Explain the meaning of "A Time Past."

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pohnpei397's profile pic

pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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In my opinion, this poem means that, although time passes, we keep what is important in our hearts.  These things that we retain are much more important than the physical things that we lose.

We can see this in how the physical things in this poem have been lost.  Specifically, the wooden steps are no longer there.  They are off somewhere, waiting to be burned.

Even though the steps are no longer there, the memories that are associated with them are there.  They linger in the speaker's heart and they make her happy even after time passes and physical things are gone.

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epollock | (Level 3) Valedictorian

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This poem is a confessional one, involving the recollection of past times of happiness and present times of memory and sadness. The concluding image, of the wood waiting somewhere to be burnt, is especially strong and jarring, for it shows a note of bitterness amidst the speaker’s sadness.  The visual imagery of the poem combines the manufactured (the two different sets of steps, the wood of the first) and the natural (dew, quiet, the absence of birds, crickets, falling leaves, a breeze). A tactile image associated with the steps is the splinters, which the speaker still feels in her hands.

 

bayeh11's profile pic

bayeh11 | Student, Undergraduate | (Level 2) eNoter

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troll

bayeh11's profile pic

bayeh11 | Student, Undergraduate | (Level 2) eNoter

Posted on

n my opinion, this poem means that, although time passes, we keep what is important in our hearts. These things that we retain are much more important than the physical things that we lose. We can see this in how the physical things in this poem have been lost. Specifically, the wooden steps are no longer there. They are off somewhere, waiting to be burned. Even though the steps are no longer there, the memories that are associated with them are there. They linger in the speaker's heart and they make her happy even after time passes and physical things are gone.

bayeh11's profile pic

bayeh11 | Student, Undergraduate | (Level 2) eNoter

Posted on

In my opinion, this poem means that, although time passes, we keep what is important in our hearts.  These things that we retain are much more important than the physical things that we lose.

We can see this in how the physical things in this poem have been lost.  Specifically, the wooden steps are no longer there.  They are off somewhere, waiting to be burned.

Even though the steps are no longer there, the memories that are associated with them are there.  They linger in the speaker's heart and they make her happy even after time passes and physical things are gone.

 

bayeh11's profile pic

bayeh11 | Student, Undergraduate | (Level 2) eNoter

Posted on

This poem is a confessional one, involving the recollection of past times of happiness and present times of memory and sadness. The concluding image, of the wood waiting somewhere to be burnt, is especially strong and jarring, for it shows a note of bitterness amidst the speaker’s sadness.  The visual imagery of the poem combines the manufactured (the two different sets of steps, the wood of the first) and the natural (dew, quiet, the absence of birds, crickets, falling leaves, a breeze). A tactile image associated with the steps is the splinters, which the speaker still feels in her hands.

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