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A sort of blues song for the poet, Castro's 11-lined BABCACDAD rhyme scheme is a defense of Castro's "off the cuff"-type poetry, with its short and simple phrasing. Castro talks about how she is aware of her poems lack of sophistication an compares it's modesty to prayer, which is ironically the most famous, popular poetry written. Castro's Dickinson-style simplicity is a refreshing modesty to a world of buffed-up, pretentious writers such as Wordsworth. Castro retorts intricate sonnets by simply relating her poems to catchy songs, that people will be able to remember them and find more meaning within their simplicity. Rosalia de Castro is my favorite poet in this list. Her romanticism, unlike the other poets, is focused in her writing, with her basic tone that remind the four-lined ABAB cries of BB King, saying so much with so little.
On "The Ailing Woman Felt Her Forces Ebb"The idea that death taunts us with yet more life is a melancholy thought, but Castro ends with a cheerful note nonetheless. Death "slew her by inches to the joyous hymns/of fair and merry spring" instead of allowing dead leaves to drop on her grave. It seems, taking a step back, death is more of a gentleman than a taunter, allowing the old woman to die in a beautiful time of year rather than the dreary and destitute fall. Though the old woman may not have appreciated living so much longer, the poem is written from death's perspective, showing the positive reinforcement that prolonging the life of an ailing woman does. The end of the poem is almost prideful, a sort of "I did it"! feeling that fills the last line as though death was trying to balance a ball on its nose for 3/4 of a year before letting it drop, just for the weather.
Patricia Goodman On "The Ailing Woman Felt Her Forces Ebb"The personification of Death suggests that Death takes on the human characteristics of vulnerability and failure. Death is normally viewed as an invisible, abstract concept, but as Castro personifies Death, she hints at its failure. Inverted syntax presents irony in the poem (" In winter spared her life, and when anew"). Winter is seen as a cruel, unforgiving month, but the inverted syntax communicates that winter is a sustaining, life-giving month in the poem. The contrast between the mournful diction ("drop,grave,slew") with the joyful diction ("joyous, fair, merry") conveys triumph and freedom. Castro had seven children and died before she was fifty- this poem is her medium of expressing her deepest wishes of freedom from death and the restricted roles of women in the 1800s. (My mother does not have a Gmail account. Therefore, this was posted through my account. -Matt Goodman)
Period 7, “As I Composed this Little Book”Castro’s poem focuses deeply on the uncivilized, natural aspects of human beings and our connection to religion. She says that the “prayers and rituals” that we remember are “fervent, though short” and that we “learned [them] in infancy.” She displays here the romantic view of childhood that perhaps age does not bequeath wisdom, but rather we lose it as we go along. She puts emphasis on innocence here, but does not dismiss the romantic ideal that “grief/…and the destroying flame/Of passion” hold great importance in life. I also like the poem on a personal level, because Castro hopes that her poems “can be sure-fixed in memory” rather than just bring her wealth and fame.