revenge over those who took our lands, and cause us to live an era of servility after 1967 war, erases and wipes these shameful feelings dominating for six years. In the seventh day, things began to restore their former taste and shape. The moment of crossing represents not just a physical movement and a victorious implication rather than breaking the psychological shell of fear


and silence which domineered the Egyptians psyche for years . / pride and / The repetition of the word cross affirms the senses of self-esteem; as it connotes a moral significant crossing of the days of the black


Gomaa 237 defeatism and servitude. New dawn emerges signifying the feelings of triumph. Then, Shosha dramatizes the scene of the soldiers crowding and those who were waiting for their news:

This dramatic endeavor is established through the poetic camera shooting a scene where Shosha addresses the Egyptians to take stand to realize the importance and the seriousness of such unpreceded victory achieved by those great martyrs who sacrifice their blood for the sake of the pride of the nation. Hence, the poets self-realization of the influential great triumph is merged and melted in one pot with the sacrifices of those courageous and noble soldiers. Through his idioms, imagery and poetic structural devices, he incorporates both the private glorification of the day, with the impressive and striking reaction of the Egyptian, which he himself becomes part of it, along with the victorious act of such champions. For example, in the first song I love you, the poet presents Egypt as a person, addressing it as you. The apostrophe in is a confirmation of such perceptive insight towards Egypt as a living is another apostrophe which stresses the fact of beat inside the poets body. incorporation and the idea of unity between both the poet and its nation. All these


apostrophes along with ... , echo such physical and metal closeness, where words exceed their physical boundaries to a more connotative implication. Then, Shosha employs the idea of the rebounding of time through , beside, the antithesis in today and yesterday, and tomorrow to show how the poet roams through Egypts dimension as he


Gomaa 238 lost his will surrendering to the will of Egypt, as he flies in its sky and pours his soul on its banks. The repetition of the verb love, and the preceding of the annexation on your dust , evokes Shoshas evaluation and prior appreciation of the national issue before
to the private emotional involvement. This surrender of the private self and the negation of

the will in front of the public will represented in Egypts beauty, is presented in some verbs which indicate negativeness and passivity ... . This attitude is privileged by being granted life after death or martyrdom which is devoted just to God. The poet gives the nation an authority of God; he may not mean in its literal meaning rather than interpreting the grandeur of the sacrifice for the sake of the glory of Egypt, as something sacred. This indication is rephrased in the prepositional phrases beyond the boundaries of time, beyond the time of place, which impart a metaphysical dimension on the authority of Egypt. Then, merging what is private with what is national as being one part and one entity is echoed through the simile ; he becomes a barrier or a dam obstacling the invasion of the enemies. Not only does he become one part of the physical items of the nation, but also its human and psychological elements . Moreover, the use of , and and, multiplies the horizon of the variety of unity and mergement among all the factors of Egypt. The gradation of the acts of those who return to Egypt after being away introduce their psychological response towards the happiness of such intimate return; they , then , then . Again, he employs the gradation of the stages of what the victory of October war has done to people and to their surroundings; as the nights prolonged after defeat, and the fingers dived into dust,


yet, after victory, the phase of the nights changed, and as a result, the victory exploded. These verbs put in the past tense, prolonged, dived, changed, and


Gomaa 239 exploded, are ordered in a symphonic way to recur the experience of both the private melted within the collective entity, to introduce and display the stages of both defeat and victory as reflection on all levels. In another part of the poem, the sound impact interferes with the visual image to signify the living portrait of sacrifice of these dignified soldiers : / : . This intermingling and integrating use of both the first person pronouns singular and plural, I and we, in and incorporates the stage of unity for the sake of you, which is a reference to Egypt. This idea of integration for the sake of nation is stressed through the repetition of for your three times, which gives causes why the nation deserves such sacrifice. Then, the recurrence of the object forms three times / / indicates the subsequential outcome of this unity and

intermingling which result in new dawn, born dream, and a victory. All of them come in the indefinite form to symbolize the dignity of this unity. In the second song, The Seventh Day, the poet starts with the nominal clause The seventh day came, then he repeats another nominal clause , and m which is a neat mingling between what is the color and the movement, to display the scene of victory on in Sinai. The influence of the defeat on the enemy is introduced through verbs like, as their dreams fall, and were trodden by the feet, beside the mirage . These three verbs vary representing the metaphorical mode in the falling of the dreams, and of the mirage till the physical in the treading of the feet. On the other hand, there is paradoxical representation of the influence of the victory on Egypt; as the ground , followed by two objects , . These two objects again echo the integration


between what is moral or psychological and what is physical. This paradoxical impact of influence is identified with the glory of such day.


Gomaa 240
Moreover, the poet presents a group of the present simple verbs which witness the private motives mixed with the collective ones, as , the verbs , pave the way to the introduction of the factors which restore their brightness after the victory; Man, things and words. In addition, the repetition of the

verb crossed four times to signify the moral significance attached to the process of crossing as it expresses the end of the shame and the humility of the days. In a neatly creative poetic way, Shosha records the process of receiving the news of victory through three main cycles; which receive the dawn; the second represented in the the first one is related to the crowd who receive the news, then, the third one shown in the features of victory receiving the triumphant images. These three modes moving from the sensual and the visual implication in the first, then the psychological level in the second, then the auditory image in the third to portray a living of triumph scene full of striking and variable impressions. Then, Shosha adds a dramatic conversational thread through to draw subtly the personal existence of the poet. On the metaphorical level, the poet clarifies the relation between the private and the are to public; for example, the metaphors in , melt the self of the poet within the collective self of the nation, and in the second he compares it to part of the sun, this shows how the poet, Egypt and nature become one. This incorporation deprives the poet of his will which paradoxically seems to be a positive stand and not a negative one. This depravity is stressed in / . Again, melting within the pot of the nation is conveyed through which is a complex metaphor, where the spirit is likened to a liquid, which is transformed in the same


image as fragments, which reveals the process of unity as a metaphysical process. This image reminds us of the conceit of the farfetched metaphor introduced by John Donne and other metaphysical poets in the seventeenth century. The similes in ... , ... are


Gomaa 241 continuous portrayal of such integration between the self and the nation. is a metonym for Egypts eyes to show that it deserves the sacrifice. Additionally, there is a personification in born dream which suggests the different implications of the development either cultural, industrial or educational. It is supposed to be looked after to flourish. In the second song The Seventh Day, Shosha has employed different metaphorical images to confirm the grandeur of the October victory; for example ... is a metaphor as the dreams resemble invaluable materialistic object, falling on dust and being trodden by the feet, this is to investigate the horrible effect of the defeat on the
Israeli soldiers. Mirage is also personified to portray their terrific feelings after being

beaten, the same idea is repeated on metaphorizing the desert as a monster swallowing their defeated dreams of being impossibly overcome to express the dignified sacrifice, Shosha compares the blood of the champions to water irrigating the flowers of the ground. Furthermore, the absent face of the nation is an extended personification depicting the feelings of shame and servitude dominating the years of defeat. Fear is metaphorized as a wall, to shed the light on such a glorious achievement in destroying it. The face of the black days is a metaphor where the days are given black color and a face to convey what these soldiers have done for their nation as they remove such blackness replacing it with whiteness and brightness. The same idea is represented in the barrier of sadness. Thus, the poem Two songs for Egypt explores such willing private need and aspiration to be one unity with the nations defeat and victory, melancholy and joy, indignation and glory, shame and honor. Both the private and the public emerge in one entity and one unity through the structural devices and the poetic images. Shosha succeeds to portray variable scenes where the self integrated with the nation.


