The Scarlet Letter

Write a critical appreciation of WALLACE STEVEN'S poem SUNDAY MoRNING


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In the first stanza, a complacent woman lounges in her dressing gown late into a Sunday morning, eating a leisurely breakfast and enjoying the vivid, vibrant beauty of the natural world around her. She takes great pleasure in her coffee and oranges, her mood reflected by the “sunny” chair and the cockatoo that has been released onto the rug. She is spending a morning at home instead of going to church. The reference to the “holy hush of ancient sacrifice” suggests that the day is Easter Sunday. Initially, the pull of the natural world dissipates the traditional power this day has over the woman, as she has chosen not to take part in Christian rituals. However, as she dreams, the pleasure she experiences this morning is soon extinguished by “the dark encroachment of that old catastrophe,” a reference to the crucifixion of Christ. She recognizes that the secular beauty she appreciates is not eternal, and so the colorful oranges and parrot, earlier appearing so full of life, now “seem things in some procession of the dead.”

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