Song of the Powers: Poetry Response

December 8, 2017 General Studies

Song of the Powers: Poetry Response The game “Rock, Paper, Scissors” is quite well-known and is often used for making decisions or breaking ties. David Mason uses a metaphor of stone, paper, and scissors to tie into the theme of loneliness and the ironies of unity in the poem Song of the Powers. In the game “Rock, Paper, Scissors”, rock always beats scissors. In the poem, the stone brags of its ability to have power over time and boasts of its strength and power over human wishes.

The first word of the poem is “Mine”, noting that the audience has entered the argument between stone, paper, and scissors in the middle. The power that the stone is claiming a victory over is not universal power, but the power over time. Claiming power over such a great thing like time reveals the minuteness of the stone itself, making the loneliness of the stone evident. Another widely known rule of the popular game is that paper beats rock. In Song of the Powers, paper claims to reign over words which can “smother the stone”.

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The power that the paper claims to have is a subjective power, unlike the objective stance that the stone takes on its powers. The thin paper possesses the ability to take over the mind and suffocate the heavy stone that has the power to make time surrender to it. The stone versus paper conflict shows the loneliness and the refusal to unite between the two forces. The last rule of the game is that scissors beat rock. In Mason’s poem, the scissors argue that they have power over ruining vain people’s wishes.

The scissors have the power to wound others and change many lives into negative ones. The scissors are compared to a knife to show a metaphor between the literal scissors that are used to cut through paper, and weapons like knives that are used to wound. In the last stanza of the poem, the fall of the 3 personified weapons becomes apparent when they destroy each other. The loneliness of all of the weapons is brought together into unity between the stone, paper, and scissors, and shows that man eventually must get rid of his vain desires and ishes in order not to die alone. Although each three devices have their own power, together they weaken each other and end up becoming neutral forces. The metaphors for stone, paper, and scissors contribute to the theme of loneliness and unity that contradict each other, making clear man’s struggle to get rid of petty desires. The poem Song of Powers by David Mason uses its metaphors and personifications of stone, paper, and scissors in order to prove man’s struggle in order to compromise trivial desires that eventually lead to the fall of man.


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