Commentary on Sonnet ¨Atlantis¨

638 Words May 3rd, 2011 3 Pages
“Around 350 BC, Plato wrote about a beautiful island in the Atlantic Ocean that went under the ocean waves in one day and one night”. “Atlantis – A Lost Sonnet” by Eavan Boland does not follow from head to toe the standards of a sonnet, being able to identify it by the length of 14 lines and its GG rhyme scheme at the end. This poem is able to move from a question about Atlantis to a memory of the author and finally to the overall meaning about memories. Boland is able to create a close and personal atmosphere throughout this sonnet through a first person narrator, the use of word choice and rhetorical questions.
It is the type of narrator in a poem that helps the reader identify itself with. In this case, “Atlantis” is written in first
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So why is a rhetorical question applied in this sonnet? It is primarily to achieve a stronger and direct statement with no need of answering the question. In this poem there are two questions at the start and middle part; “one fine day gone under? (4)... Surely a great city must have been missed?” (6), both of this are talking about Atlantis. In a sort of way, the author is being sarcastic because neither she nor we will ever know the true answer since it is a legend with thousands of explanations but neither one is 100% accurate. At the end, this types of questions cause the reader to connect to her judgments in a stronger way since they would also want to know how a city may disappear right under our noses. As a final point, the message of this powerful poem is understood in its last two most important lines, “to convey that what is gone is gone forever and never found it. And so, in the best traditions of … where we come from, they gave their sorrow a name and drowned it.” (12-14). Boland´s simple rhyme, imagery, and use of personification create the final resolution of the author’s feelings and thoughts towards a past which cannot be recovered except with your

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