The Half of LifeAs is common in Romantic poems, Holderlin connects human emotion to the seasons in nature, in this case happiness to summer and sadness to winter. In the summer, there are "yellow pears the country,/Brimming with wild roses,/Hangs into the lake". Red roses, yellow pears, the colors of warmth and enjoyment.But in the winter, it all dies away from the cold, and he's left searching for his happiness. Man can't help; they are left cold, speechless, and chattering, as their structures do in the poem. They are helpless before nature and it's harsh cold.
Megan Mattson's mom Candace - Brevity by Freiedrich Holderlin – Is a reminder of the importance of spontaneity and living in the moment, and how it keeps your soul lively and able to see things with fresh eyes. It made me feel remorse for all the times I have let my to-do list take precedence and decrease my connection with nature and my own thoughts. The poem uses both nature and the emphasis for more personal expression in the romanticism genre. –Candace Mattson
Brevity centers around the Romanticism themes of treasured innocence, nature, and imagination. The speaker is addressing youth, and questions why, in all it's splendour, it only lasts a short while. The infinite imagination theme is addressed in this questioning, and then the loss of youth is compared to nature. In general, the diction is simple, reflecting the simplicity of youth discussed in the poem. One line that struck me was, "you wanted yours singing to never come to an end", because singing is such a worldly thing, while the infinite is so complex and transcending of the norm. The symbolism of nature embodies different feelings, "the red glow of evening" gives a warm loving feeling, while "the Earth is cold" gives a feeling of isolation and regret towards the loss of innocence. For me, this poem gave me a feeling of reflection. Childhood is a worldwide experience and this poem boldly states the negativity in loosing such experience. I was actually thinking about this last night, when I was a kid everything was so much more amazing, and everyday occurrences would fall into complex story plots in my head. Now, I either don't care about what is happening around me or a just look for the purposes of things, but nothing extraordinary
"The Half of Life"The term, “The Half of Life” demonstrates an eternal cycle in seasons. In this case, there is a balance between winter and everything else. Strong imagery effortlessly paints a picture of warm summer days. Holderlin uses words such as “flowers”, “sunshine”, and “yellow” with words such as “speechless”, “cold”, and “wind” to contrast the idea of warmth and happiness with the idea of harsh winters. The appreciation and interest in nature ties back to Romanticism, for the poem contains hopeful admiration. --Calvin Ling
"The Half of Life"Holderlin perfectly captures the feeling of happiness in the first stanza of the poem. I can think of no greater joy than standing by a pond watching a swan enjoying the scenery which arrives in the weather conditions summer brings. Then, he talks of the more difficult times winter brings with coldness and wind which he appears to associate with sadness. With the pictures he paints, I can imagine not just what he sees, but also what he feels. Also, the way he speaks of this beautiful landscape certainly adds a romantic spin.
"The Half of Life""The Half of Life" qualifies as romanticism because it centers entirely around natural imagery to express changing moods with the changing of the seasons. "Yellow," "wild," "gracious," "drunk," and "holy" are all used in the first stanza to create a stark emotional shift in the second, wintry stanza characterized by harsher words such as "cold" and "speechless." Along with this change in diction, Holderlin goes from observation to questioning. There's a tone of uncertainty in the second stanza and with it possibly some anxiety. This poem reflects happiness in the present, but fear for the future.
Cameron Thum"Brevity""Brevity" is filled with a reminiscent and sorrowful tone, and puts an emphasis upon the shortness of life and the inconspicuous speed at which it passes us all by. One of the main ways in which this poem is Romantic is in the way that it places an emphasis upon the moods of nature in order to emphasize human moods. A great example of this is that of "the glow of evening" and the cold of night, symbolizing the twilight of life and death, respectively. By using natural terms Hoelderlin is able to more effectively describe that waning, yet peaceful, period in a person's life (we all know how beautiful the earth becomes at twilight, and can apply that idea to life), as well as more effectively describe the cold and bleak end which follows it. Another way in which this poem is Romantic is in the way that it places an emphasis upon the need for spontaneity in thought and action. This poem creates a lust for spontaneity by telling the reader how swiftly life passes us by, and by making the reader realize that the "(d)ays of hope" will not always be upon us, for night is right around the bend. This poem created a feeling of frustration and longing inside of me because it made me want to learn to cherish each day, whether sunny or shadowed, to the fullest extent. In fact I think I may go for a bike ride on this beautiful sunny Sunday!
