23 Matching Annotations
  1. Oct 2016
    1. Unreal City, Under the brown fog of a winter dawn

    2. Memory and desire, stirring

    3. Or has the sudden frost disturbed its bed

      This line is significant because it implies the possibility of that the cycle of life can be disrupted not just by death, but also by natural processes that prevent rebirth.

    4. And other withered stumps of time

      This is another example of an image of a plant that cannot regenerate itself, which reminds us that it is possible for the cycle of life to be disrupted.

    5. To get yourself some teeth.

      You only get one set of teeth, and the only way to get new ones is through an artificial process. In this case the cycle of death and rebirth is disrupted not by a failure of rebirth or by death, but rather by the desire to preserve life.

    6. The nymphs are departed. And their friends, the loitering heirs of city directors; Departed, have left no addresses.

      Nymphs are nature spirits, so for the nymphs (and even the city directors) to depart and leave no address implies that the cycle of life has been disrupted.

    7. Here is no water but only rock

      Water is necessary for the cycle of biological life. Take away water, and this cycle of life is disrupted, leaving only rock.

  2. Sep 2016
    1. churn

      How does the u in this word affect the pacing of this sentence? Does it slow it down in the middle?

    2. berry

      Why does it feel like this word is composed of the two words that precede it?

    3. Cordially yours

      Does this just mean cordially yours in the sense you might use the term if you were signing a letter (like people used to do), or is it more of an I-am-cordial-and-you-possess-me? Or does it call into question the meaning of this address?

    1. late

      You can read "late" either as later than the ones who died early, or later than you really should. This is significant, because the poem is all about timing, both in terms of social identity and in terms of personal identity.

    2. village

      The word village is significant because it is mentioned in relationship to where the narrator is not. This places the narrator outside of the human community. However, since even the owner of these woods lives in the village, this place outside the community is not a place is not a place to stop permanently.

    3. gaps

      The word "gaps" is significant because this poem is about the division of America into fenced plots of (domesticated) land. While a gap evokes the thought of separation, in this case it actually represents a connection, since it is in a fence which symbolizes the divisions between the narrator and his neighbor and constitutes the only place where this line is blurred.

    1. Life

      The placement of the word life at the beginning of precisely the second half of the poem (in terms of the number of lines), when juxtaposed against the word which immediately preceding it (fades), evokes the circularity of the life-cycle by implying the beginning of a new cycle after the termination of the cycle which runs its course in the first half of the poem.

    2. fades

      The placement of the word fades here is significant, because it occurs and the end of the first of the two lines of the middle of the poem, suggesting that the entire first half of the poem, which begins with seeds, has come to the end of a cycle.

    1. Flood

      Flood's name is significant because in much the way that a flood fills a valley, carrying away everything in it, Eben Flood's solitary party seems to fill the valley, leaving an emptiness in it's wake. The only two other entities who seem to be involved in Flood's party are the Harvest moon, which is flooding down light to illuminate the valley (and which becomes two moons as he continues to drink), and the bottle of liquor he floods himself with. Additionally, after Flood fills the valley with his singing, it ultimately dissipates (like intoxication, moonlight and flood waters).

    1. It is very seldom that mere ordinary people like John and myself secure ancestral halls for the summer.

      I love how this opening line foreshadows the way in which the narrator's subjectivity is permeated by her husband's subjectivity.

    1. And now what I have briefly sketched in large outline let me on coming pages tell again in many ways, with loving emphasis and deeper detail, that men may listen to the striving in the souls of black folk.

      It seems like the rest of this chapter, with the exception of the opening poem and the paragraph containing the story about the card, consists exclusively of exposition. The Dynamo and the Virgin (or at least the part we read) also consists almost exclusively of exposition. Both are definitely examples of good expository writing and the theories they lays out are interesting, but I think you would loose a lot of contemporary readers if you started out a work of fiction with what today might be considered a narrative essay. I wonder if this is simply stylistic, or if the audience for Modernist literature wanted more guidance in how to interpret what they were reading.

    1. I feel like a today's audience probably would not put up with this much boldface exposition. I think what he is saying is interesting, but I feel like I'm reading a textbook!

    2. This relates worlds that operate on scales that are so different as to be imperceptible to each other directly---in much the same way that they lion is feed by thousands of individuals (and thus becomes powerful), growing out of the action of parts that are effectively invisible to the leviathan whole.

  3. Aug 2016
    1. West Virginia to Kiss My Ass, out of buried aunties, Mothers hardening like pounded stumps, out of stumps,

      As if their children have been cut off of them in leaving from "West Virginia to Kiss My Ass."

    2. Out of the acids of rage, the candor of tar, Out of creosote, gasoline

      The personification of acid and tar in the form of emotional attitudes attributed to these substances establish the twin emotional tones of the poem---rage and candor. I think it's also interesting that creosote and gasoline, although similar to acid and tar, are not personified in emotional terms---the smells evoked by them is sufficient to modify the tone of the poem without personification.

    3. Come they Lion from the reeds of shovels, The grained arm that pulls the hands

      The fact that the handles of the shovels (the reeds) are pulling the hands places agency in the shovel handle rather than in the hand holding the shovel. This inverts the relationship between subject and object in a way that seems (and within the context of the poem is) completely unnatural. This also suggests that the image of the lion has to do with the feeling produced by being forced into this unnatural relationship.