Sunday, 30 October 2016

Leaving Town by James Reeves is a fourteen-line descriptive poem. It describes the reactions of people of a certain town (referred to as "we') who aims to leave the town after a certain natural disaster (maybe earthquake or volcano) but their attempts seems hopeless as a result of the huge damage and rush of people to escape.

The poem is straightforward. The line one of the poem opposes the title of the poem. Though the poem is titled "Leaving Town" but the opening line of the poem immediately tells the reader that such will not happen: "It was impossible to leave the town"(says line 1) then the further part of the poem shows the reasons behind the impossibility. From the tone of the poet, it is evident that impatience has mixed with confusion in their state of urgency; escape is necessary but unattainable.

"We finished in a little cul-de-sac" (in line 11)
According to the dictionary, a cul-de-sac is a street with an opening at one end only; a blind alley.

In respect to line 11, the poet says that the damage turns the town into a one way street having a bottleneck entrance and exit as a result of the congested traffic.
"And like Hesperides the suburbs seemed"

The line means that the distant
 villages afar the town now seems like a safety Paradise but which is impossible to reach.
According to wikipedia, "the garden of the Hesperides is located in Tartessos a location placed in the south of the liberian peninsula." Hesperides is a mythical garden of golden apples, supposed to be at the extreme west of the earth.

The poem has the theme of disaster and its negative effects; with use of expressions such as "We could not get away from the canal"(in line 4), "Dead cats, dead hopes..." (in line 5), "on the pavement sat a ragged girl/ Mourning beside a jug-and-bottle entrance"(in line 12-13).

There is also the theme of hopelessness; with the use of expressions such as "It was impossible to leave the town"(in line 1), "We could not get away from the canal"(in line 4), "We finished in a little cul-de-sac"(in line 11), "Once more we turned the car and started back"(in line 14).
Few of the figures of speech are repetition in line 5, assonance in line 2, alliteration in line 3, simile in line 8, allusion in line 9, and a lot of imageries in the poem.

James Reeves was a British author who specialized in poetry; he was born 1-07-1909 but died 01-05-1978. His birth name was John Morris Reeves (as stated in wikipedia article)

Samuel C. Enunwa aka samueldpoetry
(the Leo with wings flying)


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