Tuesday, October 12, 2004

The Intellectual Connection

(Please refer to the 10/8 post to read the poem).

Yes, perhaps you have noticed that I have not yet confronted the shadow imagery in the poem: "And a triangular shadow whose apex is my toe / comes tell me of my rights, warning me / of perjury, in some books the most serious crime of all." This shadow imagery strikes me as a reflection of the speaker's self, like the crinkled stars and the "she" voice, looking back at the speaker in intense self-analysis and self consciousness. But it is interesting to look at an analysis of what a triangle is, what an apex is, and how this shadow stands in relation to the speaker's body.

The shadow is a triangle: a three-sided geometric shape. I imagine the speaker standing, back to the sun, and seeing his/her shadow extended in front. The tip of the triangular shadow--the apex--connects to the speaker's toe. This juxtaposition is interesting to me, because the apex of the triangle would be considered the top, and the toe can be considered to be the very bottom of the body. So, where the speaker's body ends, the shadow begins. Or, perhaps, where the speaker's conscious self ends, the subcoscious self begins. Whatever this shadow represents, it has the power to "tell" the speaker of his/her rights and to "warn" against perjury, which suggests a monitoring or policing voice. The anxiety referred to in the first stanza is present in the shadow's power to warn against perjury--a crime--as if it could arrest or even imprison the speaker if the rules are broken.

Also, how can one escape a shadow? Only by escaping the light--which, it suddenly occurs to me, is just what is mentioned in the third stanza: "I must go out with the light." The speaker knows, inevitably, the light will go out. "And some day, / someone will see through and love me." Perhaps someone will be able to see the "real" speaker without the shadow, without the anxious, monitoring, warning other-self.

There is so much one can do with this shadow.

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