Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Reflective by A.R. Ammons

P. 271

I found a
that had a

mirror in it
and that

looked in at
a mirror

me that
had a
weed in it

While just skimming through the book, I stumbled upon this poem that caught my eyes. With such short stanzas and simple words, it seemed as if it weren't a poem at all. I know that anything can pretty much be a poem and it doesn't matter about the length or anything like that, but just looking at the poem itself made me wonder. After reading the poem, the meaning seemed lost to my mind and I could not decipher this poem's purpose. The title itself, "reflective," makes more sense in understanding the poem. As the poem is very repetitive in words and structure, it seems as if the meaning of the poem is the reflect on the words being said. The literal understanding of the poem to my knowledge is that the speaker found a weed that had a mirror in it and that weed basically is a reflection piece of the speaker's own self. This "weed" symbolizes a flaw that the speaker has and finding a weed allows the speaker to think of this flaw that he/she has. After reading the poem a couple of times, I feel as if the "mirror" that is found in the weed is kind of like society looking upon the speaker and therefore seeing the "weed" in him/her, which is why this poem is being titled "reflective."


Blogger Scott Adams said...

I first read this poem long before the internet. It was part of the MTA (Metropolitan Transit Authority) aka NYC subway system ad campaign known as "Poetry in Motion". On my way to work I grew stunned and as my stop approached I walked off the train like a zombie, contemplating the meaning, grasping for the truth, and never being satisfied. I let it go. A decade later the internet arrived and I thought about it, yes, ten years later. I looked it up, gained perspective, and was also ten years more mature.

I felt that the "reflection" was one of two things. How some of us look at the world, whether it be negatively or positively. How we look at the world is often a reflection of how we look or value ourselves. A "weed" and a "mirror" are perfect metaphors for this sort of riddle. Did the person see a reflection of him/her self, or how he sees others? Seeing others as lesser weeds is negative. Seeing others as they see themselves is positive : ) It's all perspective.

10:28 PM  

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