Please comment on some poetic techniques that are used in the poem "Of Eurydice" by Ivan Lalic.Of EurydiceNo one prevented me plunging my voice,Plated in violet silver, into your darkness,Your...

Please comment on some poetic techniques that are used in the poem "Of Eurydice" by Ivan Lalic.

Of Eurydice

No one prevented me plunging my voice,
Plated in violet silver, into your darkness,
Your thick darkness devoid of time;
But my voice melted on your sweaty palms, choked
On black feathers from the strata of dead birds,
And vapourised on the coals of wisdom in your eyes,
And now, gnawed to the bone by the walls' invisible sneers,
I return alone.

Lords of the back of duration, had love
Not suffused my crimson fear, as the
South wind is drenched with the smell of the sea,
I would not have knocked at the doors of forbidden return.
But you let me tell the sands of dead time, and
Spattered me with your knowing, silent laughter
When i believed my blood-heavy eyes.

I was alone, you see. And i walked
Your corridors, only to stay so.
But still i robbed your darkness of a little light
And touched your tranquil lips and limbs,
To understand the senseless meaning of my loss.
Eurydice, unravelled like a tree into its roots,
lasts on outside me, without a farewell wave.

And now, gnawed to the bone by the walls' invisible sneers,
I dig my nails into my dumbstruck, ashy palms,
To leave as i come, with dignity,
Not crying out, nor running for the doors of the sun,
Afraid and hideously enriched.

By Ivan Lalic

 

Asked on by wanderista

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accessteacher's profile pic

accessteacher | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

This is a poem that is clearly told from the point of view of Orpheus after he fails in his attempt to resurrect his love, Eurydice, and is unsuccessful in cheating death and restoring her to the world of the living. It is an allusion to the popular Greek myth of the famous musician, Orpheus, and his love for the nymph Eurydice. 

One poetic technique that is used in the second stanza which I believe to be of particular interest is the use of sibilance or the repetition of "s" sounds at the beginning of words to indicate the scorn of the "Lords of the back of duration" to whom Orpheus appeals for the life of his wife. Consider the following quote:

Lords of the back of duration, had love

Not suffused my crimson fear, as the

South wind is drenched with the smell of the sea...

We can see this echoed in the use of the strong verb "Spattered" that clearly indicates the scorn and nature of these "Lords." The use of the "s" sound builds up a picture of the might and power of these individuals and also the feelings that Orpheus now has of them as he contemplates what he lost, and also what he gained as he reflects he is now "hideously enriched" by his experience. 

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