Poetry Module Paper

Poems are pieces of writing that help express messages with depth and meaning. These messages are usually expressed through theme. “Psalm” by George Oppen, “Prayer” by Galway Kinell and “The Ache of a Marriage” by Denise Levertov share the common theme of Faith and Love. This essay will compare and contrast how these authors use these themes to convey the message of faith and love through human interaction, nature’s interaction, and divine interaction.

George Oppen was an American poet (1908-1984). George Oppen abandoned poetry in the 1930s for political activism and moved to Mexico in 1950. He returned to the United States in 1958 and returned to writing poetry. According to the Poetry Foundation article on the writer, he is known to be part of an objectivist group of poets. “Psalm” is a poem that describes God’s work in creating nature. He details how the deer interacts with its environment. The deer is unaware as to how these things have come about, but its faith in nature allows it to benefit and manifest in the wonders of our mother earth. The theme to the poem is faith because it explains the beauty of earth and how God creating it is beautiful. In the first line of the poem, it says “in the small beauty of the forest, the wild deer bedding down-That they are there!” it explains the beauty and mystery of nature and how the deer takes in the sight of this marvelous creation. In stanzas 2 and 3 of the poem it describes how the deer enjoys the green grass which nourishes him in a way that is unexplainable. Line 15 “The small noun”, Crying faith in this in which the wild deer startle and stare out” it states how through their faith, and admiration towards nature the forest will flourish and continue to provide benefits to the deer. Psalm uses the element of imagery to give the readers a visual of the environment the deer is in. Through the description of the forest with its scattering leaves and the effect the sun has on the forest, the reader is able to place themselves in the deer’s place.

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Galway Kinnell was also an American poet (1927-2014). Poetry foundation states he earned a BA with highest honors from Princeton University in 1948. According to poets.org Kinnell rejects the idea of seeking fulfillment by escaping into an imaginary world. One of the poems he wrote “Prayer” on pg. 553 also conveys the theme of faith . The poem is very short but deep. It is only 14 words. “Whatever happens. Whatever what is is is what I want. Only that. But that”. The interpretation is very profound; he uses the word “is” three times, denoting his determination to not lose his faith. Whatever negative things life throwsn at you, you never must lose your faith. When he says “only that” he means that what he is praying for is all he wants. Like PsalmPrayer does not have a rhythmic tone to it. The poem is meant to depict how faith in the divine can lead to personal fulfilment. The tone of Prayer is casual but insistent in its goal. It is conversation-like, sort of like a monologue. This is different from Psalm which is describing a scene for the reader.

Denise Levertov was a British-American poet (1929-1997). According to Britannica.com she was a poet, essayist, and political activist who wrote deceptively matter-of-verse on both personal and political themes . Her poetry was inspired by her faith and the love for God. During WWII, she spent threepursued nursing, trading and spent three years as a civilian nurse at several hospitals in London. She was married to an American writer Mitchell Goodman. One of the poems she wrote “The Ache of Marriage” on pg. 546 narrates the complication of a marriage. In the second line “thigh and tongue, beloved,” refer how the communication in the marriage is not good, describing the communication as “heavy”. The theme of this poem is also faith because they are looking for a solution to their marital troubles. They are trying to make the marriage work but the ache is too grand to continue to work through it. Line 10 says “looking for joy, some joy,”, means they have faith in rekindling the marriage sparking up fire in their marriage. The use of the word “we” demonstrates that it is a collaborative effort and they both try to fix the marriage. Unfortunately, the ache is too grand and between the characters. Although they try to put faith into the marriage to work, they both were tired and decided to let it go. Like the other two poems, The Ache of Marriage does not have a rhythmic tone. These poems are not meant to be melodic. The contrast between The Ache of Marriage and Psalm and Prayer is the depiction of conflict between two parties whereas the other two poems depict one sided experience.

All three poems share the same theme of faith. It manifests in different ways such as nature, religion and love. Although the length of each poem varied, they were still able to convey their messages of faith to their readers. Each poet used writing styles that gave their poems depth and meaning. The use of imagery, tone, and point of view helps provide a fuller understanding of the message the authors were trying to express.


What’s here is good but there is a huge, glaring problem with this that causes it to get a massively low grade: it is only 953 words (after my edits). This should be at least 1250 words (minimum). Those 300 words could have changed the paper drastically for the better and if given more time to edit after the addition of those 300 words, it could have been an amazing paper.

Alas, that is not this version of the assignment. Add to that the mistakes that are here (marked accordingly), and you have a perfect storm for an unsuccessful effort.

I think you should go back to the drawing board and add those extra words and edit it more attentively in order to get a better grade than what is below. Honestly, if you do all of that successfully, you will get a better score.

Grade: D-


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