What image from "The Glory" does Edward Thomas use in "Beauty" to express the resolution of the problem in the latter poem and his release from suffering?

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samcestmoi eNotes educator| Certified Educator

“The Glory” is an exultant and blissful poem in which the poet writes of the glory of the morning; the narrator speaks of “the dove/That tempts me on to something sweeter than love.”  The poem is heavy with imagery, and speaks of Beauty, so easy to perceive in the early hours of the day and yet it wanes as the day wears on.

“Beauty” is more focused on the feelings of the speaker rather than his surroundings. This poem has an overall very different tone from the former, going from despair to relief and hope.  At first the speaker is “tired, angry, and ill at ease,” and feels alone and unloved in the world.  But after spending awhile in this depressed, quiet contemplation, his heart “Floats through a window even now to a tree…like a dove that slants unanswering to its home and love.” 

Here we have a very similar image to that which we find in “The Glory” – a dove, free in nature and recalling in its very essence a feeling of love, or indeed something greater.  In “Beauty,” the speaker’s heart flies free, as a dove, and thus the image first evoked in “The Glory” is the product of the active discarding of the speaker’s bad mood in the second poem.  In the final line of “Beauty,” the speaker notes that “Beauty is there.”  This thing that exists within him and that prevents him from falling utterly into despair is beauty, pure and abstract.  We could identify this beauty with that thing that is “sweeter than love,” also evoked by the image of a dove, in the first poem.  So while “The Glory” spoke of the natural beauty of the morning, what went undefined inside the speaker in “The Glory” is finally given a name in “Beauty.”  And, as it turns out, they are one and the same.

dohertyemma443 | Student

Very helpful and informative