2 Biographical Information Katherine Philips was born on January 1, 1632 in London England. She attended Boarding School from 1640 to 1645, where she began to write verse within a circle of friends and to appreciate French romances and Cavalier plays. She wrote poems of love and companionship for the women in her circle known as “The Society of Friendship”. Katherine became known as one of the first women to acquire fame as a writer in England.
3 Building BackgroundEpitaph: a phrase commemorating the death of a loved one. They are usually found in obituaries or tomb stones. This poem is about the death of her six week old son.
4 OrganizationWhat on Earth deserves our trust?Youth and beauty both are dust.Long we gathering are with pain,What one moment calls again.Seven years childless marriage past,A son, a son is born at last:So exactly lim’d and fair,Full of good spirits, Meen, and air,As a long life promised,Yet, in less than six weeks dead.Too promising, too great a mind,In so small room to be confined:Therefore, as fit in Heaven to dwell,He quickly broke the prison shell.So the subtle Alchemist,Can’t with Hermes Seal resistThe powerful spirit’s subtler flight,But tw’ll bid him long goodnight.And so the sun if it arise,Half so glorious as his eyes,Like this infant takes a shrowd,Buried in a morning cloud.Epitaph is organized into only one stanza instead of multiple stanzas. She might have chosen to write the poem this way because an epitaph on a tombstone is not usually broken up into parts, and is more of a single phrase. There are twenty two lines in the poem overall. Epitaph is a ballad poem because it tells a specific story. However, the poem could also be a lyric because it expresses a lot of emotion.
5 End Rhyme- every line has a paired rhyme pattern. Literary ElementsMetaphor- She is comparing youth and beauty to dust. She might have done this to say that the child is the youthful and beautiful, but when he passes, he becomes nothing but dust.What on earth deserves our trust? A Youth and beauty both are dust. A Long we gathering are with pain, B What one moment calls again. B Seven years childless marriage past, C A son, a son is born at last: CEnd Rhyme- every line has a paired rhyme pattern.Repetition- This showed the speaker’s excitement and relief that she finally has a son after waiting for so long.
6 Literary ElementsMetaphor: Katherine Philips is comparing a prison shell to a grave. A grave is small and dark, and you are trapped inside of it, much like a prison.Therefore as fit in heaven to dwell He quickly broke the prison shell. So the subtle Alchemist, Can’t with Hermes seal resistImagery: This phrase could also be used as imagery because it described how the grave must’ve felt, and helps you imagine what she saw the grave as.
7 ImageryIn the line “he quickly broke the prison shell”, the image of a small dark room helps you imagine the feeling of being trapped that the speaker conveys.The line “and so the sun if it arise half so glorious as his eyes”, helps you imagine the sunrise that the speaker is comparing the infant’s eyes to. This also helps you imagine how beautiful the infant’s eyes must have been to compare them to the sunrise.
8 imageryThe line, “like this infant takes a shrowd, buried in a morning cloud.” is comparing the sun to the infant in the way that the sun is buried in a cloud, and the baby is buried in the ground, obstructed from view. The line helps you imagine the comparison between the two.
9 SpeakerThe speaker in the poem sounds like a grieving mother who misses her child. Her experiences with the death of her child creates a sorrowful and depressing mood, and this is reflected in the poem.
10 Literal meaningThe literal meaning of the poem is that a baby has just passed away and he goes to heaven.
11 Figurative meaningThe figurative meaning in this poem is that the baby represents the cycle of life and death, and how life is unfair when it comes to when your life is over.
12 Author’s purposeThe author’s purpose is to express her feeling of loss and grief towards losing her son. She expresses how unfair the world is to take her son away from her, and may even be angry at the world because of this.
13 ThemeThe theme of the poem is that nothing lasts forever, and you should appreciate every moment that is given to you.
14 Work sited http://www.usask.ca/english/phoenix/philipsbio.htm