The Cambridge Ladies

The Cambridge Ladies
In this essay I will discuss the imagery, diction, and tone of ?the Cambridge ladies who lived in furnished souls?, but first I will start by explaining my view of this poem. While discussing the imagery of this poem I will display my interpretation of the suggesting pictures of sight, and I will present what I interpreted and how I interpreted the imagery. Then I will discuss the writers choice of words, sentence structure, and how I interpreted the meanings of these dictions. Lastly I will dispute the attitude the writer takes towards the reader.
The first couple times I read this poem it seemed cluttered and in disarray to me. I found this poem to be a bit burdensome and frustrating because I had trouble interpreting it. After further review and reading this poem a few more times I began to realize there is more to this poem then what I originally perceived there to be. I found this poem to be cunning and very creative.

The first line I found to be creative was line 1 when the author writes, ?the Cambridge ladies who live in furnished souls?, I viewed this to be creative because of the diction he decided to use to portray the ladies image to the reader. The word ?Cambridge? gave me a good mental picture of what one of these ladies could possibly be like. When I read the word ?Cambridge? I instantly thought of old England when English ladies where very prestige and proper. This word made me think of higher class white ladies, who could have likely came from Affluent backgrounds, and are well educated. I also got the impression that these ladies could be snobbish and forceful ladies. When I read the part that read ?who live with furnished souls? I imagined a furnished house. I associated this word with a furnished house because it is a term you hear often with houses. The house would represent the ladies, and everything in the house would represent what is a part of the ladies soul. When I think of Cambridge ladies and think of what could furnish their souls I automatically think of riches, maybe education. I have this idea that the term furnished could mean that their souls where predetermined for them maybe because they where raised into a certain lifestyle, or maybe they could have been brought up in a certain religion and they are already set in their ways before they are old enough to think for themselves and choice their own ways and beliefs. When I started to interpret the second line that reads ?are unbeautiful and have comfortable minds? my next impression of these ladies was these ladies are probably older, or maybe unattractive to others. Another thought that came to mind when I was reflecting on this word ?unbeautiful? was that these ladies could be mean and have unattractive personalities, or they might just have unbeautiful attitudes toward others. I got the impression that maybe at some point and time these ladies where beautiful in their minds and in the minds of others. I got this impression because the term unbeautiful implies that it was undone or reversed, so in that sense they must have been beautiful at one point and time. When I started to interpret the second half of line two that reads ?and have comfortable minds? I immediately thought these ladies where content, and set in their ways. This can refer to their religious beliefs, or maybe their life styles. Being comfortable gives me the conception they don?t want to change or never have been challenged to change, and that is what makes them unbeautiful.

The next two lines proved to me to be just as insightful as the first two lines. There was many words that could be deeply analyzed, and that is exactly what I am going to do. First off, after reading these two lines I could not help but to think these Cambridge ladies where teachers, nuns, or some kind of Sunday school instructor.

I got this perception of them when I read ?also, with the church?s protestant blessing daughters,?? I was not sure if the daughters where students of the church, or maybe young members of the church who had the blessing of the protestant church.

There after I read ?unscented shapeless spirited.? I was not sure what way to take this at first the way it is written with no punctuation or the way I thought it would make sense, and that is with punctuation. I thought it should have been written unscented, shapeless, and spirited, but it was not written that way, so I thought this line made for great interpretation. After reviewing it a few times I came to the conclusion the author was referring to the Cambridge ladies and the daughters of the church when saying they are ?unscented shapeless spirited.? I think what the author meant by unscented was virtuous, pure, or chaste. Then when I read shapeless I could not convince myself one hundred percent that the author was talking about these ladies physical appearance, or if he was implying that their souls where shapeless. If he was talking about their physical appearance then I would say I got the impression of a nun again, someone who wears a long gown or dress with very little shape to it and is not to reveling. On the other hand if the author was implying these ladies have shapeless souls then I would say they are misguided or lost souls, but that does not go with what the author said in line one when he said ?who live in furnished souls.? I would have to go with my first view and say the author is talking about these ladies physical appearance.

?They believe in Christ and Longfellow, both dead, are invariably interested in so many things-? When I read this part of the poem it gave me a impression that the ladies the author is talking about confine their trust and beliefs in Christ and on the same confine their trust and beliefs in what Longfellow writes about. Maybe it goes back to the ways they raise their daughters by raising them to believe in Christ and admire what Longfellow has left behind in his writings. After reading the next two lines I began to loose focus on what the author was trying to get across to the reader. I was not sure how to interpret ?at the present writing one still finds delighted finger knitting for the is it Poles? Perhaps? I would have to say I think the author is referring to something Longfellow may have written. I am not familiar with any of Longfellow?s work so I am not to sure about this. Also it was confusing how there was no punctuation where it said ?for the is it Poles? perhaps.? I just could not help but to get frustrated trying to interpret these two lines.

After moving on to the next two lines I got the impression the author was talking about the Cambridge ladies when he wrote ?permanent faces.? I thought what was being implied here was that the Cambridge ladies are shy and keep to themselves, and like to gossip about other people and things such as the ?scandal of Mrs. N. and Professor D.? It is almost like they have nothing better to do than gossip and be snobbish. This impression of their attitudes also was apparent when the author wrote " ?the Cambridge ladies do not care," Both these lines made me think of my original impression of the Cambridge ladies which was snobbish and too good for anyone.

I could not help but to think these ladies probably thought they where ?above Cambridge?, meaning they thought they where better than everyone and everything in Cambridge, maybe they thought they where the cream of the crop. They lived in a town that was ?in its own box? and did not want anything to do with outsiders, or with people who did not meet their standards. This was a town that smelt of lavender, meaning it had a rich impression to it. Lastly, ?the moon rattles like a fragment of angry candy.? This could possibly mean it is a bitter sweet place. I mean it is a sweet place as far as physically being a nice place, but if you live there you will be under great scrutiny from these Cambridge ladies.

In conclusion I thought this was a very difficult poem to interpret, but it did make for an interesting assignment.

The Cambridge Ladies 8.9 of 10 on the basis of 2465 Review.