Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Analysis of "In the Dumps" by Heather Christle

Poem Found Here: "In the Dumps" by Heather Christle


"Who are 'we'?" and "leave open" is how past me described the first stanza.  The poem's design and content feel like a spillage of some sort -- not so much of emotion, but of content: image, ideas, and so on, "Just because we've broken my head / doesn't mean we must glue it together."  There's a sense of humor behind the tone of the second line which is punctuated with the third line of, "There's other work to be done"  What work is more important than getting one's head back together.

The descent into adjusted lines adds a sense of disjointedness -- but the poem doesn't go for an emotional disjointedness, rather a metphorical one, "and dark -- / grass freezing / There is some old light / to read by"  Note that there is a comparative metaphor of the dark grass and the implication of an old light to read by.  Dark where to stand, light that might be there.  The metaphor is then buffered with, "large pink thumbs / And with my head apart / I think."  Yes, the images are more intimate and personal, but note that the singular line of "I think" sums up the main focus of this poem -- thoughts as they turn to images and then this idea.

"the world can get in easy / This / pound of dirt I'm holding weighs a ton."  The speaker plays with the idea of the metaphorical enough to have the line "the world can get in be seen as a metaphorical device -- ah yes, the world can see the mind of the speaker, but when the physical, that pound of dirt, which feels like a ton comes in, then the metaphor shifts -- the weight of ideas and images having to be shared, but not the way the speaker wants it comes to light, or is it laid across the grass.

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