In another poem entitled The Arab blood says, Shosha manages to employ another image of the self which is the Arab blood, as a character speaking and complaining about its


Gomaa 242

continuous bleeding. Shosha, here, embodies his own self with the image of the Arab blood representing al the dramatic horrible circumstances surrounding the Arab nations leading to bloodshed and the strife among the Arab nations. Fragmentation and disunity are examined as the main causes beyond the endless bleeding of both Shosha and the image of the Arab blood. Thus, the spokesman is Shosha, but incorporated with the character of the Arab blood. Both of them share the same suffering out of the unjustifiable errors and sins of the Arab nation, which result in disintegration and separation among them. The only one who pays for this is the Arab blood which is spelt from vein in vain. Shosha expresses this misery as if his. The poem, thus, offers a new form of the unity between what is the private or Shoshas and what is public or the suffering of the Arabic blood. Sharing the same dilemmas is the common factor which unifies both of them. The poem starts with the word finally as if the speaker who is the Arab blood, and Shosha as well, has no longer patience, or the word may reveal that the final result of all these struggles and war among them is that is loses its Arab identity and its precious nature. It becomes as colorless and tasteless as water. It is spelt for no reasons, even things do not change around it, , , this explains that its bleeding is for nothing. The repetition of the sentence I bleed proves one fact which is the insistence on such permanent process of bleeding. As a result of its plenty of the spelt amount, it irrigates the holes and the sand. Still, this does not create anything not incite the Arab knights to move to change the horrible status quo. Instead, the Arabs construct their towers and high buildings which are hued and stained with blood. Indifference overwhelms them; they neglect the screams of those who die in the Arabs land caring for their own glory and investment which are exposed through their towers which are metaphorically likened to tombs.


The second part begins with the same word as the first one finally, but this time it expresses that due to its endless spelling, it is about to finish as it exceeds all veins. Thus it


Gomaa 243 stops to revive itself reciting its suffering story for everyone, like Hamlet. Its story may be this poem itself. In an ironical tone, it shows its bitter pride as it becomes the end of tragic

story brining tears, and it paradoxically becomes the initial of the song. It tells us about the places where it was spelt.

These verses denote that it becomes of a preciousless value. , and are the places where it is spelt plentifully and for no reason. The third part introduces many other scenes where the blood is spelt; for the first scene is representation of a bridegrooms face which bleeds due to her murder by an unknown killer who may be a savage Israeli person. Her Arab identity is murdered too because if there were real Arabs, they would not have let her murdered in such a way. Other scenes are depicted, concerning an orphan who lost his mother or father. Other scenes are not to be revealed because we are acquainted with them or due to their repeated automatic recurrences, as a result we get used to them. The last part begins with the word finally; it represents this time some kind of a scream against its continuous bleeding across the Arab capitals or beyond the boundaries. Its dream of unity becomes fragmented due to endless killings and murders. Then, this character of the Arab blood has its face clashed in the mirror which evokes the sense of distortion and


deformation. ...


Gomaa 244


This endless damnation that follows the Arab blood proves that this bleeding will never stop. This distortion causes the tiredness and exhaustion of the hero of the poem. The mirror is a reflection of not just a conscious realization of the surrounding harsh circumstances, but also of the sub-conscious perception of losing the Arab identity indicated through the negative act of smashing. The poem since the very beginning is transformed into a melodramatic scene where the character of the Arab blood performs the role of the defeated hero who addresses the reader in a speech similar to soliloquy. He throws all his complaints in a form of face to face one-sided speech where the Undoubtfully, by the end of the addressee only shares the suffering of the addresser.

poem, the addressee realizes that he is one entity with both

the poet and the hero; all are connected with one national tie. The first scene of the poem, the poet employs the technique of the frame of the unreversed pyramidical triangle, or the platonic triangle, or the inductive approach where he sets the basic statement at the

beginning, then, he gives a full account of explanation and interpretation. For this reason, it states that it is as cheap and colorless as water, then, he begins to give reasons and details for this account. Both of them grant life, but, the Arab blood is cheaper. Moreover, the starting scene of the poem suggests the unity between what is private and what is public on all levels; firstly, on the level of the poet-the hero, both the poet and the Arab blood become melted with each other into one self. Both share the loss of the Arab


identity. Secondly, on the level of the hero-the poem, the hero becomes an image of the Arab self identifying itself with the lost Arab unity. Thus, Shosha dramatizes the image of the Arab


Gomaa 245 blood as a symbol of the self either on the poets level, or all the Arabs. The loss of the color and the taste is a portrayed metaphorically to signify the waste of the national identity.
Additionally, the long vowel in bleed adds a significant conception of pain and agony.

What increases its misery is that although it bleeds, , . It is worth being mentioned that there are two paradoxical movements in this scene, the first is the continuous bleeding signifying suffering and the other is the continuous silence indicating indifference. , and are related to the Arab conventional natural environment. Contradictorily, this scene evokes a sense of the negation of the pathetic fallacy, as nature no longer responds to Mans suffering. This reveals a sense of disorder and chaos.
The repetition of the verb bleed recurs the feeling of suffering. It irrigates the

thirsty holes, which is a personification showing its invaluable nature / / . The depth of bleeding is limitless, beside the constant negative reaction of the people and nature around it, arouses more and more pathetic tone. The repetition of the negative form dont or no reverberates the miserable psychological impact. Nothing changes and no one cares. The construction of towers over these bloody grounds is the ultimate sign of indifference and carelessness, is shown in the metaphor where the poet compares the establishment of the buildings on the bloody ground to the growth of the flowers. Fragmentation in the collective self dominates the poem.
Moreover, the visual extension of these towns signifies the limitless space

of chaos and anarchy that characterizes the Arab relations. Yet, in a very revealing metaphor, these towers are transformed into shrines. The repetition of the word finally in the last part expresses negative self sufficiency of the spelt blood. The poet follows finally by I suffice. Then, the scene of the Arab


blood as a knight getting tired in the desert, , and sat to sing his miserable song or soliloquy which is the poem itself The Arab blood says, imparts the psychological


Gomaa 246
frustration which overwhelms it. This sense of overwhelming is stressed in the metaphor

which displays the plenty of the blood spelt. The point of sterileness is a visual special dimension which evokes the climatic feelings of collapse. Being employed as the initial epilogue of a lyrical song or the final prologue of an elegy is any irony which
exposes the intensity of negativeness towards the bleeding of the blood. People no longer

have human values and no moral principles. It is worth being mentioned that all the pronouns are related either to the first pronoun I in , and they in they make, and even it in , which symbolizes the separation between I and we, which signifies the separation between the individual self related to the Arab blood and the collective we, on the level of the Arab people. This removes any suppositions of the Arab identity. In a flashback scene, the poet multiplies the situations where the Arab blood was spelt, he brings these from his memory ;the first situation is such a bride who was murdered by a savage; the portrait of the resistance of the Arab blood is depicted through verbs like , they express the stages of bleeding after his resistance. The second situation is presented through the metaphor a cloud of orphanage, which catches the glimpse of sadness and melancholy involving homes, as a result of such endless bleeding. Then, it reveals how there any many other situations in which blood is spelt, but it refuses to tell us about them in the personification / . The masks which stop telling us about what they hide stress the limitlessness of misery. To portray that he even loses hope in what is coming or whatever happens to it, this will never change the status-quo of the negativeness of the people, the poet confirms that this is destined and eternal through images like , in which and


are personified to add fatal certainty of the horrible future. This image sustains the tome of pessimism prevailing the verses.


