Poetry Questions and Answers

Start Your Free Trial

I need an analysis of Robert Lowell 's poem "Where the Rainbow Ends."  

Expert Answers info

ophelious eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2009

write429 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, Science, and History

Hi there!

I love analyzing poems, so thank you for giving me the chance to help you!

We can learn a lot about a poem by looking at the title: "Where the Rainbow Ends."  What does this mean?  The rainbow is a great (if overused) symbol representing "better times ahead" in that it is a promise that God will not destroy the world again by flood.  The colors of a rainbow are glorious, and according to myth at the end of the rainbow we are supposed to find a pot of gold.  The idea of the rainbow is usually a positive one.

On the other hand, a person can never actually FIND the end of a rainbow, so it can be a symbol of futility and frustration.  Where does that leave us?  We can guess that the poem is going to either have a theme of promise and hope, or one of futility.

"I saw the sky descending, black and white

Not blue, on Boston..."

When the sky descends it usually means a storm is coming.  Boston appears to be the setting.

...where the winters wore

The skulls to jack-o-lanterns on the...

(The entire section contains 637 words.)

Unlock This Answer Now

check Approved by eNotes Editorial