Here’s some sort of analysis on Alfred Yuson’s Dream of Knives
Dream of Knives by Alfred Yuson is a poetry that is presented all the way through the English language. It is composed of 15 lines whereas each of the three stanzas contains five lines. Neither a rhythmic pattern nor a metric pattern is followed as it has been observed. The poem seems intelligible at first glance; because for the second time around, readers-turned-critics will definitely be amazed with how the nuances are yet to be unraveled. It is not difficult to comprehend because the words used are not archaic, not highly formal, and not too syntactically disarranged- just enough to understand how the diction is delivered with the utmost passion that targets the sensibility of its readers.
This is actually fascinating- to skim through the texts, to read them with fervor, to try putting the context into an actualization alleviated by such vivid imagination, and to finally gaze at the meanings formed by a critic’s mind that tells something more than just what the texts simply intended to express during the primary encounter. Sooner, it will be revealed that the underlying ideas are much deeper that makes the process of analysis worth looking forward for.
With the usage of denotative understanding, the poem can be told like this: The persona had a dream last night that was about a knife. He bought it as a gift for his son. The design of the knife was rare that the cost was cheaper than what it should be. Some features of the knife were also described to emphasize how the child would be so ecstatic upon seeing his present. It would surely bring pleasure to the child that could please the father at the same time. The persona suddenly awakened. He found out that there would not actually be a return, not a journey, and not a gift to give. He was then wondering how he could find that knife and the happiness that he had dreamt of. It hurt him so much.
Is that what the poem means? Does it end there? Of course not. That is only a pre-requisite into discovering a wider horizon ahead. Upon looking at the implications, more prospects can be explored. One way to achieve the state of fulfilling to learn the unknown is by using the connotative interpretation. Here it goes.
The lines portray that there is a character (the persona) recounting some sentimental junctures. Lines 1 to 11 have noticeably used the past tense of the verb while lines 12 to 15, although in the form of interrogative sentences, have used the present tense of the verb. It shows the sudden transition of what had occurred to the persona into what has been happening until the moment that the statements are uttered. Last night I dreamt of a knife suggests that the persona had a dream about a knife which is supposed to be a symbolical figure that has something to do with the story being narrated. I had bought for my son somehow gives a hint to the masculinity being described. So, the persona is assumed to be a male character. A female can have a son but not to an extent that a knife, she would think, be an ideal gift for her child. Of rare design, it went cheaply for its worth pertains to the significant value of a knife having such rare design that the people who can possess it are fortunate because it is being sold in an amount lesser than its expected price. –short dagger with fancily rounded pommel, and a wooden sheath which miraculously revealed other miniature blades describes the features of the knife that suit the interest of men when it comes to things they ought to own. Oh how pleased he would be upon my return from this journey, I thought. What rapture will surely adorn his ten-year princeling’s face when he draws the gift the first time. What quivering pressure will most certainly be unleashed. The sixth line until the tenth line expresses one’s paternal love for his son. The persona thinks that his son will be cheered up for the gift that he will give. He will have this attainment of a joyful feeling just as when he will see how his child will be happy. When I woke up, there was no return, no journey, no gift, and no son beside me signifies a sorrowful heave of the truth thrusting right to his very existence that everything that had almost bring him a promising life will stay only within his dreams. He has nowhere to come back for, no gift to offer, and the most striking truth of all, no son to cherish. His longings are fantasized. At the moment, he asks Where do I search for this knife then, and when do I begin to draw happiness from reality, and why do I bleed so from such sharp points of dreams? Being a father is what he hopes for. The reality is too painful for him to handle that he dreams of reaching that state of fulfillment wherein he makes his child happy when in fact, he doesn’t even have a son.
Just like a knife that is quite a figurative entity, the real world pierces the persona’s being as he realizes that everything he had just aspired from that dream is unreal. He seems to be deferred by his own anticipation of whatever it is that he truly waits for. He seems to be deprived of the right to rear a lot of goals because what had ultimately led him to such dreams does not even exist in the situation he is in right now. Pleasures may resemble the priceless things on Earth but that does not mean having to acquire any of them just because he wants. No matter how much he prefers to grant some delight to others, a guaranteed delight to his ego is not automatic. He cannot escape the condition that he is immensely hurt… by those knives he had dreamt of. He is eventually hurt… by the fact that it is only until dreams that he can satisfy himself to expect for things that will finally make him pleased and gratified.
This poem depicts a whimsical dimension for imaginative visionaries along with a comprehensive dimension for substantive analysis. There are a lot of possibilities that wide array of perspectives can look through and define into a more colorful yet probable interpretation.