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Poem Analysis: Pull The Next One Up By Marc Smith Essay

“Society does not consist of individuals but expresses the sum of interrelations , the relations within which these individuals stand” by Karl Marx. The poem “Pull the Next One Up” by Marc Smith expresses that same quote with the reader as a mountain climber reaching the top of a mountain roped together with countless others. Through many elemental forms he creates the sensation of an accomplishment shared with everyone else climbing the mountain.

Representing the mountain’s and rope as the big symbols in the piece Marc Smith understates the struggles of the world with our society. Incorporating all of these layers of the poem, the overall point being made is that our accomplishments will not flourish with our society when carried out in vain. What the poet has done to attain this representation was by first incorporating the reader into the poem.

From the very first line “When you get to the top of the mountain” (1) the poet places you into his world and continues to do so by letting you ask a question in the poem “When you ask how high is this mountain” (23). Letting things come naturally to you as if they were your own thoughts. In addition, two other things also come into a realization about yourself in the poem. One is imagery, “And see the rope that’s tied to your waist” (27), a symbol pronounced throughout the poem directly connected to you.

Another through a metaphor “You are the stone itself” (34) internalizing the mountain as a part of your personal goals. Eventually, after immersing yourself into the poem,the poet helps you shy away from all the vain thoughts one does with personal achievements. For a start, the line in the last paragraph “When you ask how high is this mountain” (23) it furthers goes into “Where you stand in relationship to other peaks” (25) the poet asks you to look down from the top to express that it doesn’t matter because it won’t help you get any higher.

Subsequently, the next two lines are right after each other, but express one meaning, “Never mind the flags you see flapping on conquered pinnacles” (32), “Don’t waste time scratching inscriptions into the monolith” (33) because of the line in the last paragraph as well “You are the stone itself” (34) it opens you up to see that marking your accomplishments won’t define you anymore than what you have done except to keep climbing.? Furthermore, the poem enforces that only focusing on your own glory will never get society to a higher standing in life.

Provided in this example with nice imagery going from the line “To hold all the hanging bodies” (47) to “Dangling in the deep recesses of the mountain’s belly” (48) painting a nice picture of how far someone us of need to go, but by hanging on to your ego some might not make it up. However, if you lead by example and you help the next person up, it will show, and everyone hanging down the mountain “Until they understand” (51), “That the only courage there is is” (52) which goes into helping the next person, our society will achieve so much more together.

Incidentally, the poet then rewards you with sensations when helping a climber up the mountain. After pulling up another climber the poem has the three of you look out towards other mountains “Feeling a temptation to claim victory” (21). Imagery used in this next line has a nice view of why you won’t fall short of yourself by helping others “Each embrace, each cloud that holds everyone” (39). It goes more into a society point of view by the end by first going into “All these are inscriptions of a human force that can” (41) stating that inscriptions are more about the overall outcome than a specific event.

Also “Sharing a place, Sharing a vision” (44) meaning if we can come together then there is “Room enough for all on all the mountain peaks” (45). With all this in mind, the poet drills into our heads, throughout the poem, about pulling up the rope tied to us all, underlying, at the very end, that we can only conquer more as a whole. At the very beginning when you reach the mountain you’re asked “Pull the next one up” (2), and from there, after satisfied with what you two achieved, the other climber lends his hand to “Pull the next hand over” (13), showing you a chain reaction to a good deed.

In the middle when you steer away from vanity, he enforces that with the rope being “Tied to the next man’s waist” (27) and “To first woman’s waist… and pull the rope! ” (31) making you think that is the only thing to truly do. Then by the end of it when all the hanging bodies are in the mountain’s belly and the poem is expressing the doubt of all the other climbers the poet repeats more “To pull the next man up” (54) and “Pull the next up” (56) ending with “Up” (57) and “Up” (58) representing as long as you help others with their struggles society can only go “up”.

Altogether, Marc Smith writes clear sensations from a mountain top establishing an immersing feeling for the reader to understand that, when depicting the poem, it is the same feeling people get when helping others through life’s challenges. From the very beginning to the very end, imagery, metaphors, and repetition implement what the poet was trying to get across to anyone who read his poem. Hoping the chain reaction you discovered, the poem would cause a chain reaction to you helping someone in life.

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