Laugh and be Merry

by John Masefield
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Identify and unpack the metaphors in the penultimate stanza of the poem "Laugh and Be Merry."

In the penultimate stanza of the poem "Laugh and Be Merry," the poet uses metaphors to convey his message that everybody should try to be happy and live life to the fullest.

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In the first line of the penultimate stanza, the poet implores the readers to "drink from the deep blue cup of the sky." The sky is symbolic of openness and freedom, and so in this metaphor the poet is asking us to enjoy the freedom that life offers. The word...

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In the first line of the penultimate stanza, the poet implores the readers to "drink from the deep blue cup of the sky." The sky is symbolic of openness and freedom, and so in this metaphor the poet is asking us to enjoy the freedom that life offers. The word "deep" suggests that there is plenty of freedom and opportunity for everybody. In the next line of the stanza, the poet says that we should "join the jubilant song of the great stars." This celestial metaphor again connotes freedom and openness. The personification of the stars suggests also that the universe is happy and wants us to be happy too. The implication is that it would be contrary and unnatural not to enjoy life.

In the second half of the penultimate stanza, the poet says that the readers should "drink of the wine outpoured." Wine here connotes happiness and sensory pleasure, and so through this metaphor the poet is suggesting that we should be happy and enjoy the sensory pleasures that life has to offer. In the final line of the stanza, the poet says that this wine, in combination with "the green earth," is "the sign of the joy of the Lord." The color "green" connotes life and vitality, and so the poet seems to be implying that God has provided us with pleasures and also with an abundance of life that we should take advantage of. The overall implication in the poem is that we would be wasting the lives that God has given us if we didn't try to live those lives to the fullest.

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