Homework Help

What is a comparative of these two poems: Roman Fountain by Louise Bogan and The...

user profile pic

albykoshy | eNoter

Posted May 20, 2013 at 2:42 AM via web

dislike 1 like
What is a comparative of these two poems: Roman Fountain by Louise Bogan and The Fountain by Donald Davie?
 
Roman Fountain by Louise Bogan

Up from the bronze, I saw
Water without a flaw
Rush to its rest in air,
Reach to its rest, and fall.

Bronze of the blackest shade,
An element man-made,
Shaping upright the bare
Clear gouts of water in air.

O, as with arm and hammer, 
Still it is good to strive
To beat out the image whole,
To echo the shout and stammer
When full-gushed waters, alive,
Strike on the fountain's bowl
After the air of summer. 

The Fountain by Donald Davie

Feathers up fast, and steeples; then in clods
Thuds into its first basin; thence as surf
Smokes up and hangs; irregularly slops
Into its second, tattered like a shawl;
There, chill as rain, stipples a danker green,
Where urgent tritons lob their heavy jets.

For Berkeley this was human thought, that mounts

From bland assumptions to inquiring skies,

There glints with wit, fumes into fancies, plays

With its negations, and at last descends,

As by a law of nature to its bowl

Of thus enlightened but still common sense.

We who have no such confidence must gaze

With all the more affection on these forms,

These spires, these plumes, these calm reflections, these

Similitudes of surf and turf and shawl,

Graceful returns upon acceptances.

We ask of fountains only that they play,

Though that was not what Berkeley meant at all.
 

1 Answer | Add Yours

user profile pic

Kay Morse | College Teacher | (Level 1) Senior Educator

Posted May 20, 2013 at 10:20 PM (Answer #1)

dislike 1 like

These two poems of modern free form structure and concept, impressionistically describe fountains actions. Bogan's stops at a description while Davie's associates a description with a antithetical comparison to "Berkeley" for whom a fountain was a metaphor for

... human thought, that mounts
From bland assumptions to inquiring skies,
There glints with wit, fumes into fancies, plays
With its negations....

The difference between the two poems is that while Bogan's stops at the object described, Davie's extends the object to a metaphysical and philosophical consideration.

Sources:

Kay Morse

Join to answer this question

Join a community of thousands of dedicated teachers and students.

Join eNotes