Ah! Sun-flower by William Blake – Poem Analysis

In the poem, readers are confronted with familiar imagery that is not easily interpreted. Readers are left to ponder how they all go together and what possibilities the poem suggests.

Ah! Sun-flower
William Blake

Ah Sun-flower! weary of time,
Who countest the steps of the Sun:
Seeking after that sweet golden clime
Where the travellers journey is done.

Where the Youth pined away with desire,
And the pale Virgin shrouded in snow:
Arise from their graves and aspire,
Where my Sun-flower wishes to go.

Summary

The poem “ Ah! Sun-flower ” is a multi-layer poem that depicts a weary sunflowers tired from counting the sun ‘s progress.

This poem is complicated despite being quite simple. Most readers will come away with different interpretations of what the sunflower is supposed to represent, because there are many different possible readings. The speaker says that it wants to join the Youth and the Virgin in Heaven after explaining that the sunflower is tired.

Context

The poem can be found in the Songs of Experience. Twenty-five other poems were published in 1794. Poems like London and The Lilly are included. The sheet engraved with ‘Ah! Sun-Flower ‘ also included the latter. Songs of Innocence was published in 1789 and included poems like The Chimney Sweeper and Laughing Song. Songs of Experience are considered to be darker than Songs of Innocence. Songs of Innocence and Experience were published together.

Structure and Form

Quatrains are set of four lines in a two-part poem called “ Ah! Sun-flower ”. The ABAB CDCD has a simple rhyme scheme. The poem follows a metrical pattern with a few iambs and troches mixed into the lines. The majority of the lines contain three sets of three beats, the first two of which are unstressed or short, and the following beat is stressed or long.

Literary Devices

The author uses several literary devices. These include but are not limited to caesura, metaphor, and allusion. An allusion is a reference that is not fully explained. The Virgin is mentioned in the second line of the poem. This is an obvious reference to the Virgin Mary from the Christian religion.

The sunflower is a metaphor. Depending on how one interprets the poem, it could be a metaphor, symbol, or other meaning.

There are pauses at the beginning, middle, or end of lines. The first line reads, “ Ah Sun-flower! weary of time. ” Enjambment is a formal device used in these lines. The poet cuts off a line before it stops. There is a transition between lines three and four.

Analysis, Stanza by Stanza

Stanza One

Tired of time! Ah Sun-flower!

The steps of the Sun are counted.

Seeking after the sweet golden clime.

Where the travellers journey ends.

The speaker addresses the sunflowers in the first line of ‘Ah! Sun-Flower ‘. As if the speaker can hear and respond to the sunflower, they continue to talk to it. He thought it was “ weary of time ” because it spent its days counting the steps of the sun. The speaker has an image of a flower tied to the sun. It is always looking for that sweet golden clime, which can be seen as summer days when it is easy to grow, and the weather is not a problem for the plant.

The line, “ Where the travellers journey is done, ” complicates it. Suddenly, the sunflowers become a symbol for someone who is looking for heaven or at least a peaceful death.

Stanza Two is an Apple-converted-space class.

The Youth was pining away with desire.

The Virgin is covered in snow.

They should rise from their graves and aspire.

Where my Sun-flower wants to go.

The sunflower wants to go to the same place as the Youth and Virgin. There is no snow, no unfulfilled desire or darkness. It is clear that the sunflower has n’t made it there yet. The weary sigh that starts the poem and the depiction of the sunflower as tired from tracking the sun ‘s press might suggest to some readers that it wo n’t ever get to that sunny clime. This might be more or less troubling depending on your interpretation of the sunflower.

Similar Poetry

Readers who liked the poem ‘Ah! Sun-flower ‘ should read some of the other poems. For example :

  • One of the best-known works is The Lamb. Thelamb is a symbol for Christ and the purest parts of human nature. The class is called Apple-converted-space.
  • A classic poem written around 1804 is called Jerusalem. Christian allusions as well as allusions to the poet ‘s own opinions are included in the analysis. The class is called Apple-converted-space.
  • One of the poems that was written was ‘To Autumn ‘. This one is meant to evoke feelings of fall. The colors should bring joy to people. The class is called Apple-converted-space.
  • Songs of Experience published The Schoolboy, a story about a young boy who does n’t want to go back to school. He states all the ways that the poem is negatively impacting him. The class is called Apple-converted-space.

Jp-related posts-headline is related.

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Category: Flower

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