By Michael Ferber
This is often the 1st dictionary of symbols to be according to literature, instead of 'universal' mental archetypes or myths. It explains and illustrates the literary symbols that all of us usually come upon (such as swan, rose, moon, gold), and offers enormous quantities of cross-references and quotations. The dictionary concentrates on English literature, yet its entries variety greatly from the Bible and classical authors to the 20 th century, taking in American and ecu literatures. For this new version, Michael Ferber has integrated over twenty thoroughly new entries (including endure, holly, sunflower and tower), and has further to a number of the latest entries. Enlarged and enriched from the 1st variation, its knowledgeable sort and wealthy references make this booklet a vital software not just for literary and classical students, yet for all scholars of literature.
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Extra resources for A Dictionary of Literary Symbols (2nd Edition)
Who wishes to walk with me? 38 Walt Whitman Will you speak before I am gone? Will you prove already too late? [lines 1310, 1312, 1319–20; p. ” And although Whitman addresses a “Listener up there,” that vertically situated listener may be either invisible to the poet in the present or waiting for the poet in the future. After the departure into air of the superbly imagined speaker at the end of “Song of Myself,” the promised intimacy of mutual talk must vanish, too. The poet becomes part of his native soil as his body returns to the American version—“dirt”—of the Adamic dust from which he came.
We prowl fang’d and four-footed in the woods, we spring on prey, We are two clouds forenoons and afternoons driving overhead, We are seas mingling, we are two of those cheerful waves rolling over each other and interwetting each other, We are what the atmosphere is, transparent, receptive, pervious, impervious. . We have circled and circled till we have arrived home again, we two, We have voided all but freedom and all but our own joy. “We Two, How Long We Were Fool’d” [p. 92–93] This companionate physical intimacy is so necessary that without it, as another Calamus poem tells us, the poet fears he would not be able to write his poems: I saw in Louisiana a live-oak growing, All alone stood it and the moss hung down from the branches, Without any companion it grew there uttering joyous leaves of dark green, And its look, rude, unbending, lusty, made me think of myself, But I wonder’d how it could utter joyous leaves standing alone there without its friend near, for I knew I could not.
Lines 969–70, 972; p. 697; line 1134; p. 703] The foreign word “eleves” (in de-accented American form) suggests that this poet-maître differs from other teachers his future pupils may have encountered, that what he bestows is not the schoolmaster’s lecture or the philanthropist’s public act, but something more private, something closer to a blood transfusion or an infusion of semen: Behold I do not give lectures or a little charity, What I give I give out of myself. [lines 991–92; p. 698] 36 Walt Whitman If we are for a moment tempted to assimilate this speaker, because of his “behold,” to the Jesus of the Gospels, we are brought up short by the violent colloquial intimacy of the lines immediately following, addressed, as if by a drill sergeant, to the weak and imperfect listener-in-futurity: You there, impotent, loose in the knees, open your scarfed chops till I blow grit within you, Spread your palms and lift the ﬂaps of your pockets.
A Dictionary of Literary Symbols (2nd Edition) by Michael Ferber