Text: The Dove
Task: Writing and Textual Analysis
Cultural: Poetry Against the World
Intertextual: Picasso's Pictures
Linguistic: Improving Writing Skills
The title doesn't create a specifical idea in the reader; the dove is a bird generally associated with peace and with the colour white, which reminds purity and innocence. Looking at the layout you can say the poet has tried to portray a dove playing with the length of the lines.
The poem speaks about an old picture by Picasso, with a dove; the dove recalls dreams that are as fragile as pottery; then there is a contrast between the colour white of the dove and the colour brown of the clay; the clay has the same colour of the earth after a battle.
The poet uses free verse; there is no recurrent pattern and no recurrent rhyme scheme.
There are more vowel than consonant sounds; this gives the reader an idea of vastity; into the last four lines there is the repetition of the sound "ou" , that creates an echo effect. The more frequent consonant sound is "d": it sounds likes something that makes you stop.
There is a contrast between two semantic fields: the first one inspires in the reader an idea of white (the words are dove, idea and fragile); the second one gives the reader an idea of brown (clay, earth, battleground, brown and pottery). The contrast between the two colours reminds the contrast between peace and war.
The word "old" appears twice, the word "as" three times and the poem begins with "here is" : these words create a connection between past and present.
The poem starts with three dots, so the reader feels suspended as if he were asking time to breath. Three dots are also at the end of the poem, so the text looks somehow incomplete.
There are two similes: the first one compares dreams with fragility and a white dove and reminds innocence and purity; in the second simile Hughes compares clay with earth after a battle so the reader feels words like something dark.
The poem deals with peace and war and makes a imaginary travel between past and present, life and death.