Gomaa 247 The last repetition of the word finally seems to mark the end of the poem, stating nature of fragmentation as the dominant mode characterizing the Arab relations. The Arab blood spelt, exists across the capitals or beyond the boundaries, it is spelt on every ground. The question in , preceded by , assumes its ultimate despair, which is confirmed in the personification . Fragmentation is the fact, and the dream of unity is the lost impossible hope. As a result of this statement of the impossibility of the dream, , , . The images of death, roads, silence as being personified and the image of oppression as being a concrete object, admit the final state which sweeps the feelings; it is a state of loss, fragmentation and hopelessness. The last personification in / manifests the mode of distortion, and meaninglessness of identity. The image of the mirrors here, being personified, is similar to Plaths poem Mirrors, where the mirrors reflect not just the physical shape of a person but his or her sub-conscious dilemmas. It is an imagist portrait of a mirror. Thus, through his poem The Arab blood says, Shosha separates between both the Arab blood and its identity. Its continuous bleeding is encountered by nothing except negativeness and passivity. Shosha is identified with the Arab blood, but both are separated from the code of identity. Shoshas private complaint and hope towards finding one unified code gathering all the Arabs together in one pot, is dealt with through a general portrait of the public experience of the passive and indifferent reactions towards the death and the murder of the Arabs in their capitals or at their boundaries or even in their exile.
In another poem entitled Peace Call, Shosha sends a message to the whole world or the


worldly collective self to be united by love which dwells in the words of poetry / . These are the ending verses of the poem. They remind us with the ending verses of Larkins poem An Arundle Tomb, what survives of us


Gomaa 248

all is love. Both Larkin and Shosha insist on the same message of love, but in different approaches. World shares the same suffering and agony, and thus, to overcome all these miserable predicaments, it must share love as human link. Being melt in one worldly collective self, which cares, loves, and sympathizes is a universal call of peace. This reminds us of the ending of the Eliots The Waste Land, as he stresses the fact that the only salvation in this waste world is to love, help, and sympathize, through the images of the three thunders. This poem was written when Shosha visited the Soviet Union in 1969, he was a media deputy. First of all, the poem starts by defining two certain places Moscow and Bacco, where the real sense of humanity exists because of the belief in the human principles of brotherhood and equality. The human self in its collective worldly universal phase is melt in one pot. The poet on visiting such places, felt that things have new visions, as if they are reborn; no boundaries to separate humans, and even history is re-read with new neat and precise implications, and meanings. It is the history of love and human strife. In Moscow and Bacco, hands are linked, and faces meet intimately and courtesily. The poet moves specifically to Bacco, the heart of tranquility, where the dawn lit, and the letters are born to echo the language of the humanity. The word but is to reverse the expectations of such ideal human contact; he mentions another place Port Tawfik, in Egypt, where it reflects negative associations against the positive ones in Moscow and Bacco. Images begin to be inversely depicted; as dawn never lits. It exists in the heart of the poet, where it is waited to lit. Shosha sheds the light on his optimism towards a better future similar to that in the Soviet Union. Shosha may mean the spread of the real communism in Egypt like in the Soviet Union. He traces it through the flame of death.


Shosha, then, remembers , which reminds him with the great glory of the Arab conquering the world till they reached China. Yet, this dignified history is dusted, it is


Gomaa 249 described as empty uninhabited history, due to the loss of the Arab unity in the Arabs modern times. This conquering was sacred and blessed: , , due to its righteousness of the principles of equality, and brotherhood.
This what makes the poet remembers as both old Arab history and the modern Soviet Unions communist codes are very similar. They are the same principles adopted by the Al Fateh, the Arab conqueror, in unifying all the cities he had invaded. The poet stresses the fact that these human principles are the only guarantees for the accomplishment of human unity,

, . These communist principles unite all the humans although they are different in religions, colors, and nationalities. Consequently, they gather , and the yellow and the black. This unity becomes a source of inspiration and hope, which evokes the same destiny and human determination. In the last part of the poem, Shosha narrates to the readers a real scene, when he met an Arab at the Soviet Union. This Arab face reminded Shosha of the glorified history when if the Arab armies spread once all over Europe, signifying the Arab conquering wars through which, they reached the depth of Europe till France in the West, and China in Asia in the East. This Arab face becomes a point of meeting where all dreams are gathered: . Then, the poet ends the poem in the final message; love unifies all humanity. The verses as a whole are a message from the individual self, Shosha, to the collective self, the whole world, and the poets nation as well. The embodiment of the human principles of love, equality, and brotherhood as the basics of human unity is the focus of the poem. The poem implies the technique of tension on two main levels; the first if the place level, and the


second is the time one. For the place; there are two places, the first is represented in Moscow, Bacco and , and the opposing place is Port Tawfik. The former symbolizes the enlightenment, freedom, humanity, equality and love. But the later refers to


Gomaa 250 the opposite, it is deprived even from the light of dawn, and surrounded by death and pains. Images are employed to state such tension; for example, , indicates the
vision of creativity and uniqueness in applying human moral codes. The personification in

records the depth of this human unity, which depicts Man as reflection to the world and vice versa. Moreover, the visual images in , , and the antitheses in , convey the purity and the serenity of ideal human principles. Moreover, the personification in , evokes the importance of the role of the word of poetry in spreading enlightenment and righteousness. Besides, the antithesis in sheds the light on the difference between Port Tawfik and the cities of the Soviet Union. Words like death, pains are set against words like peace call, strife, hug, which embody the differences in the psychological modes related to the antithetical places. The third part exposes the tension in the two times; the past and the history of glory and dignity in one hand, and the modern times with its indignation, loss of identity and disunity prevailing the Arab relations. The metaphor in , where the poet compares the past to uninhabited home to indicate the loss of hope in unity in the modern time. The images in and signify the synesthetic technique. The conveys to what extent the Arab conqueror, Al Fateh personification in reached, beside, the courtesy and the intimate feelings that accompanied such conquers. To impart the sacredness and blessing upon these past glorious invasions, Shosha reflects moral and religious influences in the personifications , their


, and , all of them overshadow the human and the religious enlightenments of such conquers. In addition, the basics of human incorporations and unity are portrayed in the metaphor / ...
... / , where equality and brotherhood are compared to the seeds which were


Gomaa 251 planted by the hands of Al Fateh. These basics are also personified, for after their growth, they practiced their role in unifying and blessing people, , then, . To fix the hope in the hearts of people, he shows that this glorious past challenges throughout days. It indicates the endless pursuit beyond achieving unity and glory. Moreover, the antithesis between light, darkness shows the contrast between the past and the present. Word like bells addresses the sense of hearing auditory, beside, addresses the sense of smelling olfactory. As for , they address the sense of sight visual. The image of the hero Al Fateh is connected with some verbs which . Moreover, the variety in display his own moral behaviors and conveys the role of unity in gathering different people. The last part of the poem records the poets call, which is urged by reminding the echo . In the heart of the poet, the absent is of , and the sight of gathered with the present; the Arab face makes what is probable possible. Exceeding boundaries is done through memory, which reveals which is a metaphor, in which hope is visualized as green oasis. In addition, this memory is hard even to be imagined not just to be achieved in the present, this is shown through metaphorizing it as having a harsh and tough way ... . Then, the final metaphor in evokes the image of poetry as a leading tool to achieve unity based on love and equality.


