Sunday, August 27, 2017

Analysis of "Habit" by Hazel Hall


A short narrative poem.

However, this poem made me wonder about the difference between what the mind wants and what the body is willing to do.  The poem is a memory set up in the first line, "Last night when my work was done."  In my notes I wonder what "work" means in this context.  Is the work something different or something the same -- or maybe a little of both.

"And my estranged hands / Were becoming mutually interested / In such forgotten things as pulses"  There's a grim sense in these lines -- a distance in which is defined by the language of "estranged" then turning "mutually interested.  The "pulses" image has a weird positive and negative connotation for me.  The comparison is a simile to "forgotten things", so there's a feeling of a second wind, a pulse that's interesting, but there's also a hidden history here of why are pulses forgotten.  Good reasons?  Bad reasons?

The last four lines encapsulate a certain expanse:

I looked out of a window
Into a glittering night sky.
And instantly
I began to feather-stitch a ring around the moon
  The inspiration from the sky is cliche, but the feather-stiching a ring around the moon is interested.  Remember this is what the hands and the mind agree to do -- go beyond the expanse into metaphor.  Something intangible or maybe ineffable to agree upon.

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