Thursday, May 28, 2015

Analysis of "The Hinge of Spring" by Kay Ryan

Poem found here: "The Hinge of Spring" by Kay Ryan



This poem, comprised of two five line stanzas, plays more the idea of definition and redefinition.  For example, the title, "The Hinge of Spring" begs the reader a question "what is the hinge of spring" or rather what is the moment when we know winter has turned to spring.

The first stanza plays with the idea by defining the first moments of spring, "The jackrabbit is a mild herbivore / grazing the desert floor, / quietly abridging spring."  So with these lines the focus is on the jackrabbit as a representative of "the hinge of spring."  The usage of "herbivore" brings more of a foreshadowing scientific presence to a pretty mundane scene which shifts in intensity with, "eating the color off everything / rampant- height or lower."  So we have a mixture of science and metaphor playing here.  The mythos of the jack rabbit is one who "eats the color off everything."  So we have mostly colorless scenery.

The second stanza plays with the descriptive tone, "Rabbits are one of the things / coyotes are for."  The switch of focus to from the rabbit to the relationship of the coyote adds a sense of play between opposing sides, but also the reality of the situation of hunter and hunted, "One quick scream,"  Although this comes off a bit harsh, but this is the sound of the hinge of spring.

Or rather, in this poem, every technique focuses the reader to the definition to images: color, landscape, animals, sound.

"a few quick thumps, / and a whole little area / shoots up blue and orange clumps."  The key to these lines are "area" which encompasses how to take in this poem -- spring as a change in area.  And so with the blue and orange clumps there's an elimination of emotional distress, but the emphasis of the humor of color.

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