Friday, May 31, 2013

Analysis of "Promenade" by Lorraine Doran

Original poem reprinted online here: "Promenade" by Lorraine Doran
Originally read: February 21, 2013
More information about the Poet: Lorraine Doran

When I was reading this poem, I thought the definition of "Promenade" for this poem was "a ball."  Today, I went to check the definitions of promenade just to be sure.  The first definition, I feel also applies to this poem, "A leisurely walk, especially one taken in a public place as a social activity."  And so if this poem is the speaker walking through somewhere, that'd make sense.

Because the people met on a walk don't make sense.  On the page, I tried to decipher every image and metaphor as they are connected to one another.  At least the tercets led me to believe that there's a consistent pattern going on.  What is consistent (if this is indeed a leisurely walk) is that the speaker is going in one direction describing scenes or superficially judging scenes -- there's no going back.

The shift in perspective doesn't go back.  The first stanza is in second person with the focus on a woman finding comfort in a dirty and the extended (dead) metaphor of how the "she" found comfort in a river with the same traits and goes internal.  This is the end of the metaphor about dirty.  However, technique wise, there's an attempt to bring all this together, but I guess the art is within the fail to do so -- the fail to make sense out of something thought out of in a simple walk.

The prayer sequence focuses first on usage (three times) and then applies the times used to anaphora of "Blessed."  The prayer is described as the speaker uses "when something proves the world / exists"  Note it's not for the speaker that sees something that proves the world exists -- the catalyst is something (not internal motivation).  The list of the blessed are inane "sick day" "things that open" "strange backyard" which, comparatively are not so surreal to the events noted in the beginning.

Okay let's think about tomorrow.  That's the sense I get from the last line of the penultimate stanza, but the image that the speaker goes back to is the observation of a dress which is the shape of crickets but is seen upon as green.  Kind of a signifier/signified thing going on at the end. 

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