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The Half of LifeThis is a poem about place and time. as humans a location, feeling or season of the year can bring to mind strong emotions. For Holderin his memories of an unnamed person conjure in his head a feeling of warmth and growth. To him it is a supremely natural feeling, holy in its perfection. On the other hand the feelings he has of being alone, without the person in the poem are cold and harsh. The loneliness he feels is aberrant and unnatural.--Jacob Galewsky
"The Half of Life" - Friedrich HolderlinHolderlin vividly describes the images of summer, with the "yellow pears" and "wild roses" and the shore on the lake, identifying with the concept of romanticism and the interest in nature it presents. Then, he contrasts this with imagery of winter, with diction such as "cold", "speechless", and "creak", displaying his obvious favoring of summer over winter as he ponders where he can find the "flowers, come winter". The warmth and comfort of summer is of much value to Holderin, directly relating to romanticism's focus on nature. -Teresa Cheong, period 5.
The Half of LifeHolderlin glorifies nature, making its lakes "holy" and its swans "gracious." The first half of the poem retains this positive outlook on nature, before abruptly transitioning between stanzas to the cyclic death of winter. The second stanza begins by questioning where to find the bounty associated with summer once winter has begun. The question, not specifically addressed to anyone, goes unanswered. This motivates the reader to consider winter as an aspect of nature. The title, "Half of Life," and the poem combine and suggest that not only summer is beautiful, as winter is its opposite and equal.
The Half of Life:When I read this, it reminded me of a short story I wrote in eighth grade about a storm in the countryside. Like Holderlin, I described weathervanes clattering in the wind and sunshine and shadows mixing. I have a close connection to romantic poetry because it is similar to the style I write in. I guess that I like to describe nature and use emotions in my writing because I know that nature is constant, that although spring passes, it will definitely come again next year. On the other hand, I have no idea what will come in my life next year, I cannot predict anything that will happend to me. Describing nature is a way to become grounded for me and not float off in wondering and worrying about my unpredictable life. I think maybe romantic poets were also looking for solid ground by writing about everyday things like nature.Hanna Dornhofer
The first stanza of "Half of Life" is one centered around the warmth, joy, and living of nature's season of summer. The "yellow pears/ and wild roses everywhere," convey a pleasant feeling of comfort and confidence in the abundance of nature's gifts. There are no negative words, and is nothing unsettling, yet as the second stanza beings, the certainty from the beginning is lost to questions. As Holderlin asks where flowers, sunshine and shade can be found once the cold is upon us, it is if he asks where the happiness can be found once nature no longer gives it. The enthusiasm is lost as elements of the outside are said to become "speechless." One compelling part of the construction of the poem, which aids the fast moving feeling, is that it begins with the words "With its," the subject, it, never being explicitly identified.To me, this poem reiterates the inevitability of natural changes, not giving off a feeling of sorrow or regret, nor one of brightness or joyousness, but one of eagerness but acceptance.Carmen Altes
"Brevity"This poem is written in the Romantic style, shown by Friedrich Holderlin's use of both the beauty of nature ("the red glow of evening" as the sun sets) and the starkness of nature ("the earth is cold" when the night descends) to convey his message. He sets the scene for a complete contrast, from a warm glow to a cold place that causes the happiness to depart. Also, he compares nature and human emotions when he says "you happily bathe in the red glow of evening," meaning that people often feel joy, warmth, and serenity watching the sun set. This is also a use of imagery, and the reader can picture someone soaking in the warmth of a hot bath, absorbing the thermal energy and fully realizing peaceful happiness. Holderlin also uses imagery to describe the night as a "bird" that "flies down, so close you cover your eyes." The reader can almost picture a giant bird wrapping its broad wings around the reader's eyes, blocking out all signs of light except for the lights seen coming from the heavens. The diction is also important, because the author is associating the sunset with happiness, and the night with a coldness or lack of emotion, perhaps even unhappiness. The poem, "Brevity," itself is short, which is meant to relate to the title and the subject's lack of happiness as discussed in the poem. I feel pity for the person that Holderlin is addressing, because they seem to have lost all sense of tranquility and elation. The question is, who is the subject? Could the poet be writing the poem about himself? Or, perhaps has someone asked him why his poems have changed in length or quality, and he is responding that his joy is like his songs (poems). They have changed because, perhaps he is in the "nighttime" of his life, not the beautiful sunset of his creative life. Katie Jakovich
"The Half of Life" by Holderlin (Jes) In the first stanza of the poem, Holderlin gives the reader a positive vibe towards nature and her offerings. He uses words such as, "holy" and "gracious" to emphasize the harmless summer. In the second stanza, his tone changes from confidence to questioning.Holderlin is describing how one must enjoy something when they have it, because he realizes that one can not have something forever. Just like how summer can not last forever because of the winter. The references to nature show that it is a romantic poem.
