The poet compares the suffering of the Magi and the one during the birth of Jesus or the Christian religion to the death of other religions though most readers may view death and birth as two diverse things. The poem realizes that both of these themes are similar. As depicted in the poem “Birth was hard and bitter agony for us, like death, our death" (Eliot, 2012, lines 38-39). This indicates that Eliot had explored all the hard feelings of the three kings when they were accepting a new religion. Most significantly, they had to discard their faiths and all their beliefs as they believed they were in the wrong religion and no longer felt at peace as quoted in the poem; “But no longer at ease here, in the old dispensation” (Eliot, 2012, line 40).In the first stanza, the main focus on criticism is solely on the journey as depicted in the first line “A cold coming we had of it” (Eliot, 2012, line 1) during “the worst time of the year (Eliot, 2012, line 2). The setting was symbolic as the three Magi talk of their past lives which were sorrowful and full of ease that they seemed to regret it. This is quoted in the poem “A hard time we had of it” (Eliot, 2012, line 16). In the poem, it shows that the exact feelings of the Magi, “…regretted…the silken girls bringing sherbet” (Eliot, 2012, lines 8-10). In a similar way as that of the Magi, the poet felt that he was physically and spiritually moving towards the life of accepting Christ and putting a ban as the Magi had on their sinful lives.The poet seems to have an opinion on the subject matter in the poem. This is evident from the third stanza where Eliot emphasizes on the Magi’s doubts on death and rebirth. This suggests that the Magi wanted another death in their lives so as to promote their spiritual renewal. The poet’s opinion is that the Magi wanted to be happy with another death. In line 43, the sentence multiplies in its implication; as a result, it reiterates the theme that is in the poem which indicates that the search for perfection in only a process that results to death. To some level, Eliot wishes for his own death so that the process that he is undergoing can come to an end. At another high level, the speaker wishes for Christ’s death because only in the death of Christ can the true satisfaction which the poet seeks, occur.The structure of
Eliot T.S. (2012) "Journey of the Magi” - Poetry Archive." Web. 18 Mar. 2012. <http://www.blight.com/~sparkle/poems/magi.html>.
Eliot. T.S. (2005) Making of an American Poet, 1888-1922. University Park, PA: Pennsylvania State UP, Print.
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