Gomaa 252 Conclusion

Hamlet as a dramatic figure is transformed into a mythical archetypal human image due to his inconsistencies and extraordinary conditions which make of his character a project of literary and psychological introspection. Attempting to trace how Hamletian problematics echo the modern dilemmas and predicaments is processed through the study of the modern examples of both English and Arab poets in general and Philip Larkins poems and Farouk Shoshas in particular. What makes of Hamlet a human archetypal myth reflected through
modern poetry is his failure to understand the worlds inside and outside his psyche, as a

result, his uncertainty towards the concepts of life and death, his own determination to act, his own identity and his own realization of being part of the whole humanity have been processed into the modern verses. Consequently, these problematics constitute paradoxical terms which are gathered in certain forms of antithetical, but parallel human impulses; to be and not to be, to act and not to act, to be modernist and romantic, and to be private and public. These terms and concepts are studied in relation to the New Critical notion of tension, paradox, organic unity, irony and antithesis. These unresolved psychological problematics raise the awareness towards the process of how they are mirrored in modern poetry. Thus, taking Hamlet as a representative of
modern writers especially the poets, deepens such a sense of complexity prevailing human

life. Having Hamletian character with its problematics urges these modern poets to innovate and create. Applying and exploring these Hamletian problematics are done through the deconstructive approach of structuralist techniques and the formalist notions. The poetry of Eliot, Auden, Hughes and Plath echoes such Hamletian conflict


evidently. For example, Eliots techniques of the objective correlative and symbolism in Alfred Song of J. Prufrock display such a problematic of to be and not to be exposing his


Gomaa 253 acceptance and rejection of both life and death inversely. As for the problematic of double identity of being American or British, it is being discussed in Hollow Men. Moreover, Plaths Lady Lazarus offers a deep analysis of the problematic of to be and not to be through the portrayal of the image of the phoenix. Additionally, the concept of the divided nature as parallel to the idea of having two identities exists in Hughes Gaudette and Wodwo.
Although Arabic poetry belongs to different backgrounds and written in different languages; it shares the same problematics which are genuinely reflected through the poetry

of Hijazi, Abdul Sabor, Darweesh and Abu Sinnah. For example, dealing with death as a metaphor for life is exposed in Hijazis poem . The problematic of

identity is explored in Darweeshs An Identity Card. As for the mode of hesitation as being an in-between behavior of both action and inaction overwhelms Abu Sinnahs poems A Relation and Abstraction. Moreover, Abu Sinnahs poem The Martyr evokes such unity between what is private and what is public in the sense that the sacrifice of the martyr is Abu Sinnahs and others as well. However, both Shosha and Larkin introduce these problematics in their poetry unwillingly or sub-consciously. Although Larkin is an atheist and agnostic, Shosha is a Muslim and a believer, their poems record the Hamletian-like attitides in various proportions and in different poetic ways. For example, Larkins poems Trees, The Building, The Old Fools, Aubade, Days and Nothing to be Said embody the problematic of to be and not to be in the sense that Larkin explores the human obsessions towards ageing, sickness and the change of the physical and mental features of Mankind when death approaches. Comparing human transient age opposite the endless cycle of life and death of


the trees establishes such a universal paradox between both nature and Man, eternity and doomness. Sickness is one of the reasons and signs of the approach of death, it dwells in the


Gomaa 254 building of the hospital. All what people do is to wait either for life or death. The hospital is the place where the tension between both life and death exists permanently. If The Trees remind man of his inability and inevitable death, The Building exposes the ironical formula of both life and death side by side. Surrendering to the doomed destiny is a sign of defeatism. The psychological and the mental decline of the old fools make them lose contact

with the whole humanity, Larkins fear from ageing occupies a great part of his thinking. For this reason, he compares death following ageing as a lover in Aubade whom Larkin waits
every night, till morning. Practicing life activities does not hinder him of thinking of death

which is transformed into business in Days. The adaptation to death factual rites makes the images of booth the priests and the doctors life and death figure paradoxically. We are just clients and actors in the play of life. Larkin generalizes the problematic of life and death to include cultures, nations and communities in Nothing to be Said. All cultural activities have one epiphanic moment when Man realizes that he is defeated in front of time element. Shoshas tension between both life and death is handled distinctively; his vision towards death is not conceived of from a nihilistic existentialistic vision like in Larkins. In other words, Shoshas concept of death is not viewed from the overwhelming feeling of pessimism and disappointment rather than from a romantic commitment that death does mean only physical disappearance. Those who die are paradoxically still alive through their works and literary creativity. Thus, to be means the existence of the creative works of some poets. On the other hand, not to be is only a reference to the physical death. This is traced in many elegies like The Martyr of the Word, The Journey Completed, The Poet of the Sharp Boyonets and An Apology.


In The Martyr of the Word, Shosha mourns the death of Nasin Al Montanabi and how he was and is still the rebel who revives the spirit of revolution in his Lebanese people. His word exists even after his death. The same idea is repeated in The Journey Completed


Gomaa 255

as the poet explores the role of Abdul Sabors poetry in urging his friends and followers to resist the lies and the fakedness of the modern age. But in The Poet of Sharp Boyonets, the poet focuses on the descriptions of the physical features of Amal Donqol; at the same time,
he exposes his role in fighting and uprooting the sources of corruption and injustice. The

same is shown in An Apology written after the death of Abdul Sabor. Shoshas surrender to death is always there, but perceived in different motives from that of Larkin. If Shosha yields to death as part of his own dogmatic belief, Larkin gives in as a sign of pessimistic vision. As for Hamletian problematic of action and inaction or hesitation mode of behavior, both Larkin and Shosha suffer from the obsession of this problematic; both of them see the world around as stagnant, but Shosha is more optimistic as he considers poetry as the only way leading to the path of hope. Larkin through his poems Ignorance, Next, Please, Toads, Church Going, Faith Healing and Water. Larkin assumes in Ignorance that we do not know about ourselves what enables us to subvert the world around or change the realm inside. Thus, we sway between decisions and imprecisions. At the same time if we wait for something to happen, nothingness is the final result. Larkin compares our hope in life to the process of the vessels delivering of cargo which symbolizes hope, but, death is the reward of this waiting or wishing. In Toads, Larkin directs his concept of action and inaction to the field of work, squatting is part of acting actively. It represents a positive glimpse of hope among these pessimistic shades. Differently explored, the concepts of action and inaction are conceived of according to Larkins attitude towards the church. For example, Larkins act of blasphemy opposes his respect to religion. He does not admit Christianity, but he does not deny its role in social unity. Unlike in Church Going, Larkin ridicules those priests and evangelists who


employ religion as a mode of healing, although they did this hastily and imprecisely. This


Gomaa 256 imprecision is due to the impurities of the Christian religion which should be purified and cleansed like water. Thus, there is always tension that prevails the whole verses. For Shosha, his problematic of action and inaction centers on the idea of antagonism towards time. If Hamlet and Larkin become victims to the external fore of time representing their ghost, it moves Shosha to a world of isolation, alienation and self-exile. This is shown in poems like Retreat, Dream Sparrow, The Smouldered Eyes, Time to Catch Time and Protestation. Shosha expresses his own paralysis in front of the enemy of time in Retreat, for this reason, he falls victim of mental and physical irresolution. His doubt about being able to act against time evokes sub-conscious struggle. For this reason, he remains in an in-between space between to act and bot to act. But, his establishment of many excuses for why he does not act is exposed in Dream Sparrow. Although he tries to compose a new path of hope, the poem ends in a cyclic way. Moreover, the problematic of the inevitable notion of choice is explored within a romantic personal level, as Shosha explores the idea of having no choice in love. Thus, he has no hand in acting. Either to act or not to act is not related to man nor under his control, but it is something related to destiny and inevitability. Like Larkin, Shosha expresses his fear from ageing in Time to Catch Time, youth is melted with enthusiasm and flames of fire, but ageing is incorporated with the sense of the mental and psychological decline. Finally, the role of poetry as a reforming means, and the poet as a new modern Sindbad who resists all types of oppression and tyranny. Abu Tammam is the new supposed image that is associated with positiveness and active mode of action. Shosha attempts to give hope through this image of the new Sindbad in poetry.


