(Literary Essentials: Great Poems of the World)

Other, simpler patterns also exist. They appear less uniformly but still serve to indicate general tendencies. The first pattern traces the development from the depiction of the exterior world as a setting for humankind to the presentation of a single person and then to the intangible represented by the soul or God. This pattern occurs in “L’Amirauté,” “Domaine d’ombre,” and “L’Haine en été” (hate in summer). The development of this pattern is often linked to another one: the introduction of a woman who allows the escape from the immediate, the reference to the soul allowing the reduction of emotional tone and the introduction of the dimension of unity. The latter element of this pattern is especially important because it allows the extension of the poem beyond a point which might otherwise have been final. An example of this occurs in “Apparition de la vieille” (the appearance of the old woman). The harmony brought about by the return of the old woman from the childhood stories seems sufficient to conclude the poem, but a more satisfying conclusion is created by the shift to the intangible—memory—as a culmination of the movement from the person to the objects associated with her. The same occurs in “Les Uns et les autres” (the ones and the others). The expected conclusion was one which would have preserved the severity of the last lines of verse. Instead, however, it ends with a reference to love, after depicting nature, people, and objects. The effect of this tendency is quite compatible with other aspects of Follain’s...

(The entire section is 638 words.)