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Analysis of With A Water Lily By Henrik Ibsen

The Poet

Henrik Ibsen is a poet who lived 78 years on earth between 20th March 1828 and 23rd May 1906. He was born in Telemark County in Norway.

The Summary

In the poem "With A Water-Lily", Henrik Ibsen admonished a child who seemed to be too fond of water. He told of the decoy a stagnant water creates with water-lilies.

The poem reminds me of my father's warning against playing in the river. He never would risk even the best knowledge of swimming to allow us play in any kind of river_ shallow or deep. He had witnessed how many expert swimmers lost their lives to the water.

The Structure

Back to the poem, the first stanza introduced the readers to the water and the lilies in the spring time while the second stanza was about the scenes created by the water-lilies.

Line 1 of the poem says: "See, dear, what thy lover brings". The phrase "see, dear" was referring to the child, "thy lover" used in the poem referred to the stagnant water, while "what thy lover brings" referred to the water-lilies floating above the water. Henrik Ibsen further described the water lilies by comparing them to birds with white wings [Line 2].

In line 5, the poet expressed the attractive sight of the water decorated with white-lilies; he said it was "Homelike to bestow this guests".

Quite in form of refrain, the last two stanzas of the poem were associated with the dangers of such water.

"Child, beware the tarn-fed stream;
Danger, danger, there to dream!
Though the sprite pretends to sleep,
And above the lilies peep.

Child, thy bosom is the stream; Danger, danger, there to dream!
Though above the lilies peep,
And the sprite pretends to sleep."

The Form

Categorized under life and living, the poem "With A Water-Lily" by Henrik Ibsen contained an end rhyme scheme of AABB CCDD with tone of admonition. The 4 stanza poem addressed naivety, beauty, season, and nature.

Based on observation, "Child, beware the tarn-fed stream" in line 9 and "Child, thy bosom is the stream;" in line 13 are instance of parallelism in the poem.
"Adream" means to dream or be in state of dreaming.
"And the sprite pretends to sleep" means the water inhabitant acts as if in sleep.
"Buoyed" means float.
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Enunwa Chukwudinma S.
aka samueldpoetry
(the Leo with wings flying)

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