As for the problematic of the dual identity or being modernist and romantic, or the contrast between both the episodic memory and the semantic one, Larkins poems, Broadcast, Home is Sad, The Whitsun Weddings and Sad Steps mirror such tension


Gomaa 257 between both the modernist idioms and structures and the romantic images and overwhelming feelings and emotions. For example, Larkins detachment and his romantic images in both Home is Sad and Broadcast oppose the paradox between the image of home as being human and a concrete object, in Home is Sad and the imagist technique in Broadcast. The romantic feelings of isolation and melancholy dominate in the two poems although in Broadcast there is noisy crowd, but transmitted only through radio. In addition, Larkins view towards the wedded couples belonging to the middle class and his feelings of alienation and celebity occupy the point of focus in The Whitsun Weddings. He is as an observer who records the paradox between his state of loss of hope concerning his marital status and the future prospective of those married middle class couples. Moreover, tension as a modern technique is set between both the immortal cycle of the moon and the mortality of human life in Sad Steps. Moreover, if Larkin sways between the modernist techniques and romantic themes, and Larkinian detached attitude, Shosha has suffered also juxtaposing the romantic feelings with the modernist techniques. In , for example, the loneliness and the suffering of are generalized to incorporate the state of all humanity before the coming of the Prophet Mohammed. Still, tension exists between the morals of Mohammed and his companions in the old age, and the loss of faith and corruption spreading in the modern age. The description of the old man symbolizing the river Nile and his complaint about being neglected, is what forms the romantic feelings in the poem. But, it is noteworthy being mentioned that there is no pathetic fallacy within the poem as nature does not respond to the old man neither. In River Nile, the tension is aroused when we are encountered by the morals of the old man and the immoral attitude of the Egyptians. Yet, within The beauty


bathing in the river, Shosha neatly portrays the romantic overwhelming emotional desires of a beautiful virgin girl whose bathing in the river symbolizes her own loss of virginity. After


Gomaa 258 she responds to the lovers temptation, her paradoxical states before and after bathing or losing virginity evoke a modernist vision. Moreover, An Ebony Face introduces the

romantic description of a beautiful face of a lady, full of warmth and glimmering flames. This is exposed through modernist techniques of paradox. Thus, both Larkin and Shosha fluctuate between the modernist idioms, structures and techniques and their romantic attitudes

recording their overwhelming feelings and emotions. As for the problematic of merging what is private and what is public within their poetry, both Larkin and Shosha experience their personal vision concerning praising, admiration or moralizing through communal and public experiences. Their own poetry determines the percept of the social communal and universal realms within the private poetic experience. In Larkins An Arundal Tomb, the moral slogan what will survive of us is love is both private message and universal notion. The poem offers a portrait of loyalty, love and admiration on both personal level of the poet towards the effigies and on the public level concerning the vision of the people towards them. Yet, within The Explosion, the public experience is enlarged to incorporate the misery of the real event of the deaths of the miners due to the mine explosion. Larkins personal admiration and his sympathy towards them are the focus of the poem. The public experience in To the Sea is different, it is about the activities of the children in particular, and the adults in general, on the beaches either in the past or the present. In Show Saturday, Larkins private feelings of both wonder and admiration are directed towards a summer show where all people belonging to different communities are inked and gathered in one social unity representing social healing. Finally, in Afternoons, Larkin expresses his own private lament over the decline of the British Empire, on the surface level, the poem is about marriage, and how the young mothers lost


their identity because of nursing their own children while they are still young. But, on the deep level, it is about the decline of England after losing its colonies.


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As for Shosha, he introduces such mergement between both the private and the public through his attitude towards some Arab cases either political or social. Thus, reacting for the social public issues is the cornerstone in some of Shoshas poems like , , , . In , he records his own melancholy towards the death of Nasser. This private melancholy is incorporated with and reflected on the whole public melancholy of the poor and the needy people who considered Nasser their own savior. Nassers industrial and educational projects were progressive steps towards modernizing Egypt. He shows Nasser as a symbol of sacrifice and sympathy. He merges his own melancholy with the suffering of the poor due to the death of Nasser. Moreover, Shosha announces his own love for Egypt in his poem as it consists of two main songs, the first one is called I love you, and the other one is The Seventh Day. His own private feelings of loyalty, sacrifice and adoration for Egypt embrace the banks of the Nile. Then, the second song exposes the overwhelming triumph and victory of 6

October, and how the Egyptian army defeated the Israeli one erasing their own pride

and arrogance. But in , the poets vision towards the concept of the word public is seen in a wider scope as it includes the deteriorated relation among the Arab countries. He represents this issue through metaphorizing the image of the Arab blood as being spelt for nothing as it is cheap object with no meaning. His private critical sensitiveness overwhelms the poem concerning Arabs care for architecture and wealth more than dignity and pride. Finally, embodies Shoshas message that love is the only means through which the whole world is united, it reminds us with what will survive of us all is love. Shoshas hope in uniting all the Arabs is done through remembering a visit to the cities of the


Soviet Union. He seeks that no boundaries should separate between Arab nations, equality and brotherhood should be the only links among them. The poems aim is to target a public unity directed from the private self.


Gomaa 260 Summary



sharing human obsessions concerning inconsistencies and

extraordinary conditions due to the psychological pressure or the failure in understanding the world inside and outside, leads the creators of literature to project these human symptoms which we all share, although to certain extent, into dignified works of art, drama, novels and poetry. In Hamlet, for example, Shakespeare reassesses the weaknesses of a man in front of the archetypal and mythical compulsion of human hesitation, his rejection and acceptance of
both life and death inversely, his self-knowledge concerning his world including the ghost

and his uncertainty towards the truth of his mother and his uncle, opposite to his true identity and finally how he merges between both his suffering and that of the whole humanity. These unresolved dilemmas are transformed into human problematics which raise many speculations and awareness towards the process of how they are mirrored through other works of art which reflect, in turn, the problematic nature of their creators. Thus, taking Hamlet as a representative of modern writers, especially the poets deepens such a sense if complexity prevailing and domineering human psyche. Modernity with its complexities, plural conditions, moving around no center, hybrid identities, doubling and unrevealed conditions about the world, and the multiplicity of the sources of deceptions creates many Hamletian characters whose problematics urge them to innovate and recreate the reality in new forms which express their own obsessions. In other words, Hamlets variable trials to discover the true knowledge of his inner self or the world around sets him as a mirror of the modern writer especially, the poets, whose excessive speculation involve these potential ambiguities and paradoxes which make him and others oblige to find a living


equilibrium to deal with them, either consciously, or sub-consciously.


