Analysis of Picture Postcard and Eclipsed


Full Analysis of Picture Postcards and Eclipsed Picture Postcards are written s of Steven Polgar in poetic form of his observations during his banishment as a prisoner and forced laborer to Hungary and Yugoslavia. The poem is composed of four stanzas composed on different occasions as suggested by the setting written after each stanza. The author avoided the use of common poets where rhyme is an essential factor to consider the making of a well written poem. He also did not observe the use of equal number of lines for each stanza which is most common to contemporary writers. The poem is in the narrative form which engages deep emotions expressed very simply but has the effect that grips the reader’s imagination. It gives details of the atrocities of war, of being a prisoner and a forced laborer, shown no respect the life of a human being. The use of images is very abundant in the poem as the author’s way of putting his thoughts into words. In the images, the poet used figures of speech to paint the mental picture captured in his observances. ‘The huge wild pulse of artillery’ is an example of this figurative language used in the poem, referring to the firing of guns which is resounding around the mountains, scattering men and animals alike, frightening the prisoners of the thought of their companions being killed. Beats, hesitates, falls, whinnies, rears up, gallops, are only a few of the words the author used to bring life to his poem. Beats, hesitates and falls are words in the first stanza that were used to let the reader ‘hear’ the firing of guns which is likened to a human pulse beating wildly, echoing in the mountains, slows down as the prisoners fall one by one and then stops. Such vivid pictures and strong emotions are drawn from the first lines of each stanza of Picture Postcards, and then mellow to the thoughts of the author. Similarly, Eclipsed portrays the poem in a narrative form however, unlike Picture Postcards, the former largely made use of narration just like in any typical story. The narration is done in a sequential way that the reader is able to easily follow the events of the story. The last stanza brings in the conflict in the poem when the young man reacts to the comment of his father about the eclipse. The child, imagining his self being a man and his dad dead. makes a twist in the picture being portrayed in the poem which also becomes the connecting part to the end of the poem. The closure of the poem used the so-called gutter in the form of the space mentioned between what was really happening and the imagination of the character in the story. The simple statement of ‘He wanted the sun.’ is how the poem ended which leaves the reader the chance to decide the end of the story. It was not explicitly mentioned in the poem that the child did not like what he imagined about his father being dead but the last sentence implies such an idea. Whatever the truth behind that statement was not explained but has been deliberately left as it is for the reader to come up with his conclusions. Eclipsed did not use rhymes and lines as well and actually appears to be more of a short story than a poem, which makes it unique in form from traditional poems. Time, here is pictured in a single setting unlike that of Picture Postcards, moving out from it in the imagination of the child and not in the real sense of the time. The development of the story is gradually exposed as the time element slowly unfolds through the events in the story.