The Tradition of New Year Resolutions
The tradition of making New Year Resolutions is not new. Ancient Babylonians were the first to set the example of New Year resolutions. At the beginning of their new year, they made some promises to their gods. These promises may be a prototype of the modern concept of New Year resolutions. In the times of Julius Caesar, people observed a similar practice. It is noteworthy that in any era the purpose of the New Year resolutions was to reform human conduct. This article, New Year Resolutions Poem Summary will tell you how Elizabeth Sewell continues this tradition.
Introduction to Poem New Year Resolutions by Elizabeth Sewell
New Year Resolutions, a poem by Elizabeth Sewell, tells us what the poetess resolves to do in the coming year. It is, perhaps, the shortest poem with a great message. This poem is part of the syllabi of many universities. The students look for such material that may help them understand the theme and message of the poem. This article, New Year Resolutions Poem Summary, will prove very handy in this perspective. Summary poem new year resolutions will assist students in comprehending the development of the thought of the poetess.
Elizabeth Sewell was a British-American critic, poet, novelist, and professor. She was born to British parents in India on March 9, 1919. She was a prolific writer with five books on criticism, four novels, three works of poetry, and many short stories to her credit. In 1949, she moved to America and became an American citizen in 1973. She also taught at several notable colleges and universities in America. In 1981, she won awards for her poetry, fiction, and nonfiction from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. Elizabeth Sewell died on January 12, 2001.
Summary of the Poem New Year Resolutions
New Year Resolutions by Elizabeth Sewell is a very short but very meaningful poem. In this poem, the poetess points out how people generally welcome the New Year. To them, it is a time of celebration. People do not like to think about their deeds in the past year. Actually, they lack courage and cannot face discrepancies in their character. But the poetess shows us another way to welcome the New Year. She recounts her past mistakes and resolves to improve her character on daily basis in the New Year.
The poetess resolves to remain silent for the most of time. She might have hurt others in her everyday discussion. Now, she wants to make amends for that by keeping quiet for most of the time. She believes that her silence will purify her soul. She will be able to think more about her behaviour. It will enable her to understand her responsibilities as a human being.
She also resolves to think twice daily about who she is. Obviously, the answer would be: a human being. If she does so, she will be able to realize her role as a human being. Consequently, she will check herself from doing anything inhuman. She will learn the true purpose of her creation, which is nothing but the service of humanity. Eventually, it will strengthen her character.
Reality, sometimes, is very bitter. Not all people have the courage to face it. Its painful pressure may shatter to pieces the mountains of tolerance and patience. But the poetess is ready to face reality however harsh it may be. She personifies Reality and resolves to sleep in its painful bony arms. She wants to have spiritual peace at the cost of physical pain.
Q1: What is the message of the poem, New Year Resolutions?
Q2: How should we welcome the New Year?
The poem, New Year Resolutions, carries a very important message for its readers. The message has two layers. Firstly, it invites us to reconsider the way we welcome the New Year. All over the world, there are scenes of celebration. People organize parties where there is a lot of drinking and dancing. They arrange fireworks to welcome the New Year. In many countries, it is celebrated officially, and they spend a huge amount of money on it in terms of lighting and ceremonies. In this process, people forget the people who might need all the resources that can be used to uplift the standard of living.
Secondly, in all this display of merriment, people do not care for the mistakes they have made in the last year. The poetess inspires people to be retrospective in this regard. They must learn from the mistakes of the past and improve their behaviour in the coming year. She resolves to be silent for the purification of her soul. She intends to think twice daily about the purpose of her creation as a human being. Moreover, she wants to face reality with all its pain and bitterness. In this way, the poetess believes she can become a better person.
I believe that we should also make some New Year resolutions following the model set by the poetess. If we do so, we will be able to improve ourselves. As a result of this, we will live in a society with far better humanitarian values.
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