Saturday, October 31, 2015

Analysis of "To X" by Bill Knott

Original Analysis found here: Analysis of "To X""
Poem found here: "To X" by Bill Knott


The first four lines state the same thing, well, by definition.  What makes the first four lines of the poem interesting is how simply the tone changes through the repetition.  A build up of importance, or romance.  The anaphora of “Somewhere” brings a sense of searching — and what is the speaker searching throughj: “history,” “untold ages,” “the sands of time,” “the vast sea of eternity.”  It’s comic, but romantic.  It’s a speaker who is writing in fantastical hyperbole.

Love creates strange writings.

“There is one person / Only one.”  The repeating of the “only one” is the turn in the poem.  If this was another sappy love poem then the comparison would be more grandiose, the emotions amplified to the point of comic.  Here the attention turns to the tone of the speaker.

“Who could understand me and love me / And your’re it/ So get with it.”

The responsibility goes with the other who (according to the speaker) sees as someone who needs to get with it.  Take responsibility for the speaker.  There’s humor here of course — the abrupt turn at the end. But this poem, at the end, turns to the speaker’s view of love rather than a hyperbolic love poem of an unknown other — or maybe both.

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