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Short Stories And Poems An Artistic Expression

3681 words - 15 pages

Short Stories and Poems an Artistic Expression
by David Hickox
Ashford University

Short Stories and Poems an Artistic Expression
While some believe that poetry and short stories are simply a way to quickly express a thought without any real depth or meaning, it does not take long to disprove this way of thinking. Poetry can be expressed in a simple and straight forward form and still have great depth and meaning. Poetry can also be presented in very specific forms such as a sonnet which is very structured. The specifications as to format vary depending on if it is an Italian sonnet or an English sonnet. (Clugston, 2010) Another style of poetry with a very specific structure is known as ...view middle of the document...

As part of the discussion on this poem and short story, the theme of death and impermanence is very significant. Did the author’s set out to create a poem and a short story that fit into this theme, or did they write these literary works and then discover that they just happen to have a theme representing death and impermanence? This is certainly a question that only each author could answer for themselves. Viewing these literary works from the standpoint of the theme, death and impermanence, being the initiator of the poem and short story, there needs to be an understanding of the thoughts and perceptions of death and impermanence.
People have an inherent need or desire to understand death and the impermanence of life. People deal with the thought of death and what happens next, if anything, in many different ways. Religion is one example. The basis of most religions is an attempt to explain the cycle of earthly life, earthly death, and what happens next. In essence how impermanent our existence is or is not. This takes us into the realm of religious theology, which comes in a great number of forms. Another way to look at impermanence is that what we have on earth, worldly things, are impermanent and insignificant in comparison to the bigger picture. If one believes that our time on earth is merely a temporary existence in the scheme of things than the impermanence of an earthly life and our inevitable death on earth is really of no great consequence. In addition to guiding us in these questions of our existence, religions also teach us how to live a moral life that gives us a feeling of worth and meaning. Religions or spiritual traditions look into death and attempt to formulate theories about what occurs after death, while also endeavoring to teach ethical principles. This could be to get us ready for a next life, to aid us in being better people here on earth, or to prepare us for heaven (Nichtern, 2010). The death and impermanence view of having a next life could be why Jean Rhys in “Used to Live Here Once” portrayed the women that approached the children and called out to them as a spirit or ghost. (Clugston, 2010) There are also those that do not believe in any type of existence after death on earth. This makes for a truly an impermanent existence. In “Dog’s Death” by John Updike there is no direction given as to what the family thought may happen to the dog now that it is dead. One could assume that the family believes that death is the final phase in the cycle of life, or they may believe that the dog goes on to live a next life. What we do know is that the dog has reached the impermanence of life as they know it for him on earth.
In order to look into this further, a comparative review and an examination of some of the elements used in the poem, “Dog’s Death” by John Updike and the short story, “Used to Live Here Once” by Jean Rhys (Clugston, 2010) are in order. An initial comparison is the format being used. Since one is a...

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