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Rising Five Summary & Analysis
by Norman Nicholson

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Norman Nicholson's "Rising Five" deals with an enduring problem: the difficulty of trying to stay in the present moment. In this poem, the speaker encounters a little boy who insists he's not four years old, but "rising five"—leading the speaker to reflect on how everyone is always looking forward to what comes next, rather than fully experiencing the life right in front of them. The poem's images of birth and decay remind the reader that looking too far forward means seeing only death. The poem was originally published in Nicholson's 1954 collection The Pot Geranium.

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