In the poem “Deor”, the author examines specific examples of numerous people’s experiences as they pass through one stage of their life onto another. These times were filled with “sorrow”, “grief”, and “cruelty” which are all negative emotions that are trying and painful for a person to deal with. All of the stanzas leading up to the final stanza delve into examples of painful times relevant to when the poem was written.

    The turning point of the poem appears in the last stanza where the modern reader can relate more to the contents of the poem. This stanza discusses the basis of human suffering. It is the nature of human beings to become absorbed in the environment and situation presented to them in any particular instance. For example, the initial thought of a man whose wallet was stolen would most likely concern his misfortune in the fact that his wallet was taken from him including materialistic valuable items. He naturally would not think of those less fortunate than he who live in poverty and do not own a wallet to be stolen nor would he think about the people starving with no money to purchase food.

     Many times, human beings become too involved in their own suffering and pity themselves to the extent that they do not decompress and reevaluate the situation to see how fortunate they truly are. Though in the moment, sorrow and sadness and pain may envelope a person, this rush of emotions should not detract from the greater lesson to be learned; things, no matter how good or bad they seem, may never last.

    When faced with difficult situations, instead of drowning in one’s own misery, people should reflect on another time they were in pain or  tragedy hit them and they thought they could no longer go on or reach happiness again. Then they can remember that they moved on from that stage of their life and this current hurdle may also be leaped over. With one foot in the past and one in the future, no hardship may ever seem unbearable.


One thought on “Swivel

  1. Above you write: “The turning point of the poem appears in the last stanza where the modern reader can relate more to the contents of the poem.” Where exactly is this turning point? Do you think a medieval audience would also see it as an important shift in the poem?

    Also, I wondered where in the poem you saw figures straddling past and future. Is this a problem for the people mentioned in the opening stanzas?


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