"The Half of Life"The poem "The Half of Life" addresses the fact that Holderin despises winter, and constantly wishes for spring and sunshine. His love for the other seasons is apparent as he talks of it "brimming with wild roses" and "you gracious swans" that appear in the lake he sees. As his love for summer is apparent, his hate for winter engulfs it. To him, the winter is "speechless and cold." It is obvious from his previous lines that he does not like quiet and bland things, from his quote "where shall I find/When winter comes, the flowers..." His love is for beautiful and interesting things such as yellow pears and flowers. To me, the poem is addressing the breaks in life between happiness and depression. The depression is the cold winter, which saddens me because Holderin knows that depression is approaching him in the near future, and his happy phase is over for a good time, the flowers, pears, and sunshine are temporarily suspended. This emotion in Holderin's life may be associated with his love life and status with women at the time the poem was published.-Jenna Lester
BrevityIn "Brevity" there are two people speaking, the person asking questions and the person that responds to these questions. The person asking the questions points out how the other has changed, where as the other defends these so called changes. The comparison of the second speaker's ideals of that to the entire world defines the second speaker as an individual, different from the norm. This reference to individuality is an element of the themes of romanticism.This poem has several elements that are solely based on the differences of other people and how an individual perspective creates an individual.
The Half of LifeIn this poem, Holderlin divides it into two pieces, each one half of life. He begins in the Spring or Summer, the lines "You gracious swans,/And drunk with kisses/Your heads you dip/Into the holy lucid water," symbolize love and happiness. This love could be that of a lover, a friend, or a family member. In the second stanza, he speaks of winter. He states, "Where, ah where shall I find,/When winter comes, the flowers,/And where the sunshine/And shadows of the earth?" This means that in winter he believes that he will lose this love and happiness and is at loss at where to acquire it again. One of the last lines of the poem, "Walls stand/Speechless and cold, in the wind," tell the reader that there is a "wall" preventing him from finding his love and happiness again.
The title of "Half a Life" shows that for every half of something, like a year, there has to be an equalizer, some balance. Holderlin uses summer and winter to show this in his poem. Like the poets of his time, Holderlin uses nature to show the emotion of humans. Summer is the time of happiness and peace, while winter is the harsh and lonely days. To be happy though, one must experience both of these times. There is no life when you are only happy.
The Half of LifeAt first sight this poem obviously seams romantic just because of the use of diction. Words, and sentences like "drunk with kisses" are obvious references of when one is, supposedly, in love. This author often uses phrases that have to do with nature. Things like lakes, swans, water, pears, sunshine etc... This use of diction also sets a mood of warmth, and serenity, which furthermore makes it seem even more romantic. When I read this, the warmth that it spoke of filled me. Although towards the end, the imaginary world which I dreamt of chattered along with the chattering of "the weathervanes" and the cold wind. This change in imagery gave the poem a bit of a twist.
Holderlin's "The Half of Life" captures the essence of nature, both in its beauty and bluntness. In romanticism human's innate connection with nature is remembered and celebrated once again, which is definitely the case in "The Half of Life." In the first stanza, Holderlin sketches a faultless snapshot of serenity: swans bathing in a picturesque lake. In this image, Holderlin finds humanity, for it can certainly be said that it is human nature to crave a moment of tranquility, or an escape. This first stanza creates exactly that – escape. In stark contrast, the second stanza speaks of the yearning one feels in winter months for longer days, brighter skies, and warmer spirits. Holderlin perfectly captures the endless cycle of nature between tranquility and longing, and through this explains the human cycle of love and loss.
