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Updated: Dec 8, 2020

‘A citizen not merely of the world, but of the earth’ - Eric Ormsby


Adolescence poem was written by P. K. Page and was published in 1954. This poem is regarded as a prominent piece of Canadian literature which owns common theme of finding self-identity through love. Adolescence is a transition period to adulthood which filled by intense feeling towards new changes. This period of life is happiest and the most critical part of lives, because it determines the future of the adolescent. There are a lot of emotional and mental changes during this period that might lead to either good or bad effects in five areas : the search for dignity, the desire for love and to be loved, a time of enjoyment, a sense of achievement and a period of depression. Love is a special feeling between men and women which can make one happy, fantasize, dream, sorrow, and self-realization. This poem describes the beginning stage of love, self-realization and ends with disappointment.


In love they wore themselves in a green embrace. A silken rain fell through the spring upon them. In the park she fed the swans and he whittled nervously with his strange hands. And white was mixed with all their colours as if they drew it from the flowering trees.

At night his two finger whistle brought her down the waterfall stairs to his shy smile which like an eddy, turned her round and round lazily and slowly so her will was nowhere—as in dreams things are and aren't.

Walking along avenues in the dark street lamps sang like sopranos in their heads with a voilence they never understood and all their movements when they were together had no conclusion.

Only leaning into the question had they motion; after they parted were savage and swift as gulls. asking and asking the hostile emptiness they were as sharp as partly sculptured stone and all who watched, forgetting, were amazed to see them form and fade before their eyes.


The poem Adolescence dwells on the freshness of the relationship between the two young lovers and vivid description of adolescent passion.It is a spring time, the lovers lying on the meadow wear themselves out in a ‘green embrace’, becoming one with nature. Green colour symbolizes happiness and freshness of young couple love. Drizzle of rain bushes past their youthful bodies like the silk the girl has put on. She feeds the swans in the park while her lover nervously helps her with his strange hands. There is white everywhere around them which symbolizes innocence, purity and virginity.Innocence mixed with all the happening as they are heading towards adolescence period.

The girl impulsively rushes down like a graceful waterfall in ready response to his whistle sound in the night. His shy smile while making love, turns her round and round like an eddy and her will has utterly lost in the heady current of her passionate dreams. In dark,they are walking along a wide road with trees on both sides. Street lamps sang in highest pitch in their heads without understanding the violence happening between them. They are moving without any conclusion for this violence.

Now they are moving only with the questions with mature mind. All of a sudden they both parted as swift as seagulls. They both feel emptiness in them as there is growth and new beginning.The imperturbable experience between a young man and woman ends in unforgiving disappointment which results in breakup. They both are standing like partly sculptured stone and people were amazed to see them with fading love, who once witnessed their innocent love.


The Canadian Encyclopedia

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