Monday, October 26, 2015

Analysis of "A March" by Ishion Hutchinson

Poem Found Here: "A March" by Ishion Hutchinson


From there beginning of the poem there is a play of definition and how the definitions intertwine and contrast.  Well, literally in the beginning:

     Lesson of the day: Syria and Styria
     For Syria, read: His conquering banner shook from Syria.
     And for Styria: Look at this harp of blood, mapping.

It's a play of homophones -- similar sounding words to distinguish a difference; however, note the play on the placement of the verb "read" in line 2 and "Look" in line 3 in which the former is before the reading which should take more time to process, but the latter is more of an image that is taken in

"Now I am tuned" is an interesting way to introduce the "I" speaker.  There's a sense that the initial tercet was a warm up, now the real play of images and language stars here.  And within the second and third there's a play of image, "the forest shaken / on the bitumen" -- the artificial versus the natural. Furthermore, the play of expanse and image with, "synapses, intermittent, on edge / of shriek -- perhaps a cluster of fir, birches?"  What makes this image is the rhetorical question of both the self and the audience of what the image is and the transition of images.

The play of, "Don't get too hung up / on the terms; they have entropy / in common"  shows a turn in tone, but why?  The entropy in terms is not what we are supposed to get hung up on, but rather the connection between the contrast of images or the contrast of terms, "the public weal, / those obtuse centurions in the flare of bougainvillea."  A mark to a plant -- something based on the human ego to a gift that should placate the human ego.

The contrast of terms becomes blatant with, "Cruetly. / Justice."  What saves these lines from just being concepts is the set-up of how to look at terms and how, for that split second you want them to mean everything, they mean everything -- they mean too much -- they are a means of distraction, "Never mind, but do / pay attention to the skirmish"

Is this the skirmish? "the white / panther that flitters up the pole -- / its shade grows large on the ground."  Yes, there's a play of color with "white panther" which holds many references with "white" and "panther" plus the connections could lead to a whole essay based on color and race, but this is the distraction.  The "shade grows large on the ground" is the skirmish -- they play of space withing thoughts and connection.

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