Holderlin's "Brevity" examines the ephemeral nature of youth. The first stanza poses critical questions about another's childhood, but takes a bitter turn when he switches to an icy tone, describing "the sun's red Glow", and "cold the earth" which he parallels to old age. Based on posts about "The Half of Life", it can be said that Holderlin draws strong connections between nature and states of the human mind. In the "Half of Life" he relates seasonal changes with emotions, and in "Brevity" he connects youthfulness with sunlight and old age with cold darkness. These images of nature are characteristic of romanticism, as they are strongly nature based.
Half of LifeThe poem is entitled "Half of Life" and consists itself of two halves. The first half is full of life and ripeness: yellow pears and roses. It connotes lush growth, a connection between land and water (with vegetation hanging into the lake). It is full and heavy with life, "drunk with kisses," and yet closes with an apparent contradiction, as the holy water is sober, i.e. the opposite of drunk. The second half of the poem alludes to another half of life, that which follows upon the richness of summer, cold dark winter. This half focuses not on imagery of life, but rather inanimate items, cold walls, the wind, and creaking weather vanes. It is here that the narrative voice speaks posing a question about his/her future, implying a sense of longing for what has been lost.-Kit Belgum, Morgan's mom
[The Half of Life] In the half of life Hölderlin splits up the poem into two stanza and halves both of which emphasize nature and emotion. The first half clearly paints a picture of joy and pleasure. Hölderlin uses diction like “drunk kisses” to evoke a sense of overwhelming love “yellow pears” for happiness and “gracious swans” to show a kind of content tranquility. Contrary, the second stanza shows the fleeting joys of summer and the looming cold and sadness of winter. Hölderlin asks where he will find all the lovely things that come with summer/spring when winter is finally there. His choice of words also changes to phrases like “Speechless and cold” making a clear distinction between his two emotions. The poem uses a Romantic emphasis on nature to highlight the loss of what is good and bright and the overwhelming depression of the looming death that comes along with the changing of seasons. This poem pulled me in through the imagery and when I read and realized how temporary the happiness and beauty of this amazing scene Hölderlin had created it developed sadness inside of me. -Ronja B
"The Half of Life"The most interesting part about this poem is the contrast between the different stanzas. One radiates warmth, while the other, darkness. This does show natures seasons, but it does it without rhythm. None of the line rhyme, and Holderlin mixes short lines with long ones to break any rhythm. By looking at the warmth and general peacefulness of summer first, the poet gives a warm feel to his poem, and then destroys it in the second stanza. It is easy to see the Romanticism in the warmer part where the swans are "drunk with kisses" and wild roses hang everywhere." The second part as more of a lonely feel where the poet is reaching for what he has lost and hoping to see it again.
Hanna Dornhofer's mom Annette:On "Brevity":Hoelderlin is talking about how we only realize at the end of life that life is really ending. When we are young we enjoy whatever we are doing and don't think about tomorrow but when the end is near (or we are finally old or wise enough) we discern that we only have this one life and not much time left to do all that still needs to be done. At the end of the day we can't be carefree anymore we have to face what's coming next. No more denial!Annette Dornhofer
In "The Half of Life," Holderlin uses a sweeping allegory to describe a Romantic view of man's path through life. The poem moves from the innocence, invulnerability, and pleasure of youth, through the uncertainty of maturity, and finally to the despair of death. It begins beside a lake, where the poet's reverence for nature shows: pear trees ripen, "wild" roses bloom, and serene swans "drunk with kisses" dip their heads into the "holy" water.From this tranquil scene, the reader is pulled into a fearful question about the future. "Where will I find flowers, come winter, and where the sunshine…" Finally, the poet leaves us with the tense image of weathervanes creaking in the cold wind, signs of the inevitable death of our untroubled scene from the first stanza. The poem leaves the reader with an uncertain sense of sadness and dread.
My opinion of "The Half Life,"is like a work of art - it means different things to different people. Why can't it be as simple as someone enjoying nature, taking a brief moment away from the everyday turmoil to admire the beauty and question its existence?(for Stephen Pinon)
Friedrich Holderlin - Brevity“Brevity” is a poem about failure presented in a natural context. Holderlin uses “the bird of the night” as a metaphor for human’s laziness, an obtrusive darkness that obscures our intentions. However, for the person in question in “Brevity,” intentions are not known, instead the only thing they “loathed was to make an end.” The poem represents how we are just living, fearing death, but not really understanding what we are living for. In essence, “Brevity” embodies romanticism through its emphasis in spontaneity by criticizing ones failure to come to terms with the end of ones life, “gone it is, cold the earth.”
