Essay-2-Poetry Explication

English 1121 (Prof. Scanlan)

4/ 19, 2020


Explication of “Meditation on a Brooklyn Bench”


I am a worry type person, a person who worries about everything, pass,now,and future. I think at any moment that my mind is empty,think about what  I did, and what I going to do,this maybe is a kind of meditation. In the poem “Meditation on a Brooklyn Bench,” wrote by Abraham Benjamin, a lonely man looking for a quiet place and start thinking. This poem show audiences a scene of a speaker promenade on a waterfront in Brooklyn at nightfall and sat on bench,looking at the river,boats come and gone,speaker start reminiscent his years in New York,then the tide is coming.  “River”  appear many times in the poem,it is not just a river,it mean an idea,a symbol . In the poem “Covered over by the water of the East River” and “the tide coming in now,full force,danger,looking for me,”these 2 lines are the best line to explain the idea of river. Symbolism,personification,and connotation are the tools used by the author to deliver his idea.

In the first line “Cover over by the waters of East River.”  The things covered by water of East river is the memory of speaker about his wife,son,and years works in New York. The denote of the word “water”is a physical matter and memory only exit in our brain, in other word,water can not really cover memory of a man. Water is an idea it  symbolize everyone who live in New York City,the society of New York City. The thousand of people created a society,just like a thousand drops of water combine together become a stream,then streams become a river. The speaker is one of the “waters drop” in this river called New York City. In this huge river,everyone is a “water drop”,they have their own story,family,life,  but no one really know all the story of all the “water drop”. Only the “water drop” in the surface will be  see,such as a person with power,rich or in the upper class of the society. The story of “water drop” under water surface will not be heard and told,they are just nobody. Like other “water drops”, story and memory of the speak only know by himself and bury deep in the class society,  the reason for the speaker’s memory cover by water showed, he is a middle age man from low class in the New York City society,  work for a decade  but still in the same class of society.

Then the next line “tide coming in now,full force,danger,looking for me,” “tide” and  “looking” is the keyword to unfold meaning of the sentence. “Tide” is a natural phenomena that happen in sea or river,the sea level change due to the gravity of  Earth. In the poem “water” is a symbol of  New York City Society,the change or phenomenon happen in  “water” foreshadow something change in the society environment. In other word “tide” connote the change happen in the surrounding of speaker,it can be the change or physical environment or society environment. Only creature can look for something, it is one of human action, author used  personification , give “tide”a human property by the action “looking”. When you’re a looking for something,you’re target something, and the speaker will be the target of this “tide”. The word “danger” and “full force ” is the show the “tide” can be a disaster or something worse happen and coming fast,a threat is coming.

When we combine the first line and second line we can picture:a middle age man from the lower class of New York City society  feeling the change of the society or the environment  surround him,maybe he lost his job,lost his meaning of life,but he has to change to avoid the result of disaster. Every crisis is an opportunity,it depend would you like to change yourself.