Comparing “Dolor” and “A Hardware Store as Proof of the Existence of God” Happiness in life is seen through the little things we do and the small stuffs we usually took for granted like the little flower blossoming at the edge of a busy road, the pancake that our mother have lovingly cooked, and the sparingly blue sky in the morning. It is like a fire that keeps on burning with passion. Sadness, on the other hand, is the exact opposite. It is the feeling of desolation, of tragedy, and antagonism of life, quite like the stinging sensation we feel when holding a pure crystalline ice.
This is how we could describe the stiff contrast of the poems “A Hardware Store as Proof of the Existence of God” and “Dolor. ” They are two distinct poetical pieces, outstanding in their own accord, which shows a stark difference. Nancy Willard’s “A Hardware Store as Proof of the Existence of God,” took praise upon the thought that while many people doubt the existence of a God, a small hardware store could be the simple answer to such a difficult query. It has a light and jovial mood that sets that audience’s atmosphere into one that reflects simple pleasures.
Even at the start of the poem, with its line “I praise the brightness of hammers pointing east…” it emphasizes on how little things could mean happiness and contentment. Theodore Roethke’s “Dolor,” on the other hand, signifies a state of loss and misery. Reading the poem, we will have this feeling of anxiety and loneliness that is trying to shroud us. The poem, in general, tackles the monotony of life and how as one copes with a routine schedule, he begins to be trapped, or rather, caged in a place where every bit of life is banished.
“Dolor” made use of the free verse form. It is apparent by its free forming lines, not confined by rhythmical patterns or carefully numbered syllabication. Playing around the numbers between 10 and 16, the syllables of every line varied, indeed showing its concept idea with much liberty. This is quite in contrast to “A Hardware Store as Proof of the Existence of God” which, though not that perceptible, follows a somewhat more outlined form. Observing the first stanza, we would visibly notice the smooth pattern of 11-10-11-10-10.
This is disturbed, however, by the following stanza, going out of the way with its 13-12-11-9-10 syllable count. The second stanza may have seemed to rule out of the poem, but the succeeding stanza retained a form near to its first, having syllable counts of 11-8-11-9-12-11, including the last line. These difference in poetic style used have given a wider gap between the two poems. Both are trying to convey a deep feeling within them yet they strike in very opposing manners.
The angst that “Dolor” communicates vastly differs from the glee that “A Hardware Store as Proof of Existence of God” share. Reading between the lines, we would be able to comprehend better the more intimate idea that the two poems try to share. “Dolor,” written by Theodore Roethke, is gloomy and describes a setting depicted to be a workplace or an institution that demands a custom schedule; thus forging an empty and tedious life. However, if we would analyze deeper, we would understand that Roethke is trying to impart the life he had spent in Halcyon Sanitarium after he had a mental breakdown.
On the other, Nancy Willard, a writer whose fondness for children have affected her writing, wrote with a simplistic approach; with plain words that aims straight for the heart. By doing so, she have shared directly that God, through a hardware store, have given us the delight of knowing that every bit of sadness and missing things in our life could be repaired and patched, and that there would always be a good future ahead of us. By and large, Willard’s “Hardware Store as Proof of the Existence of God” and Roethke’s “Dolor” are two poems of vast contrast.
Every little detail each poem shows further support how much they differ. But even though the two are stiffly contrasting, both have shown great passion and emotion from their respective writers. Works Cited Willard, N. (1989). Water Walker. NewYork: Knopf Windle, R. (1994). The Poetry of Business Life: An Anthology. United States: Berrett Koehler Robson, W. W. (1984). The Definition of Literature and Other Essays: And Other Essays. New York: Cambridge University Press