Poetry Blog Post ~A Birthday Candle by Donald Justice~

The poem, “A Birthday Candle” is a poem by Donald Justice. This poem is the 77th poem in the poetry 180 website. This poem is a very short poem, which has six lines in one stanza.

I think this whole poem is a one big metaphor, simile using a birthday candle and a birthday. In the first line, the speaker mentions, “Thirty today”. This simply means that the speaker has turned to thirty years old. “I saw The trees flare briefly like a candles on a cake”. This part uses a simile. This part expresses how the speaker saw the sunlight shining behind the trees, flaring briefly like the fire flaring softly on the candles of a birthday cake.

“As the sun went down the sky, A momentary flash, Yet there was time to wish”. This part is a metaphor as well. “As the sun went down at the sky”. This line expresses how the candle is about to be blown away. When the sun goes down the sky, the light goes dimmer and dimmer. This is the same as the candle. You can see that the momentary flash in this part is when the fire on the candle is blown away. “Yet there was time to wish”. I think this part is explaining that a day goes very fast, even a birthday. So the speaker wanted to show how a birthday can go away very quick like how the candle is blown very fast.

This poem is a very short poem with many metaphors and similes. The whole poem is mainly a simile and a metaphor. By this, it is quite hard to understand at first. I understood the whole meaning after reading it for around three times. I think Donald Justice uses similes and metaphors in a unique way. This poem is a free verse, which has no regular rhyme or rhythm to the poem. This poem also gave me a simple imagery of the sun going down the sky with the trees, then a birthday candle being blown away.

The poem, A Birthday Candle by Donald Justice

Poetry Blog Post ~Driving to Town Late to Mail a Letter by Robert Bly~

The poem “Driving to Town Late to Mail a Letter” is a poem by Robert Bly. This poem is the fortieth poem on the poetry 180 website. In this blog post, I will be commenting and analyzing on this poem. This poem has five lines, with one simple stanza.

This whole poem mainly explains the joy of being alone and spending your time slowly. How wasting time alone can be fun and relaxing. The speaker in this poem describes what is happening at that moment.

“It is a cold and snowy night. The main street is deserted.” The first line of this poem starts with a view of that day. This line shows that the whole poem is in winter, at night, where it is snowy and cold. “The main street is deserted.” This part means how no one is walking the main street. How the main street is just snowy and cold and only the speaker is at the main street. “The only things moving are swirls of snow.” This second line expresses how the street is clear and still except for the snow falling. “As I lift the mailbox door, I feel its cold iron.” This next line expresses how the night was freezing and the mailbox turned very cold. This line describes how the speaker notices the iron of the mailbox has turned very cold. “There is privacy I love in this snowy night.” This line shows how the speaker is enjoying the snowy night. How there is joy to be alone. The speaker is expressing how he/she loves to be alone sometimes, where no one is around him/her. “Driving around, I will waste more time.” This last line gives a neat ending to the poem. By reading this line you can imagine how the speaker is in the car, driving around the street after he/she has mailed the letter.

During the whole poem, the speaker always describes what is happening around him/her. This created an imagery of the snowy night and the street where no one walked. This poem is mainly a free verse. Also this poem is a very short poem that is end-stopping. A line ends very short and quick. Since the poem is very short, it should be read twice to be fully understood. There are no similes or metaphors in this poem.

The poem, Driving to Town Late to Mail a Letter by Robert Bly