Saturday, August 30, 2014

Analysis of "Double Floor" by Kay Ryan

Original Poem Reprinted Online Here: "Double Floor" by Kay Ryan
More Information about the Poet: Kay Ryan



The quote kind of summarizes the entire poem, "...one sometimes does have a sense that / There is a double floor someplace..."  yes, the speaker does sense the "doublefloor" but the speaker uses different images to define the idea.

     The dual pupiled
     frog eye can 
     scan for food 
     and trouble
     above and below
     the water at once.

The key for this stanza is what the frog is looking out for as the idea, the term "doublefloor" has been hinted at.  Yes, the frog can look above and below but for the purpose of looking for food and trouble.  "food" and "trouble" are ambiguous terms, but specific needs.

But, the poem is focused on the definition, "Many forms of / doubleness serve / local purposes"  they key to this stanza is "local."  here the speaker is announcing  more of a specific area, but the poem goes universal.  What does this mean?  Once again the duality is played up of senses and of reading:

     lulling us to 
     the essential 
     focal baffling
     inherent in
     experience

the moment the speaker uses "us" the poem expands outward.  Universal (collective consciousness) based upon "focal baffling" -- a too focused (perhaps singular) confusion.  The couplet at the end, "how the splits / keep happening"  Food and trouble, local and universal, confusion and clarity.  These concepts aren't separate and inhabit the same space.



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