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ERegeni - The Dove
[author: Elisa Regeni - postdate: 2007-10-29]

Text: The Dove
Task:Writing a textual analysis

Cultural: poetry against war
Intertextual: Picasso's picture
Linguistic: improving writing skills



The dove by Langston Hughes



... and here is

old Picasso and the dove

old dreams as fragile

as pottery with dove

in white on clay

dark brown as

earth is brown

from our old



The Title


If I read the title, before reading the poem, I expect the text may tell me about the symbol of the dove: peace.


Denotative analysis

In this poem there are two opposite figures, the white dove and the battleground. The white dove is the symbol of peace,  innocence and purity, because in the end of the Flood, Noè freed a white dove to know if there where still lands to live. After a few days, the dove came back with a branch of olive tree: peace came back! So the dove is the symbol of the Holy Spirit who takes his message of reconciliation to men.

The poet says that dreams are fragile as pottery, because dreams aren't often achieved and they can be broken, because  people sometimes give in at the very first obstacle.

The battleground is the symbol of the bad part of the word. The poet says that the earth is brown due to the war unlike the dove that is white like innocence.


Connotative analysis

The poem is made of nine lines. There are onger pauses in the end of the first and the second lines. In the poem "brown" rhymes with "battleground". There are some words that have  longer vowel sound than another like "Picasso", "dove", "fragile", "brown", "battleground". There are groups of semantic words that have a specific subject. "Dove", "dreams", "fragile", "white", remember the peace and "pottery", "clay", brown", "earth", "battleground" remember the war.

In the poem there are some figures of speech. Sound figures of speech: consonance, the consonant "d" is repeated in "dove" and "dreams". Semantic figures of speech: simile, "dreams as fragile as pottery". Syntax shows the repetition of the conjunction "and". There are two refrains of the words "as" and "brown".