Adding on to my mother's comment, "Half of Life" resembles the personification of the coming of age and realizing the memories of youth. Much like life itself, the poem starts off with an exuberant stanza detailing the prolifically and beauty of youth through lines such as "With its yellow pears/And wild roses everywhere". the Poem then continues with the imagery of death and aging. "Where will I find flowers, come winter," is one example of how Holderlin uses natural imagery to express his fear of becoming or coming to the realization of becoming old. Winter is a common allegory to aging and death, and with the image of Winter, Holderlin can also accompany images with a dark tone and syntax, using words such as "shade" to represent this fear. Phrases such as "Walls stand cold/And speechless" also contribute to the realization of the coming of age.Stephen Pinon
"Half of Life" by Friedrich HolderlinThe first stanza of the poem uses imagery to create a picture of a peaceful lake with the surrounding shoreline that is beautifully decorated by Nature with yellow pears and wild roses. The lake has two swans floating peacefully, and they give a calm elegance and gracefulness to the scene, and the swans dip their heads into the water as if their beaks were a holy chalice.The second verse transitions to a new season. It is winter, and it is bleak, grey image. The weathervanes are being whipped by the cold wind. The reader longs for a return of the warmth and color that the return of sunshine will bring. Half of life is spent in the Fall/Winter, and half is spent in the Spring/Summer, representing the ebb and flow of life - death and rebirth of Nature that is also shown in the Human cycle of life.Written by: Derek J. (Katie J's dad)
BrevityThis poem makes me think of the passage of time, specifically from sunrise to sunset of a single day and from youth to death of a single human life. It talks of the loss of youth and the poem ends with death, using nature. In the first stanza, the phrase "the day of hope" is used to signify youth, immaturity, and brightness. When I think of a day, I think of a bright and cloudless summer's day with a gentle breeze, the epitome of pleasure and happiness. The first paragraph reminisces of the past, looking nostalgically at how passionate the person once was. The poem contrasts this happy feeling with symbols of darkness in the final stanza. Phrases like "red glow of evening" and "the earth is cold" show that there is no warmth and the lights are dimming. Night is used as a metaphor of death and endings. This poem is very depressing, as do many things that invoke thoughts of death. The line "why are you so brief?" hits me the hardest. I can just imagine a small boy talking excitedly about what he loves, and I can imagine the same boy grown up, not as passionate as he was before. It makes me feel that life is short and ever changing. Chris Wang
BrevityThe lack of specificity in terms of the speaker is clear, although the person (or bird) being addressed in the poem seems to be old, because of the wistfulness of the tone. I say it could be a bird, or at least a metaphorical bird, because singing is generally associated with birds and their songs, and Holderlin even mentions "the bird of night" in the second-to-last line. As for concepts of romanticism, Brevity mostly shows the interest in nature, because the second stanza describes the earth and a bird. I wish I could understand the original version because, especially in poetry, I think that much of the feeling of the writing can get lost in translation.
"Brevity" by Friedrich Holderlin"Brevity" is a poem about youth and energy, about personal expression, and about spontaneity. The form of the poem is a vital part of its genius. The poem is short and inconclusive reflecting the message of the piece, and the parallelism between the two stanzas adds hidden meaning to Holderlin's words. The first stanza presents the subject of the poem, someone does not sing like they did when they were young. The second stanza is like a response to the first and teases at a conclusion. The first sentence of the second stanza, "My song is as short as my luck was.", answers the question "Why make it so short?". "It's gone" is referring to the hope in the first stanza. The entire second stanza hints at the coming of death (short luck, "sundown", "earth's cold", "nightbird", "blocking your vision") contrasting the optimistic and lively first stanza. The poem expresses a need to act spontaneously and live fully and unfiltered because you never know when it will be too late. This reflects a Baroque style that both embraces vanity and acknowledges the ephemeral nature of things.-T. Jones
In Holderlin's "The Half of Life", the poem presents a focused observation on the two halves of life: when nature is live and prospering, and when it is not. This follows the Romantic trend of not only an interest in Nature as a whole, but also the scenery in all its manifestations. In the first half, Holderlin describes a serene setting where the flowers are blooming, and swans fill the lakes. The reference to "holy water" shows the remnants of a religious focus, but the poem is still primarily focused on nature. The second half of life is when everything dies, and Holderlin paints a desolate picture, where there are no flowers, only creaking weathervanes and cold walls.Holderlin, in accordance with Romantic trends, personifies the non-human objects to appeal to the reader's empathy, as well as make a connection between the two halves of life in simple nature and the two halves of life in humans. Humans, when we are growing, are full of life and energy, flourishing under the sun. When we start to decay, soon all that life and vitality will be gone and all that will be left is cold walls and creaking weathervanes.I reacted very well to this poem, once I understood it. This poem shows a truth of human life through nature, and conveys that truth in an appealing manner.