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Therefore, the argument dealt with Hamlet as a long tragic poem tackling how his

problematics are reflected on most Arab and English poets, with special referential details to both Philip Larkin and Farouk Shosha, dividing the thesis into four main Hamletian problematics, To be and not to be, action and inaction, self-knowledge and poetic identity: modernist and anti-modernist, and finally, no man is an island: the private and the public, and how these problematics are explored with the poetry of both Larkin and Shosha. By doing this, deconstructive criticism is applied; Jacques Derrida assures that there are no certain origins nor meaning to any work of are, and it is connected to the discourse that implements it. Accordingly, no work of art has certain reality, which makes it an exposition for any literary interpretation. This is proved through applying Hamletian problematics on the poetry of Larkin and Shosha. In addition, what the research has introduced is how the analysis of the modern poems in relation to Hamlets four problematics is dont in accordance mainly, to the formalist approaches especially the New Criticism Scholl and The Russian Formalism, employing certain technical devices like tension, irony, paradox, and ambiguity, in addition to the formalist approach of defamiliarization. This is done through a comparative frame involving both Larkins poetry and Shoshaa together, exploring treatments of both of them towards their problematics. Modern English poetry, for example, exposes such problematics, but in different measurements and extents, we may see this evident in the poetry of Eliot, Auden, Hughes and
Plath. For example, Eliots symbolism and objective correlative help him show the mode of

the different approaches and

action and inaction or indecisiveness in Alfred song of Prufrock, in addition to the paradoxical concept of to be and not to be in Hollow Men. Additionally, Audens double


identity in Prologue at Sixty reflects his struggle to get balance between being an American or British, self-knowledge and poetic identity. Similarly, Plaths Lady Lazarus exposes


Gomaa 262 her acceptance of both life and death, her merging between her suffering and the Jewish suffering, in addition to her acceptance and rejection of both life and death inversely. In addition, Hughes divided nature is the main problematic in Gaudette and Wodwo, besides, Crow. In another part of the introduction, the critical approach is enlarged to provide a general overview of how Arabic poetry deals with the same Hamletian problematics, like the English poetry, although in different senses and backgrounds. This process of comparing different literatures from the prospectives of sharing human values and internal structuralist formulas is related to the American school of comparative study. The free verse form, the atmosphere of gloominess, and the formalist critical approach are among the modern
predicaments shared by both Arabic and English literatures. For example, the poetry of

Hijazi, Abd Al Saboor, and Farouk Shosha is an example of such presentation of Hamletian problematics that are shared by most modern poets. For instance, Hijazis poem is an expression of dealing with death

as a metaphor of life or Hamletian to be and not to be problematic. Additionally, the uncertainty about the knowledge of the identity of the self is exposed in Darweeshs poem An Identity Card. Besides, Abd Al Saboors action and inaction mode of behavior is crystallized in his poem , the same hesitant stand is repeated in Abu Sinnahs poem entitled A Relation and Abstraction. As for the problematic of merging the private and the public, it is evidently exposed within The Martyr. Thus, this reflection of the Arabic poetry to the Hamletian problematics and the literary modes prevailing proves such a recurrent conduct between the Arabic and the English poetry. However, a more detailed presentation including a minute detailed formalist analysis will be introduced


through four chapters

focusing on the poetry of both Philip Larkin, as a representative of the as a representative of the Arabic poetry. These four

English poetry and Farouk Shosha,


Gomaa 263 chapters present the application of the four main Hamletian problematics as exemplified in the poetry of both Larkin and Shosha. In Larkins poems, Trees, Building, The Old Fools, Aubade, Days and Nothing to be said, the first Hamletian problematic is tackled in different senses and prospectives. In Trees, Larkin explores this concept of to be and not to be through the dilemma of the ageing, or the transience of youth time due to the destructive element of time. This is presented neatly and creatively through the comparisons between the transient life of the human life and the rebirth of the trees whose life is renewed from zero point to death and then to be refreshed again. Larkin himself is defeated by the element of time; he himself suffers from the time of ageing. In most poems, there is always the element of tension which

is variable given many connotations according to the problematic discussed within the poem; for example, tension here is shown within the life of the humans, ending in death, and the life of the trees ending in a new cycling point of rebirth. In The Building, the element of Russian Formalist approach is the key technique, showing how the tension between both life and death exists within the building of the

hospital described in a defamiliarized way. People waiting either for receiving the news of the death of one of their relatives or their death, have no choice concerning either death or others death. The poem indicates the concept of inevitability in front of domineering fate. Meanwhile, The Old Fools relies mainly on the tension between life and death, still existing side by side, yet, this time, it is not related to the paradox between natural life of the trees and that of human beings rather than Larkins personal experience of fear from old age which is followed by death. The poem records the psychological, mental and social contact decline which accompanies the time of ageing. The irony of the title The Old Fools,


comparing those old persons as being fool, sums up the Larkinian view towards ageing.


Gomaa 264 The tension between both life and death is also exposed in Audabe in which Larkin transforms the old lyrical mode of an audabe in which a beloved is waiting for a love to come, into a man waiting for death after a long day of life activities. Although nothing more terrible than death, one must wait for it, ending his own life. Larkins agnostic knowledge establishes the main core within the poem as he rejects both philosophy which learns nothing because of its vagueness, and religion because of its superstitious realms. Days deals with the concept of death in a modern vision, it transforms the idea of death into business through the jobs of both the priests and the doctors. People are just clients and actors whose role is to shave fears, despair and hopelessness in a community. Thus, both life and death are merged in one vision. Furthermore, tension in Nothing to be said is set between To be which is related to the communities different in cultures and social dimensions like nations, nomads, tribes, families and towns, and also life activities like building, benediction and measuring love and money. The poem ends in an epiphanic moment when he realizes that Man is defeated before the passing time which he could not stop. For Shosha, tension between life and death is handled distinctively; as he is a Muslim and a believer. His vision towards death is not conceived of from a nihilistic or existentialistic vision like in Larkins. In other words, Shoshas concept of death is not viewed from the overwhelming feelings of pessimism and disappointment rather than from a romantic commitment that death does mean only physical disappearance; those who died, are paradoxically, still alive through their works and literary creativity. Thus, to be means the existence of the past memories, and the literary creative works of some writers, on the other hand, no to be is only a reference to the physical death of those writers. This problematic is traced in Shoshas elegies consoling the death of many contemporary poets like An


Apology written for Yusif Idris, The Martyr of the Word for the Lebanese journalist Nasib


Gomaa 265 Al Motanabi, The Journey Completed for Salah Abd AlSaboor, and The Poet of Sharp Boyonetes for Amal Donqol. In his The Martyr of the Word, for example, Shosha holds a tension between those influences that remain after the death of Nasib Al Motanabi. To be is exposed in Al Motanabis effect in making people to rebel against tyranny and injustice. His death, paradoxically, causes the life of others. The same idea is repeated in The Journey Completed, where the poet shows how the works of Abd Al Saboor awaken and reform people even after his death. Although he died, he still fights misery, loss, hunger and fake wishes. He urges other friends and followers to resist lies and fakeness. However, Shoshas surrender to death as a factual rite is similar to Larkins, yet with different motives. The same concept is repeatedly dealt with in The Poet of Sharp Boyonets, yet in a different approach; as Shosha focuses mainly on the physical body of Amal Donqol. His poems stand as some kind of sword fighting the fakers, the liars and the tricksters. He stands even after his death unique, as his poetry provides people with hope and light. His endless and immortal fights, thus, are symbolized in his bleeding poetry, after his body id buried in Upper Egypt. Thus, through this chapter, many examples are given to portray the differences in the presentations of the problematic of to be and not to be in both Larkins poetry and Shoshas. To be for Larkin represents life and youth, but for Shosha, it is the effect and the influence the contemporary writers and poets left after their death. Larkins to be stems out from agnostic pessimistic view, but Shoshas stems out from a more panoramic portrait of those poets whose immortal poetry witnesses their own moral and spiritual existence despite their physical decay. Hence, this exposes the contrast between Larkins agnostic vision, and Shoshas romantic belief.


