Compare and Contrast “Flowers” and “Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard”
In “Flowers” written by Margaret Atwood there is a looming feeling of the last time for many things. The poem opens with the line “Right now I am the Flower girl”; this line gives a time frame for the narrator. Right now her responsibility is to be the flower girl, but this will eventually change. As the poem goes on, the audience learns that the narrator’s father is dying and she will inevitably cease to be his flower girl. The imageries in the poem create sensory impressions that express sorrow, inevitably, and a sense of optimism. Flowers are natural creations that often represent life, change, and love. The narrator introduces the flowers in a way that makes them a source of life in a very practical room. She describes the old flowers she throws out as something with a foul odor and living greenish water. The cutting sounds made by the surgical scissors could be heard as the stems were cut long in an effort to prolong their life. The fresh flowers in the room represent the importance of the daughter to her father at all times; she wants to be with him to witness any events that might come next.
The father’s statement that he is on a ship, when in fact he is not, shows sorrow and stillness. The narrator revealed her determination that her father is waving goodbye would not be acceptable. She instead imagines her father on a ship that carries him away. “The waving of hands that do not wave” on the last part of this stanza provoke stillness caused by the fear of losing her father. The father can be compared to the flowers that his daughter has brought to him. Just as the flowers’ lives will end soon in a pickle jar, his will end soon in a hospital. The poem ends with the narrator talking about her own mortality.
“Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard” was written by Thomas Gray. An elegy is a poem that reflects upon death. Most of the time it tells the truth about a side of a...