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Summary of the poem-"Say Not the Struggle Naught Availeth."

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kotharibaba | Student | eNotes Newbie

Posted October 19, 2011 at 12:23 AM via web

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Summary of the poem-"Say Not the Struggle Naught Availeth."

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literaturenerd | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

Posted October 19, 2011 at 9:51 AM (Answer #1)

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To best understand Clough's poem "Say Not the Struggle Naught Availeth," one must understand the text he wrote with.

First, "Say not the struggle" means do not say the struggle. "Naught" is a synonym for nothing, worthless, or useless. "Availeth" (a form of avail) means to benefit or help.

Therefore, the first line states, simply, "do not say the struggle was of no benefit."

The poem, then, speaks to the fact that regardless of what one does, the fighting for betterment or hopes being dashed, one cannot believe that it has been done in vain. Instead of looking upon only the new possibilities (as brought by the "eastern windows only"), one must be able to reflect on the day as it has passed (but westward look) and know all is not in vain.

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