Poetic Analysis - Even the Power Lines

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The poem “even the power lines” is written by Robert Martens. Robert Martens was raised as a Mennonite in Yarrow, BC and attended SFU (Mennonite Poetry, 2011). The poem is a free verse made up of 28 lines and has no rhyme scheme. It is interesting the way Martens continues sentences into the next line of the poem and ends them in any spot that he feels and continues from that point rather than starting on a new line, also known as enjambed lines. The only sense of argument in the poem seems to be the idea that there’s always something to be thankful for within the problems and issues that arise. I think this also is the meaning of the poem, throughout the poem it keeps bringing up the point of a hidden blessing or bright side to everything that occurs. This starts right in the beginning of the poem, in lines 1-4 Martens writes “the morning was grey but the music/of the heart refused to quit, sentimental/and simple, even the power lines cutting the fields/were beautiful.” The image that came to my head here was a typical morning in the valley, rainy and gloomy. For most this isn’t something to be appreciated or seen as a thing of beauty, but Martens provides and argument, in a sense, that stepping back and viewing this it is a beautiful sight. There is imagery of the Fraser Valley in these lines as well because of the power lines cutting the fields, when one drives through farm lands this is a very common site. At the end of line 4 and beginning of line 5 there is a good comparison made by Martens, “I felt blessed,/like a drowsy child”, when a child is falling asleep or is drowsy there isn’t a care in the world, he/she is quiet and just wants to lay down, in a sense it is a moment of peace. In lines 5-10 the poet is at breakfast with someone else and he refers to this person as “another blessed one”. Lines 8-10 describe the person as a “face half remembered” and

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