Trees at the Arctic Circle

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Trees at the Arctic Circle. In the poem “Trees at the Arctic circle”, the author Al Purdy provides a description of dwarf plants that manage to grow above the tree line on Baffin Island, a Canadian territory. The topics of this poem are very mundane as he uses different types of trees to illustrate truths about the human condition, and in particular about life in the Arctic. However, Purdy 's true goal is to remind the reader that humans are judgmental creatures and that it is only once you take a closer look at the scene in front of you that you are forced to acknowledge a hidden truth. The author muses aloud as he drastically evolves through a range of emotions: Disappointment, admiration and regret. The first and…show more content…
Now that he has reconsidered the matter he is not afraid to admit he was wrong to look for weaknesses before strengths. This last stanza uses more elevated language to express more complicated emotions such as awe, humility and repentance. The early verses express simple anger in simple terms. This last stanza differs noticeably from the first two in the language it uses and the sentiments it expresses. To start off he admits he has made a mistake “I see that I’ve been carried away” l.43. This is the first time he uses a 1st person narrative. It helps the reader believe he is sincere. The poet adopts a humbled tone when he expresses embarrassment at his earlier attack on the “coward trees” and feels ashamed: “foolish in my judgments” l.46. Instead of denying his previous statements he takes responsibility for them. In addition, the expression “Pontifux Maximus of nullity” l.52-53 shows how useless it is to write poems, with the aid of both obsolete and didactic language. But, the statement itself is a paradox. The fact that the “pontifux maximus’, which translates to the pope, a worldwide leader consulted for his wisdom, is now useless is contradictory. The reader now understands that some things need to be overlooked. For example, in this case concrete concepts such as words in a poem should not always be taken seriously. The readers should not be
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