The Jeweler

I found the last half of the poem to be slower and slightly less interesting than the first half, mainly because of the constant biblical references and long dialogues.  I did however find myself paying more attention to the fact that the speaker is identified as a jeweler after we talked about this in class.  The poem, with its constant repetition and play on word meanings, also plays on this idea.  As we discussed, his occupation leads him to claim his own authority in evaluating or “deeming” fine jewels and pearls and leads to his questioning Pearl and the theological concept she represents in the second half.  I couldn’t help but relate this to the long descriptions of the city that “bejeweled the base generously;/ twelve cross beams there set on stone…” which begins in stanza 83 and ends in 87.  I thought it was appropriate that he would envision this bedazzled city, but also thought this reinforced the idea that God is the ultimate jeweler and the last lines suggest this as well: “He made us to be His faithful line,/ like precious pearls in Prince’s pay.”  By no longer mourning Pearl, it seems that the speaker is also giving up the materialistic ways that come with his profession and with life in general.

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