Identity and Isolation in Pratt's 'Come Not the Seasons Here'
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Identity and Isolation in Pratt's "Come Not the Seasons Here"
E. J. Pratt's poem "Come Not the Seasons Here" is about isolation, a place untouched by the changes of nature, although the effects of those changes are noted by the speaker. The narrator of the poem seems to exist in a land outside of time, a land that is somehow disconnected from the present, the past and the future. The poem never gives an exact explanation for this disconnection, but the reader may sense that the poem's voice comes as though from the other side of the grave. This paper will give an explication of Pratt's "Come Not the Seasons Here" and show not only what it means (that life has a beginning, a middle, and an end, apparently) but how it means it as well. The speaker of the poem is unidentified a nameless stranger who speaks to no one in particular, but rather appears to be addressing the empty air around him. His words may be like leaves caught upon the wind and carried to us by chance, or like a message slipped into a bottle and tossed into the waves to be delivered willy-nilly to another. The repetition of the "Comes not the [season] here" phrase at the first line of each stanza, and in fact the repetition of each stanza's structure gives the poem an almost hymnal quality. The speaker appears to be chanting a kind of hymn from a place of eternity, a hymn that (ironically) like nature has its own rhythm.
Who the speaker is, however, is never stated, for he never identifies himself. The