Rhapsody on a Windy Night - Coggle Diagram
Rhapsody on a Windy Night
Decay of the Modern World
I: "every street lamp that I pass beats like a fatalistic drum"
The presence of a faux light highlights modernity
simile - creates a rhythm which further emphasises musical allusion
'fatalistic' is a reference to modernistic ideas
III: "a twisted branch upon the beach eaten smooth, and polished as if the world gave up"
exposes the death and decay of the modern world
depicts the debris of modernity (urban wasteland)
I: "Twelve o'clock"
timestamp creates an abrupt start to the poem
shows the flaneur on a midnight walk
IV: "remark the cat which flattens itself in the gutter, slips out its tongue and devours a morsel of rancid butter"
rhyming sordid imagery
the use of 'rancid' highlights the decay of modern life
V: "La lune ne garde aucune rancune"
intertextuality with Laforgue
V: "she winks a feeble eye, she smiles into corners... a washed-out smallpox cracks her face"
moon is personified and represented as sordid, decayed and diseased
contradicts the representation of the moon in romantic poems
the moon is depicted as a deranged, diseased, decadent goddess of modernity who becomes an iconic version of the sordid nature or the modern world
V: "her hand twists a paper rose"
represents 'faux beauty'
contradicts romanticism by using ideas of natural beauty and adding a sordid persona to them
V: "of sunless dry geraniums"
intertextuality to Baudelaire highlights the themes of modernism int he poem
VI: "the bed is open; the tooth-brush hangs on the wall, put your shoes at the door, sleep, prepare for life."
accumulation signifies the mundane return to a routine life
VII: "the last twist of the knife"
stand alone line to place emphasis on the futile life of the modern person
Representation of Women
II: "regard that woman who hesitates towards you in the light of the door which opens on her like a grin"
alludes to the idea of prostitution
the door is personified
simile where grin = temptation
II: "you see the border of her dress is torn and stained with sand, and you see the corner of her eye twists like a crooked pin"
exploration of dreamlike imagery that is bizarre and threateningly transgressive
V: "smells pf chestnuts in the streets and females smells in shuttered rooms"
juxtaposing olfactory imagery
olfactory imagery used to represent women as dirty and 'smelly'
IV: "so the hand of a child, automatic... i could see nothing behind that child's eye"
the idea of 'eyes are the window to the soul' creates ambiguity and signifies sightlessness and isolation for the future generation
'automatic' depicts the child a a robot thus dehumanising
IV: "I have see eyes int he street trying to peer through lighted shutters"
'shutters' echoing preludes in that they aid to masquerade
IV: "remark the cat", "the hand of a child" and "a crab one afternoon in a pool"
the bizarre imagery of the cat, child and crab are used to show disconnection of the world and society
avant garde imagery
I: "the street held in a lunar synthesis, whispering lunar incantations dissolve the floors of memory"
ideas of the unpredictability of memory and the perpetual resurfacing of the past
personification of the street
the 'lunar synthesis' memory provides strange hallucinatory, dreamlike images
I: "Midnight shakes the memory as a madman shakes a dead geranium"
Midnight is a catalyst for realisation
"dead geranium" contrasts traditional ideas of romanticism
represents the modernistic idea of modernity
intertextuality to Laforgue
moonlight is like a magical drug that replaces normality with dreamlike madness
II: the street lamp sputtered, the street lamp muttered, the street lamp said..."
repetition and personification
light exposes memory
the street lamp is a paradox of modernity
dialogue from an object highlight modernism
III: "the memory throws up high and dry"
reoccurring motif of memory
personified memory has higher agency than the flaneur
Heavily influenced by Paris, the decadent aesthetic avant garde tradition
draws heavily on the French symbolists to show a fragmented broken image that captures the sordid, squalor of life
poem uses intertextuality to Baudelaire and Laforgue