In chapter two Action and Inaction, Hamletians irresolution is embodied in the poetry of both Larkin and Shosha. Poems like Ignorance, Next, Please, Toads, Church


Gomaa 266 Going, Faith Healing, and Water, tension exists between to act and not to act. In Ignorance it is about the process of knowing which Larkin goes through, in relation to the world around and Hamlet did as well. Larkin stresses the fact that how we do not know about ourselves, thus, how we could know about the world around. In other words, how we are about to act or change, and we do not know the process running within out flesh. For this
reason, we become imprisoned between imprecisions and decisions. Larkin gives an

excuse for our hesitation, which is an ignorance about ourselves and as a result about the world around. Moreover, not to act or inaction takes another dramatic form which is
waiting, in Next, Please, it is related to the idea of the fakeness of human wishes.

Waiting is like wishing. Both of them lead to nothing at the end. The poet employs the image of the vessel, which is expected to deliver its cargo, symbolizing hope and human wishes. We are waiting but rewarded by death. Irony lies in its highest when death is delivered, instead of hope. Cargo is not delivered, the vessel passes away. Symbolism in Toads is another means through which tension between action and inaction is mirrored, two toads are portrayed within the poem; one which symbolizes work or squatting and the other is related to the spiritual truth. People find this squatting as vain,

but others are courageous enough to persist and insist on going on. This attitude is somehow different from the end of Next, Please. Meanwhile, Larkin steps positively towards a more awkward and bold reaction towards the church and its role inside the society, from an atheistic point of view, in the following three poems Church Going, Faith Healing, and Water. In Church Going, Larkin exposes tension between his own blasphemy and his own


respect to the church. He sways between awkward reverence and his total rejection to the church. Donation of the sixpence, changing the church into museum and comparing religious instructions to those of the superstitious games devalue the importance of religion.


Gomaa 267 Opposedly, his pleasure to stand in such a place where rituals of both death and marriage are done, is another opposite stand against the prevailing one; although he is not a believer, the church is a place of a social unity. In addition, in Faith Healing, the ambiguity as a modern technical device lies it. The image of a in that it may be a process of healing done to the faith itself, or through faked evangelist who has done the process of healing to the children in a

hasty way, leaving a permanent more effect on their mothers, is assumed by Larkin is a sign of the false role of the church. Then comes the tension between this fake loving care, and the Larkinian agnostic view of stating love and sympathy as the only guarantee of being cured. In Water, tension existing between both Larkins agnosticism and his own fascination of religion. He considers religion as water that should be pure, however, it needs to be purified from its impurities. He hints also to the fact that science is not man-made, thus, it is pure, unlike religion which is full of superstitious modes. In Shoshas poetry, the problematic of action and inaction centers on the idea of the antagonism of time which makes of the poet a victim to his reactions. If Hamlet and Larkin become prey to the external force of time, which creates an internal struggle with the reality of the ghost in the case of Hamlet, and the sub-conscious fear from the old age, and his own atheistic obsessions, in the case of Larkin, it moves Shosha to a world of isolation, alienation, and self-exile. This urges him to find an equilibrium of living with such obsession in the world. This is evidently shown in poems like Retreat, Dream Sparrow, The Burnt Eyes, Time to Catch Time, and Objection. In Retreat, Shosha draws his conflict with the element of time, and how this results in psychological and mental irresolution. He expresses his fear from contacting the external


world with its antagonizing objective time. He becomes paralyzed because of such an enemy which is time. For this reason, he doubts about being able to act against time. As soon as he decides to act, he is frightened by the blowing of wind and the sub-conscious retreat. The


Gomaa 268

announcement of defeatism by the end of the poem is marked by the loss of the percept towards time. Thus, he remains in an in between space between to act and not to act. In Dream Sparrow, he tries to motivate himself to act through the image of releasing the dream sparrow. He attempts to re-establish an action-mode of behavior, resisting the feelings
of loss and bitterness. The repetition of the questioning who can ? echoes the self-

confusion and paralysis. Again, the excuses of non action are there, fire, thorns and entanglements fill the track. The poem is cyclic; it ends where it starts, no definite reaction is involved. In The Burnt Eyes, to act is measured according to the emotional level, as the poet discusses the inevitable idea of choice but within an individualistic vision of having no hand in choosing his own beloved. He could not resist such charm and beauty, this explains his disabled stand in front of her, making of him a victim of his own destiny. Tension is there between the idea of inability to choose and the inevitability of destiny. Time returns to become an enemy to Sosa like Larkin, in a poem entitled Time to Catch Time; ageing is the main idea of the poem, and how it comes to end mans life. Tension emerges between youth with its flame and desires against ageing with its decline and coldness. He fails to act against the element of time, all what he can do is to wait like Larkin in Next, Please. His facial expressions change due to the hunter of time. Furthermore, the tension between both the mythical Sindbad as an image of acting positively and the modern Sindbad as a symbol of negativeness and inaction are juxtaposed. The modern Sindbad comes with no processions or flags. Yet, Shosha, then, explores the role of the word of poetry in reforming and correcting the morals of people and fighting corruption. The image of the active poet, at the end of the poem, represented in Abu Tamam, and the quester Al Motesm signify the positive associations that should be


expressed and exposed by the modern poets.


Gomaa 269 Thus, both Larkin and Shosha deal with the problematic of action and inaction, either through viewing certain enemies like ageing, time, destiny and religion. Both have such a problematic of hesitation either for being destined or having no time to act. In chapter three Self-knowledge and Poetic Identity: Modernist and Anti-modernist, the poetry of both Larkin and Shosha have such tension between both episodic memory and semantic one, which form respectively the identities of both being modernist and antimodernist. For example, Larkins poems Broadcast, Home is Sad, The Whitsun Weddings and Sad Steps, within these poems, there is always juxtaposition between the Larkinian vision of a detached attitude, and his own romantic attitude stemming out from his own episodic memory, expressing anti-modernist mode of writing. Furthermore, the use of the modernist technical formalist and poetic devices like tension, ambiguity, irony,

juxtaposition and the imagist school belonging to the modernism movement stemming out from semantic memory. In Broadcast, the poet sheds the light on his detachment from the scene of a concert
where a lady who lost her gloves is there via radio. His detached emotions and physical

existence is expressed through imagist portrait where the central image of the lady surrounded by the shouting and the noise of the concert dominate the scene. Moreover, the romantic mode of writing prevails Home is Sad where the image of Home is personified in an imagist way. It expresses loneliness and melancholy due to its nostalgia to its members who do not exist. This romantic embodiment is expressed through the technique of tension between the opposite entities of home as being a human and an abject. Moreover, in The Whitsun Weddings, Larkins interest in the Keatsian formalist form of the stanza is a representation of his romantic attitude. Oppsedly, the tension between his feelings of isolation


and alienation as a middle aged man, who is unmarried, and those wedded couples whose joy and celebratory rites prevail the poem. Moreover, his bitter observing notes of the middle


