Thursday, March 28, 2013

Analysis of "feeder" by Beth Bachmann

Original poem reprinted online here: "feeder" by Beth Bachmann
Originally read: January 8, 2013
 More information about the Poet: Beth Bachmann







 After re-reading this poem, I thought why did I pick it?  It's a kind of strange feeling where I didn't see what was going on (this is before reading my notes).  I think it starts with the opening line, "The mouths of the dead are always / open" in which I comment "good first line."  I actually see it as meh right now.    It's not that the sentence is bad or cliche, it's the line break that comes in heavy handed like "expect a surprise -- right now".

I do think the single line "open. Quit"  has linguistic implications.  Past me wrote, "The line by itself is interesting because it seems that the dead are saying this -- then the line break completes the line."  So I like the line for different reasons now.  I don't think the dead are saying "quit"  rather being open about the topic "quit" looking for other things in the poem.

Also the line brings on a tone shift which constantly changes throughout.  "Quit / running your trap" (aggressive  command) -- "Lean / back"  (command but I feel a shift from aggressive to cold) "symbiont: / mistletoe" (a shift of the personal to the religious [even if it is mockery]).  The tone shifts occur at line breaks which I find chaotic but interesting.

The last line of the poem has a sinister visceral tone, "Come rain.  It's the perfect / stopper"  Now the line refers to the open mouths and how the healing "water" imagery turns into a suffocation one. I wrote this down in my notes, "This last line is so visceral.  Seems like a strong end to an unapologetic 'perfect' ending."

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