Critical Analysis of A Bright Morning:
A bright morning by Teddy Temple is a poem that exudes a sense of peace and harmony. These qualities result in qualifying it as a pastoral poem. The sanguine and endearing terms used in this poem give the reader a sense of calm. The poem basically describes the dawning of the morning and the effect it has on various aspects of nature, like birds, trees, breeze and finally, human thoughts.
The poet’s intentions can be interpreted through this poem as to trying to spread the message of optimism. In the first stanza “dark night” has been used as a metaphor for a dark and murky past or one’s regrets in life. Temple tries to say that now the mistakes and the regrets of the past are long gone and a new day has arrived. The singing of birds, the ringing of church bells and swaying of trees in the gentle breeze have been applied here as an omen to give the readers an image of the positivity of the day. Every morning when we wake up, we have thoughts and actions planned and endeavour to make our day count by accomplishing something substantial. It is customary human psyche to map out future movements in a manner as to not encounter disappointment or loss.
In the third stanza, the lifting of human spirits has been chrema-morphised as the rising sun as the sun symbolises hope, a new beginning, optimism, warmth and positivity. Hence, the “Rising of the sun” fills our heart with joy and ecstasy. With the passing of the night, the dirt of yesterday, i.e. the negative elements of the past have been forgotten and washed away and thus, they do not cloud the present anymore. When the day dawns, and the rays of the sun filter in, breaking through the clouds in golden strands to light everything up, such an incredibly beautiful sight is bound to Genesis hope in man. At this point, the poet directly addresses the reader and tells him to wake his soul up and become rejuvenated. Hope revives the mind and enables a man to make a refreshingly new beginning. Here waking up and regaining consciousness has been used as a metaphor for gaining an introspective perspective and getting to know and believing in oneself. Thus, the poet urges man to wake up the dormant soul of his and embrace a whole new inception.
Stanza wise annotations of A Bright Morning:
Bright light- Morning
Ushered- Marked the start of; new beginning
Golden bells- church bells
Dance to the tune of morning breeze- sway in the gentle wind in the morning
Swaying of the trees- Trees gently move due to the gusts of wind
Wash out yesterdays’ dirt- the day before is gone, hence the bad happenings that have occurred have now been cleansed.
Glitters of hope- the day has just begun, so there is ample opportunity to make it worthy, do something commendable
Let the souls wake- regain consciousness, become aware and active, gain introspective perspective
Poetic devices in A Bright Morning:
In the poem, a bright morning, “dark night” has been used as a metaphor for the negativity and darkness in one’s life. “Yesterdays’ dirt” is a metaphor for mistakes and regrets of the past. Both these metaphors have been used as devices for the poet to tell the reader to let go of the sadness and melancholy in one’s life. In the first stanza, “bright light” has been used as a synonym for optimism and hope. Also, “wake” used in the last stanza is a synonym for rejuvenation and a new beginning.
“Morning is ushered in…” in the first stanza can be termed as an example of personification as, by welcoming in morning to make a new start, it is being given a human characteristic, since inanimate objects cannot be ushered in.
“Leaves dance to the tune…” is a personification of leaves by characterising them as dancing, which is a human trait.
In the poem, the poet has drawn a parallel between making a new beginning in life and the dawning of the morning. Though this isn’t very obvious in the first and the second stanzas, the last line of the third stanza talks about waking of the soul and gives a hint as to the poem’s internal meaning. Bidding goodbye to the darkness of the night and embrace the freshness of the morning has been paralleled with getting over mistakes and regrets of the past and rejuvenating the soul.
A bright morning, a poem of three stanzas is a quatrain as each stanza is made up of four lines. The rhyme scheme that has been followed throughout the poem is ABAB, which is called alternate rhyme or cross rhyme. This is the external rhyme as this scheme occurs at the end of each line. There is also an internal rhyme scheme present, i.e. rhyming within a line. Bright and light in the first stanza, Leaves and breeze, try and away in the second stanza are examples of internal rhyming in the poem.
Teddy Temple has based his entire poetry on vivid images of an early morning. The first stanza produces an image of birds tweeting and chirping to symbolise the breaking of dawn and church bells ringing in the backdrop, adding a spiritual touch to the beautiful morning. The second stanza shifts the setting to a gently blowing breeze moving leaves and swaying trees in a pleasant and graceful manner. In the third stanza, we come across the rising sun lighting up the atmosphere with its bright rays and adding a sort of magical sparkle to everything. Overall, the image produced in the reader’s mind is one of a bright morning, in accordance with the title of the poem.
The Theme of A Bright Morning:
Basically, a pastoral poem, A Bright Morning by Teddy Temple has nature as its explicit theme. The poet describes an early morning scene and the feelings that accompany it. The dominant theme is of rejuvenation and making a new beginning. Using the transition of night to day as a metaphor, Temple’s poem is about how one should let go of his past regrets, mistakes and get over them, like the passing night, and embrace hope, positivity and optimism to make a new beginning, like the dawn of a new day.
Hope and optimism are prominent themes too. This is symbolised by the poet mentioning the beginning of a new day which the reader will try not wasting. The washing away of the past’s dirt and the mention of glitters of hope at daybreak are evidence to this.
The Tone of A Bright Morning:
The poet uses a pleasant and soothing tone to describe the ushering in of a beautiful new day. The rhyme scheme of the poem gives it a rhythmic tune. The choice of words used by Temple fills the reader with positivity, optimism, joy and hope. A Bright Morning is a feel good lyrical poem.
Central Idea of A Bright Morning:
The pivotal concept of the poet here is to urge men to move over their regretful past that is full of mistakes and sadness and make a fresh start in life. The poet tells the reader to let go of all the negativity accumulated in the dark phase of their lives and embrace a new today that is bursting with opportunity and positivity. This, the poet tries to accomplish by using the dawn of a new day as a metaphor and expressing the ecstasy of rejuvenation through the joyful phenomenon that occurs in nature in the morning. Temple tells the reader to awaken his soul that has been lying dormant and revel in the happiness around him and absorb it all to effectuate good and successful deeds.
A Bright Morning by Teddy Temple is a poem that is brimming with positivity and optimism. Following Temple’s usual style of writing inspirational nature poems, in A Bright Morning, Temple uses vivid imagery of a morning scene to rejuvenate the reader and urge him to make a new start, discarding all feelings of depreciation and antagonism. The use of a bright morning as a metaphor is a clever tactic as this will help the reader relate to the theme more effortlessly, without having to use a lot of imagination.
The use of simple, yet effective language by Temple holds an appeal to the reader as this enables the reader to connect to the poem and understand it better. Also, the rhyme scheme adds to the lyrical simplicity of the poem. Despite being a quatrain of only three stanzas, the poet manages to send across his desired message through A Bright Morning.