Thursday, February 28, 2013

Analysis of "Thanks for Remembering Us" by Dana Gioia

Original poem reprinted online here: "Thanks for Remembering Us" by Dana Gioia
Originally read: December 20, 2012 (so it says)
More information about the Poet: Dana Gioia

So the real meat of the poem happens at the end of the first stanza "Is one of us having an affair? / At first we laugh, and then we wonder."  I wrote down in a past analysis that this is a "hard turn."  Yet looking back this comment, I feel that the idea of a possible affair was foreshadowed or at least a turmoil in the marriage.

Then in the second stanza I can't help but see the images of symbols in the relationship.  The slow decay of flowers with the more "sickly sweet" (which I call cliche in my original marks, but I think it still holds) changing into a smell like a funeral home.

Now this is the point where I wrote this:

"This is really good -- the lead up to the simile is lackluster description [looking back, visually the descriptions are a bit well not as great 'the ferns are turning dry', but olfactory, which is harder to do, is really well rendered]  but the deeper turn changes the context of the poem smoothly"

And I think the poem could've ending with "accusing us of some small crime"  and in some way it'd make perfect sense form wise.  Two eight line stanzas.  The last simile in the end though, which adds two more lines, I don't know if I think it's really good or too much.

It's really good because the last line of the poem, "throw out a gift we've never owned" is really heartbreaking if the allegory parallels the the marriage; however, I think that the title "Thanks for Remembering Us" does the job of being heartbreaking quite nicely with a wisp of lament.  It's like stating "thanks for remembering 'us'" a couple defined as a couple.

I also think the simile at the end buffers to hard against the smell simile.  In this poem, the smell simile hit me hard because of a change of focus, image, thought.  The second simile is more like reminding the audience "yes this poem is about a love lost" which, for me, I didn't really need because the flow of images, sense of irony, and small details that stand out do that for me; yet, I understand why that line is there because the speaker specifically wants the reader to go there and no where else.

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