Gomaa 270 class people set him as an observer. Still, tension is there between his loss of hope concerning his marital life and the future prospective of those married couples. Meanwhile, Sad Steps focuses on a romantic scene of the moon, with its reflection on the poets psyche ending in an epiphany. Although the title is borrowed from Sir Philip Sidneys 16

century poem, the tension emerges between the mortal youth of human being

with its enthusiasm and courage, and the immortal cycle of the moon. The moon starts as nothing and grows full, and is nothing again unlike man. Irony and juxtaposition prevail as modern techniques, but both the romantic mood and the detached attitude represent such antimodernist mode of writing. If Larkin sways between the modernist Larkinian detached attitude, Shosha has suffered techniques and romantic themes, and the same problematic of juxtaposing

romantic feelings and themes and the modernist techniques. This is evidently shown in poems like , , , , . For example, in , the experience of amid the desert evokes romantic feelings of suffering, loneliness,
and bitterness. But, neatly, Shosha generalizes this experience to comprise all humanity

before the coming of Prophet Mohammed and his followers or companions who change through their sacrifice the core of the world and the hearts of the people. The tension is included between those generations whose sacrifice established a great nation, opposite to those modern ones who are disabled and paralyzed. Moreover, the poem of The River Nile reflects swaying between both modernism and romanticism through describing a metaphorical journey of the river Nile as an old man from the west bank passing through Cairo with its religious, historical and commercial


districts. Symbolically, no one responds to the old man knocking the door that signifies the change of values and ethics of the Egyptian people. The natural description of the surrounding of the river Nile is totally related to the pathetic fallacy. The tension between the


Gomaa 271
old man with his tenderness and care and the Egyptian peoples indifference lies deeply

within the core of the poem. Another tension between the images of the two nights exists within It is the night; Shosha juxtaposes two opposite phases of the night, the first is related to the tranquility and the quietness when the poet compiles his own poems, which is typically Wordsworthian. Psychologically, this night is only connected to the poets dreams and poetic identity. The second image of the night is related to the painful reality, a chaotic night when
exile and siege surround him. This juxtaposition between both opposite nights constructs

such conflict between the internal and the outside worlds of the poets. In , Shosha employs the technique of symbolism to compare the beauty descending to the river to the process of losing virginity after sexual intercourse with

her own lover. Her surrender to the attempts of temptation is part of harsh reality. The romantic description of the beauty with her surrounding, her hesitation before, and her fear after descending represent a psychological representation of the girls mood. Tension is stated in the two opposite moods of the beauty before and after losing the virginity. Finally, in a poem entitled An Ebony Face, Shosha describes a face of a lady in a very perfect romantic way. The warmth involving her face, the ecstasy stemming out of it and the flaming lightening covering her lips are all romantic description. Yet, this is set against the

surrounding which is fed up with fire and chaos. Again, Shosha portrays two opposite worlds like in This is the night, the first is always related to the poet with his personal world, and the second is related to his harsh external world full of chaos and anarchy. Thus, both Larkin and Shosha fluctuate between modernist traits and techniques and the anti-modernist attitudes, which makes of their poetry a mirror of the problematic of selfknowledge and poetic identity. The striking contrast between what the episodic memory


includes and what the semantic memory admits is the main feature of the poems introduced


Gomaa 272 and analyzed. Swaying between Romanticism and Modernism, subjectivity and objectivity are what forms the main core of these poems of both Larkin and Shosha. In chapter four entitled No Man is an Island: the private and the public, there is an introduction of the new problematic which merges the private poetic experience of the poet with the public experience of a community, society or the whole humanity. As a result, the individual becomes part of the whole and vice versa. Yet, either the poetry of Larkin and Shosha, do not embody any kind of spoken or unspoken ideology in Altussers terms. Thus, their own poetry determines the percept of the social communal and universal realms within the private poetic experiences. This is shown in poems like An Arundel Tomb, The Explosions, To the Sea, Show Saturday and Afternoons. In An Arundel Tomb, for instance, the final message of the poem is what will survive of us is love gathers both the private peculiar moral and the collective attitude towards love. The poem offers a significant portrait of loyalty, love, and compassion

represented through the statues of the effigies of the Earl and his wife, what is private in Larkins view that love changes people. Meanwhile, what is public is connected to the sight of the effigies that has changed many people. Furthermore, what is private about the poem is also the poetic techniques that express Larkins vision towards the instinctive love that unites all if us.
In The Explosion, Show Saturday and To the Sea, Larkin moves to another

concept of the word public, which embodies the communal experience on its different levels; for example, The Explosion depends on a real event of explosion taking place deep in the coalmine. As a result, many coalminers are dead. Larkin records his own private


feelings of sympathy towards those miners, employing his own language and technique to express these feelings. But the concept of the public is different in To the Sea, it is shown through his praise to the communal activities on the beach, either in the past or nowadays. He


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sums up how people change even in their activities through his portrayal of two different beaches with opposite images. Again, the concept of the public in Show Saturday is represented in the communal activities of the show, and how Larkins private wonder and admiration. They show affection and compassion to each other although they are rivals. Even after decamping, they become spot of love and morality. The image if the show is considered by Larkin as an ancestral community linking all those who have ever taken part together. For Larkin, it offers some kind of social healing. Finally, in Afternoons, Larkin expresses his own private lament over the decline of the British Empire. On its surface level, the poem is about marriage, and how young mothers lost their identity because of nursing their own children while they are still young for this, but in the deep level, it is about the decline of England after losing its colonies. As for Shosha, he introduces such mergement between both the private and the public through his attitude towards some Arab cases either political or social. Thus, reacting for the social public issues is the cornerstone in some of Shoshas poems like , , , . In , he records his own melancholy towards the death of Nasser. This private melancholy is incorporated with and reflected on the whole public melancholy of the poor and the needy people who considered Nasser their own savior. Nassers industrial and educational projects were progressive steps towards modernizing Egypt. He shows Nasser as a symbol of sacrifice and sympathy. He merges his own melancholy with the suffering of the poor due to the death of Nasser. Moreover, Shosha announces his own love for Egypt in his poem as it consists of two main songs, the first one is called I love you, and the other one is The

Seventh Day. His own private feelings of loyalty, sacrifice and adoration for Egypt embrace


the banks of the of 6


Nile. Then, the second song exposes the overwhelming triumph and victory and how the Egyptian army defeated the Israeli one erasing their own pride



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and arrogance. But in , the poets vision towards the concept of the word public is seen in a wider scope as it includes the deteriorated relation among the Arab countries. He represents this issue through metaphorizing the image of the Arab blood as being spelt for nothing as it is cheap object with no meaning. His private critical sensitiveness overwhelms the poem concerning Arabs care for architecture and wealth more than dignity and pride. Finally, embodies Shoshas message that love is the only means through which the whole world is united, it reminds us with what will survive of us all is love. Shoshas hope in uniting all the Arabs is done through remembering a visit to the cities of the Soviet Union. He seeks that no boundaries should separate between Arab nations, equality and brotherhood should be the only links among them. The poems aim is to target a public unity directed from the private self.


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