Forgetfulness. The name of the author is the first to go followed obediently by the title, the plot, the heartbreaking conclusion, the entire novel which suddenly. Forgetfulness by Billy name of the author is the first to go followed obediently by the title the plot the heartbreaking conclusion the entire novel. US Poet Laureate Billy Collins reads his poem “Forgetfulness” with animation by Julian Grey of Headgear. This animated video poetry is.
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Forgetfulness by Billy Collins – Poems | Academy of American Poets
Andrew has a keen interest in all aspects of poetry and writes extensively on the subject. His poems are published online and in print. Forgetfulness is a deceptively innocent looking poem that explores the consequences of gradual memory loss. It builds up through a series of examples of things that a human might forget, from an author’s name to riding a bicycle. The basic theme is forgetfulness, plain and simple, but the underlying issues are many and include that of identity versus time, tragedy versus comedy and life story versus trivial detail.
Forgetfulness was first published in the magazine Poetry in January and is also in the book Questions About Angels, Since publication it has grown in stature and is one of Billy Collins’s most popular poems.
This poem has all the hallmarks of a classic Billy Collins poem: Eventually the reader gets through the first few readings and thinks, well, that was thoroughly enjoyable and cleverly put together BUT I need to do some research.
I need to read this poem again. The name of the author is the first to go followed obediently by the title, the plot, the heartbreaking conclusion, the entire novel which suddenly becomes one you have never read, never even heard of, as if, one by one, the memories you used to harbor decided to retire to the southern hemisphere of the brain, to a little fishing village where there are no phones. Long ago you kissed the names of the nine muses goodbye and watched the quadratic equation pack its bag, and even now as you memorize the order of the planets, something else is slipping away, a state flower perhaps, the address of an uncle, the capital of Paraguay.
Whatever it is you are struggling to remember, it is not poised on the tip of your tongue or even lurking in some obscure corner of your spleen. It has floated away down a dark mythological river whose name begins with an L as far as you can recall well on your own way to oblivion where you will join those who have even forgotten how to swim and how to ride a bicycle. No wonder you rise in the middle of the night to look up the date of a famous battle in a book on war.
No wonder the moon in the window seems to have drifted out of a love poem that you used to know by heart. Forgetfulness is a well crafted poem that is conversational in certain aspects yet offers much more in the way of figurative language, mythological allusion and good old folk wisdom.
The single sentence which covers the first two stanzas immediately introduces the reader to the central theme, that of forgetfulness, what else? It’s typical of Billy Collins to suggest, forgetfluness in cheek, that the first memory to be lost is that of the author’s name.
What forgetfulneas follows is the logical flow of all things that constitute a novel. The adverb obediently does change the understanding a little, as if all these memories are following one another like sheep, or military marchers.
And that word suddenly bioly the reader’s mindset by implying that memories can go just like that, in the blink of an eye. By using blly metaphor of retirees for memories this idea is reinforced.
Each memory has gone south to this fishing village where phones don’t exist. That’s a revelation, a dark revelation because it’s the wiring of the brain that sees to our memories, our communication of memory, and in that village there are no wires, no communication.
More agony and irony follow as another single sentence stretches over the next two stanzas. Kissing goodbye coplins something is dramatic especially if they’re connected to forgetfulnesss arts. The nine muses originate in Greek mythology and are the daughters of Mnemosyne, the goddess of The quadratic equation is a random fact that is personified packing its bag heading for the same fishing village by my calculation and perhaps won’t be missed that much.
All this memory loss doesn’t mean that forgetfulness cannot be resisted. It can – why not try to store to memory the order of the planets? OK, but the deal is that as you gain planetary knowledge you lose other things, like a state flower, an uncle’s address and Asuncion, the capital of Paraguay. This suggests that the memory has finite limits and that inevitably some of them you will not be able to recall for they have simply bilyl.
They’re not hiding, your body cannot keep memories, only your brain and that is subject to the vagaries of time. The allusion to Greek myth continues as the river Lethe takes away your memories the L stands for Lethe, the underworld river that flowed around the cave of Hypnos.
Forgetfulness – Poem by Billy Collins
Those who drank its waters experienced complete forgetfulness. Lethe is also the name of the Greek god of Oblivion and Forgetfulness. On and on the memories flow away from consciousness Bily conclusion seems to be that this is some kind of nightmare scenario.
We’re wired to remember, wired for instant recall of fact, yet the truth is that some day our memories will simply not be there. That’s a poignant thought. Temporary lapses can be dealt with but as we all get older our memory will falter, that is a universal truth that can be devastating on a personal level.
So the final image, of the drifting romantic moon in a night sky, comes with melancholy forgetfulnesd irony – it’s a love poem that has been forgotten – and yet the comic element endures.
Perhaps the speaker turns away with a wry grin and a shake of the head.
Forgetfulness is a free verse poem, it has no set rhyme scheme and the meter metre in British English varies from line to line. Eight stanzas add up to a total of 23 lines. This poem is matter-of-fact in tone to begin with, somewhat droll as the memories inevitably start to leave.
Behind the light-heartedness however foegetfulness a darker undercurrent which brings a slight tragic feel to proceedings, tinged with mystery. Repeated words and phrases are used a little ironically because when you repeat something colkins is easier to remember or is a method used to retain information.
In the third stanza the quadratic equation is personified given a human action – it can pack its bag.
Stanza six suggests that the memory has floated away down a dark mythological riverquite an exaggeration. The moon in the final stanza is a symbol of time and in this specific case a time of romance and love. To comment on this article, you must sign in or sign up and post using a HubPages Network account. Forgetfulness is an approachable poem but has more to it with every read through.
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The speaker is someone likely to be experiencing this slightly disturbing phenomena: Forgetfulness The name of the author is the first to go followed obediently by the title, the plot, the heartbreaking conclusion, the entire novel which suddenly becomes one you have never read, never even heard of, as if, one by one, the memories you used to harbor decided to retire to the southern hemisphere of the brain, to a little fishing village where there are no phones.
Analysis of Forgetfulness Forgetfulness is a well crafted poem that is conversational in certain aspects yet offers much more in the way of figurative language, mythological allusion and good old folk wisdom. So there is already set up the idea of something unpredictable yet inevitable about memory loss and this energy between the two remains throughout. Further Analysis of Forgetfulness Forgetfulness is a free verse poem, it has no set rhyme scheme and the meter metre in British English varies from line to line.
Tone This poem is matter-of-fact in tone to begin with, somewhat droll as the memories inevitably start to leave. Alliteration There are several examples of alliteration, which helps with sound texture and interest: Further Analysis of Forgetfulness – Figurative Language Forgetfulness has several examples of figurative language in its eight stanzas. Metaphor In the second stanza memories become the retired, one by one moving to the southern hemisphere.
Personification In the third stanza the quadratic equation is personified given a human action – it can pack its bag. Hyperbole Stanza six suggests that the memory has floated away down a dark mythological riverquite an exaggeration. Symbolism The moon in the final stanza is a symbol of time and in this specific case a time of romance and love. Questions must be on-topic, written with proper grammar usage, and understandable to a wide audience.
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What Figurative Language Is Shown in the Poem “Forgetfulness”?
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