Essay on Analysis of Countee Cullens Yet Do I Marvel

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Analysis of Countee Cullens Yet Do I Marvel

Poetry is often meant to be smooth, flowing, pleasing to the ear and the mind. To achieve this effect, many poets use different poetic techniques to help convey the meanings of their poetry. In the sonnet, 'Yet Do I Marvel' written by Countee Cullen, many different features of poetry is used. In this essay, I will discuss the relationship between the meanings and the theme Cullen tries to convey in his sonnet and the techniques of metaphors, both religious and non-religious, allusions to Greek mythology, different rhyme schemes and repetition that he uses.

In his sonnet, Cullen uses strong themes of religious metaphors while adding many non-religious metaphors at the same time.
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Allusions of Greek mythology provide excellent images for Cullen?s questions as the mythology seem like metaphors themselves. ?Make plain the reason tortured Tantalus / Is baited by the fickle fruit,? (Lines 5 ? 6). In Greek mythology, Tantalus was one of Zeus?s non-immortal sons who became immortal by dining with the Gods. However, after telling his friends the secrets of the Gods, he was punished by being place up to his chin in water that he could not drink, and with fruit in sight that he could not reach. Cullen uses Tantalus as an allusion to question God about why humans are given grace of the Gods/God, but are kept from the ?fruit? of actually being divine-beings. By saying, ?Make plain?, he wishes for God to tell him in terms that he could understand. Again, the speaker makes clear his position relative to that of God. ?declare / If merely brute caprice dooms Sisyphus / To struggle up a never-ending stair.? The second example of allusion that Cullen uses is the story of Sisyphus, who was the king of Corinth and for his efforts in trying to avoid death and Hades, he was condemned eternally to roll a huge boulder uphill. Cullen uses Sisyphus to make a connection to this ?Mortal Coil? we all endure. We all work and go about our daily lives, but towards what end? What is the point of our work and our lives? Is it out of caprice that God has done this to us? Did God doom us to this on a whim? Again, in Cullen's view, God
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