Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Analysis of "Everything that Acts Is Actual" by Denise Levertov

Original poem reprinted online here:  "Everything that Acts is Actual"
Originally read: November 30, 2012
More information about the Poet: Denise Levertov




"The ending -- the idea of only seeing 'grasp alone; not the actual poem, idea, concept -- only the reader, the observers own need to understand is really strong because the end works well if a reading  [sic should be reader] wants to read the poem as a Nature poem or a Prophetic poem, or a 'personal poem,' or a combination of different ideas.  The writer/speaker let go of this poem.  The reader/interpreter/scholar/searcher has not"

I don't know what I'm talking about here.

I've reread the poem and my notes several times this morning, and I don't see how I got to that conclusion.  The introduction of the ambiguous "you" (a much favored technique by many) in stanza one is well done.

Although the "you" used in stanza one borders on being a command or a simple addressing problem if the line is read by itself, the speaker dismisses the you with a time frame "into December" so I focus back and think the moon refers to the moon.

Then in stanza three and four, there's a conflict between image, perspective, and personal because the thoughts or intent behind them are so disjointed yet each inter play with each other so that if a readers focus is on the personal -- the reader will see (or is forced to see )  the image and perspective as a backdrop to support the personal (same goes if the focus is image or perspective).

And as such, the poem can be read as a prophetic poem (the usage of you), or exercise in image (the repetition of moon and how it's percieved), or a personal poem (the reference to the "I" at the end of the stanzas.

For me, I'm having a hard time connecting all three together because I have contrasting readings if I read it a certain way.  All powerful, but different.

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