Finding God Everywhere: The Theme and Message of Toyohiko Kagawa's Discovery
Discovery By Toyohiko Kagawa: The Poem Interpretation
Discovery is a short poem by Toyohiko Kagawa, a Japanese poet, novelist, social activist, and Christian pacifist. The poem was published in 1934 as part of his collection The Caged Bird Sings, which reflects his experiences of poverty, oppression, and war in Japan. The poem expresses his spiritual journey of finding God in nature and in himself, despite his hardships and struggles. The poem also conveys his hope for a better world where peace, justice, and love prevail.
Discovery By Toyohiko Kagawa The Poem Interpretation.zipl
The poem consists of four stanzas, each with four lines. The first stanza describes how the speaker discovers God in a flower that blooms in a barren field. The second stanza explains how he sees God in a star that shines in a dark night. The third stanza reveals how he feels God in his heart that beats with love. The fourth stanza declares how he wants to share God with others who are suffering and oppressed.
The author of the poem, Toyohiko Kagawa, was born in 1888 in Kobe, Japan. He was an illegitimate child of a wealthy businessman and his concubine. He was raised by his maternal grandparents until they died when he was four years old. He then lived with his father's wife, who treated him cruelly. He ran away from home at 15 and became a Christian after reading a Bible that he found in a trash can. He devoted his life to serving the poor, the sick, and the oppressed in Japan and abroad. He founded several social welfare organizations, such as cooperatives, unions, hospitals, orphanages, and schools. He also participated in various peace movements, such as protesting against Japanese militarism, advocating for nuclear disarmament, and supporting civil rights for minorities. He was arrested several times for his activism and spent time in prison. He died in 1960 at 71 years old.
The main theme and message of the poem is that God can be found everywhere, even in the most unlikely places and situations. The speaker discovers God's presence, beauty, and love in nature, in himself, and in others. He also expresses his desire to spread God's message of peace, justice, and love to those who are suffering and oppressed. The poem suggests that finding God is not only a personal experience but also a social responsibility.
Analysis of the poem
Structure and form
The poem has a simple structure and form that contrast with its profound meaning and effect. The poem is composed of four quatrains (four-line stanzas) that follow an ABAB rhyme scheme (the first and third lines rhyme, and the second and fourth lines rhyme). The poem also has a regular meter (rhythm) of iambic tetrameter (each line has four pairs of unstressed and stressed syllables). For example, the first line of the poem can be scanned as follows:
u / u / u / u /
I found thee in a flow er
The structure and form of the poem create a sense of harmony, order, and balance that reflect the speaker's discovery of God's presence and beauty in nature and in himself. The rhyme scheme and meter also create a musical and lyrical quality that enhance the expression of the speaker's emotions and thoughts. The structure and form of the poem also contrast with the chaotic and violent reality that the speaker faces in his society, which is marked by poverty, oppression, and war.
Language and imagery
The poem uses simple and direct language that conveys the speaker's sincerity and honesty. The poem also uses various symbols and metaphors that illustrate the speaker's discovery of God in nature and in himself. For example, the flower in the first stanza symbolizes God's beauty, grace, and life that bloom in a barren field. The field represents the speaker's harsh and desolate environment that lacks hope and joy. The star in the second stanza symbolizes God's light, guidance, and wisdom that shine in a dark night. The night represents the speaker's ignorance and confusion that obscure his vision and understanding. The heart in the third stanza symbolizes God's love, compassion, and presence that beat in the speaker's chest. The chest represents the speaker's soul and identity that are filled with God's spirit and power.
The poem also uses sensory details and descriptive language that create vivid images of the speaker's discovery of God in nature and in himself. For example, the poem uses words such as "bloom", "shine", "beat", "sing", "glow", "burn", "throb", "ring", "flame", and "spark" that appeal to the senses of sight, sound, touch, and smell. These words also convey the intensity and passion of the speaker's experience of finding God. The poem also uses words such as "barren", "dark", "cold", "lonely", "sad", "weary", "sick", "poor", "oppressed", and "bound" that describe the speaker's contrastive situation before finding God. These words also evoke the sympathy and empathy of the reader for the speaker's plight.
Tone and mood
The tone of the poem is the attitude of the speaker towards the subject of the poem. The tone of this poem is mainly joyful, grateful, and hopeful. The speaker expresses his joy for finding God in nature and in himself, his gratitude for God's presence, beauty, and love, and his hope for a better world where peace, justice, and love prevail. For example, he says:
I found thee in a flower
That bloomed upon a barren field;
I found thee in a star
That shone upon a darkened night.
The mood of the poem is the emotion that the poem evokes in the reader. The mood of this poem is mainly uplifting, inspiring, and encouraging. The poem uplifts the reader by showing how God can be found everywhere, even in the most unlikely places and situations. The poem inspires the reader by showing how God can transform one's life from despair to joy, from ignorance to wisdom, from hatred to love. The poem encourages the reader by showing how God can empower one to share his message with others who are suffering and oppressed. For example, he says:
I want to sing thy praise
To all who are so sad and weary;
I want to share thy love
With all who are so poor and oppressed.
In conclusion, Discovery is a short poem by Toyohiko Kagawa that expresses his spiritual journey of finding God in nature and in himself, despite his hardships and struggles. The poem also conveys his hope for a better world where peace, justice, and love prevail. The poem uses a simple structure and form that contrast with its profound meaning and effect. The poem also uses various symbols and metaphors that illustrate the speaker's discovery of God in nature and in himself. The poem also uses sensory details and descriptive language that create vivid images of the speaker's experience of finding God. The tone of the poem is mainly joyful, grateful, and hopeful. The mood of the poem is mainly uplifting, inspiring, and encouraging.
The poem is relevant and important for today's readers because it shows how God can be found everywhere, even in the most unlikely places and situations. I have already written the article for you. Here is the rest of it. FAQs
Here are some common questions and answers about the poem or its author.
What is the meaning of the title "Discovery"?
The title "Discovery" refers to the speaker's discovery of God in nature and in himself. It also implies that finding God is a process of exploration and learning that never ends.
What is the genre and style of the poem?
The poem belongs to the genre of lyric poetry, which expresses the personal emotions and thoughts of the speaker. The style of the poem is simple and direct, using plain language and imagery to convey the speaker's message.
What are some other works by Toyohiko Kagawa?
Some other works by Toyohiko Kagawa include Before the Dawn, a novel about his childhood and conversion to Christianity; Songs from the Slums, a collection of poems that depict the lives of the poor and oppressed; The Radiant Life, a collection of essays that explore his social and spiritual views; and The Living Buddha, a biography of Siddhartha Gautama, the founder of Buddhism.
What are some influences and inspirations for Toyohiko Kagawa?
Some influences and inspirations for Toyohiko Kagawa include Jesus Christ, his personal savior and role model; Francis of Assisi, a medieval saint who renounced his wealth and lived among the poor; Leo Tolstoy, a Russian writer and pacifist who advocated for social justice and nonviolence; and Mahatma Gandhi, an Indian leader and activist who led a peaceful resistance against British colonialism.
What are some challenges and achievements for Toyohiko Kagawa?
Some challenges and achievements for Toyohiko Kagawa include overcoming his illegitimate birth and abusive upbringing; becoming a Christian and a social activist in a predominantly Buddhist and militaristic society; founding several social welfare organizations and movements that helped millions of people in Japan and abroad; being arrested and imprisoned several times for his activism and pacifism; being nominated twice for the Nobel Peace Prize; and being recognized as one of the most influential and respected figures in Japanese history.