Brevity:In Brevity, Holderlin elucidates the brevity of life through a despondent tone in which the reader must acknowledge the shortness of life. He best achieves this idea through simply making the poem short and concise--leaving the reader pondering with a relatively open mind about the brevity of life. He creates the romantic aspect by making references to nature (e.g. "red glow of evening" and "the earth is cold") and specifically using them metaphorically to apply to the shortness of our lives. By using such metaphors, he best achieves his despondent tone as having an "earth [that] is cold" creates a large sense of loneliness. Such desolation allows him to best evoke sadness upon the reader as referring to the earth as cold creates a large atmosphere in which everyone is cold and lonely rather than simply one person (he intends such loneliness to be the effect of life's brevity). Thus, Holderlin best achieves his tone of sorrow and life's brevity through references to nature and the loneliness people face in result of the shortness of life. Lastly, in response to such sorrow and desolation, Holderlin subtly conveys a sense of excitement and exhilaration that we need to take because life is so short. He wants us to act as if we were "youthful/ [during the] days of hope."-Akshay Jotwani
The Half life:In this poem Holderlin describes nature and his hope and want of summer during the winter. In the first stanza he describes summer with its "yellow pears, And wild roses everywhere" and then begins to wonder "where will [he] find Flowers, come winter," This poem could symbolize a relationship where when the lovers are together all is well and flowers bloom, but when she is gone, life becomes "cold" and "speechless."
The Half of Life I found that in this poem was a large emphasis on nature and natural religion. The emphasis on religion manifests itself mostly in the first stanza when he describes the summer with its wild roses and yellow pears. However the natural beauty transforms into natural religion when it goes on to describe what sounds like a baptism(maybe?). After this the poem takes on, once again, a more natural tone, in talking about how much he wishes for summer rather than the cold, unbearable winter. I didn't see many places where power of imagination was used in this poem other than the imagery created by the author.
"The Half of Life"The poem, “The Half of Life,” fits with the idea of romanticism quite well, as it shows an interest in nature as each cycles of the four seasons are used to represent the transitions of the poem. The speaker starts out by talking about the beauty of summer scenery, and then moves on to talk about his dread for winter. The use of diction such as “kisses” and “gracious”, portrays the speaker’s love and hope for the brighter days, while contrasting words such as “speechless” and “cold’ foreshadows his disdain and worries for the future. While reading this poem, the vivid imagery of this poem seemed like a painting to me, as I can almost see swans gently dip their heads in water.
BrevityThe concept of an increasing importance attached to natural genius and the power of imagination is shown in Holderin's poem. The title of the poem is further emphasized because the poem itself is brief and straightforward. This poem is all about Holderin's reflection on the brevity of life and how universal the feeling of children or teenagers not wanting life to end. The bird of night that eventually flies down "so close you cover your eyes" is death in terms of the poem being a short overview of what life is like. When I first read this poem I immediately thought of a song by MGMT called "Time to Pretend" because it's all about living free and dying young and that's what this poem is about.
Brevity:Holderlin links nature and human feeling together in Brevity. He asks someone how their views on life changed so quickly and how they could let their life pass by them so quickly. He uses contrasting scenery, one that has a joyful image, "red glow of evening", and one that is stark and haunting, "the earth is cold". By using these, he shows how quickly life can pass us by and how we do not notice. He then uses a bird, once again mixing nature and life together, to close the poem. The bird goes so close that "you cover your eyes", symbolizing the end of the poem. It also shows that something can happen so quickly, that you do not know what is happening.