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Silver by Walter de La Mare

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  • Pages: 4
  • Word count: 984
  • Category: Poetry

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Slowly, silently, now the moon
Walks the night in her silver shoon;
This way, and that, she peers, and sees
Silver fruit upon silver trees;
One by one the casements catch
Her beams beneath the silvery thatch;
Couched in his kennel, like a log,
With paws of silver sleeps the dog;
From their shadowy cote the white breasts peep
Of doves in silver feathered sleep
A harvest mouse goes scampering by,
With silver claws, and silver eye;
And moveless fish in the water gleam,
By silver reeds in a silver stream.

Walter John de la Mare, (April 25, 1873 – June 22, 1956) was an English poet, short story writer, and novelist. Many of his poems and stories were for children, though he believed that there is no such thing as a good poem for children, only a good poem that children can understand. Poem ‘Silver’ is written in free verse. It’s consist 14 lines, including the words silvery and silver-feathered. It’s lyric. It’s rest for children. It’s lullaby. Its consist Pyrrhic (двусложная безударная стопа в ямбе или хорее; in 10, 11,12,13,14 lines). Its former auxiliary (добавочный) word and they do not pronounce. In the preposition (предлог) in article auxiliary do not except any ordinal stress (unstressed) as to rhymes, mail rhymes its mail. It’s described moon and night and its behavior. It’s around hanger (full moon). It’s cold, sometimes it’s brightly way. The moon is personified. The moon treated like a living being. It’s main character. We can see her action, its created verbs, poses pronounce. The very feminine moon in this poem brushes everything with her feet, or with her glance.

In the 14 line, ‘By silver reeds in a silver stream’ the light on the water is being compared to precious metal-transformed by the touch of a personified, female moon. The moon transformed. All objects in silver imagination at night. The moon draws here positively. It’s bringing beauty at the night. The word silver is used 10 times, it’s wander to underline the calmest, magic power of the moon, because the moon is like silver and not like gold (it means cold color). Gold –it’s like during day (warmer). The key word of the text is silver. It has been found for 10 times in 14 lines, including the words ‘silvery’ and ‘silver-feathered’. Moreover it is the title of the poem. Visual image of silver is supported and intensified by the epithet ‘white’ and the word ‘gleam’. The whole picture consists of details. The poet describes the main features of the country. And only with a help of reconstruction it is possible to define that the moon shines on the garden, house, yard and field. But there’s no word garden itself, there’s is only fruit and trees.

Moreover the first word precedes (предшествовать) the second one: first of all we see fruit and just after that we notice trees. There’s no word house or cottage, there are only it’s parts: casements (оконная створка) and thatch (кровля). There’s no yard, we just can imagine it, because there’s dog’s kennel (конура) and dovecote (голубятня) mentioned. Meadow and field near the house are shown only through details such as harvest mouse and water gleam where fish sleep in silver reeds in silver stream. Such depiction of nature scenes is called metonymy, when the whole picture is shown through characteristic details. Everything she sees in the poem is sleeping: dog, Dows, and fish, except mouse, the harvest mouse, which obliquely suggests Ceres, the goddess of the harvest, she doesn’t sleep at night she collected food. Dog sleep in his cannel it can be in a village (country house with the garden where sleeps Dows). Also mouse lived in the field it means that near the house there is field. Magic some kind ideal picture (with silent and piece). All animal shows the idea of sleeping. Epithet (its bringing rhymes in the poem).

Epithet can also be identified as a special case of metonymy in the quality of the leading method of constructing of the text. The epithet silver is related to the details, fragments: silver fruit, silvery thatch, paws of silver, silver claws. The only exception is the second line, where silver is used not to show the picture of real life, but as a metaphor, describing the image off the moon, ‘going through the night in her silver shoon’. And even in this case the poet holds the selected method of description through a detail: there is no silver moon; there are only silver shoes of the moon. Shoon – an absolute form (keep the rhymes). The word shoes is naturally and shoon bring some magical beauty, mystery. Shadovy (something mysterious or secret, sphere of magic, because it’s a poetic word. Silver feathered sleep – it’s poetical word and other is occasional word (idiosyncrasy- ideality of the author style. Lender, delicate, behaves the magic. And general words.

It’s most colored positively. We see that the whole text is written in one and the same poetic manner; it’s separation of details or signs, while the whole picture is not divided into separate parts, but on the contrary is distinguished by wonderful unity. The structure of the poem is united by one and the same manner and the picture, expressed in the poem is united by the visual image of the silver light. Semicolon single the end of the description, the changes objects seen, introduction the seen all this are into connected of the powerful magic. This poem connected of the action the word silver helps. Slowly, silently –is enjambment (инджемен).

Stylistic devices:
1) Simily – the dog sleeps like a log
The moon has strong magic that the dog sleeps like a log.

2) Epithet compound – ‘shadovy cote’.
Epithet – silver feathered; silver fruit; silver shoon; silver pose, silver
trees; silvery thatch; silver claws; silver eye; silver reeds; silver stream.

3) Metonymy:
“casements”- the part of window,
“thatch” – roof,
“Dog’s kennel”,
“harvest mouse”,
“water gleam”,
“silver reeds”,
“silver stream”.

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