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From The Wave

Decent Essays
“From the Wave” by Thom Gunn Poetry is a work of literature in which special intensity is given to the expression of feelings and ideas by the use of distinctive style and rhythm. Thom Gunn is a poet known for creating imagist poems. In “From the Wave,” Gunn uses the literal meaning, surfers preparing for a wave, and compares them to the metaphorical meaning, students preparing to graduate from college. In “From the Wave,” the speaker explains how surfers prepare for the approaching wave. The first stanza is about the build up of the actual wave. “It mounts at sea, a concave wall” shows the wave building up as it approaches the shore (Gunn line 1). Gunn describes the wave as “building tall” and it having a “steep incline” to show just how…show more content…
In “From the Wave,” the metaphorical meaning shows how education is important to achieve. “It mounts at sea, a concave wall” represents the nervousness of a new start and being off on his own after graduation (Gunn line 1). The speaker uses the phrase “hiding rise to sight” to show his experiences through his school career (Gunn line 5). He is described as having a “learn’d skill,” which he will be able to use throughout his life to become a successful citizen (Gunn line 10). The “marbling bodies” represent the students preparing to walk across the stage at graduation to receive their diplomas (Gunn line 13). During college, the load of school work would “slice the face,” but “balance is triumph” meaning that college became easier when he learned to balance his school work and social life (Gunn lines 17, 19). “They paddle in the shallows still; two splash each other” shows the speaker walking on stage to receive his diploma from the principle (Gunn lines 29-30). After graduation, the real world begins. “Then all swim out to wait until the right waves gather” tells how the speaker is moving on to his new life and starting a career (Gunn lines 31-32). Both the literal and metaphorical meanings of “From the Wave” represents how preparation turns into success. “From the Wave” is considered an imagist poem, which causes the reader to dig deeper than the literal meaning. Gunn compares surfers with graduating students to prove that in order to succeed, preparation is
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