Poetry Analysis on "Breathless"

Topics: Poetry, Rhyme, Stanza Pages: 3 (944 words) Published: October 27, 2014
Poetry Analysis on "Breathless" by Wilfred Noyce Florence Wong 4G(17)

"Breathless", which was written by Wilfred Noyce at 21,200 feet, describes the emotional struggles and physical challenges the speaker experienced and overcame while climbing a mountain. And through it, Wilfred Noyce illustrates the theme of man versus nature as well as the correct attitude in achieving goals by emphasising the ambivalence of the speaker toward finishing the climb. This is demonstrated through the poem's tone, form and structure and the use of imagery respectively.

To begin with, the tone throughout the poem is discouraged and almost desperate, yet conflicted with determination. In line 5-6, "Legs lift-why at all?" suggests that the speaker is feeling hopeless at that moment since he is having a hard time climbing up the mountain as described in line 1-2, "Heart aches, lungs pant". However, in line 19-20, "don't look up, till journey's done" and in line 29-31 "Go on" and "don't look up" indicate the strong determination in the speaker to finish his journey on the mountain. The speaker is commanding himself to carry on, even though he would love to take flat steps instead as showed in line 11-12, "a flat step is holiday". The determination to "conquer" nature is expressed here. On top of that, the poet is trying to relate this to people's daily lives: just like how the speaker struggled with finishing his climb, people experience hardships and temptations throughout life, and it is perseverance and self-discipline that lead them to reaching their goals.

Secondly, the structure and form of the poem portrayed the level of difficulty of the climb to the speaker. The outline of the poem is not regular or smooth, depicting the rugged and twisty road the speaker is climbing on, and furthermore all the different problems people face in their lives. There is also no stanza, which means the lines are all alined, without any gaps in between, just like the continuous climb the...
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