Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Mind by Richard Wilbur

P. 129

Mind in its purest play is like some bat
That beats about in caverns all alone,
Contriving by a kind of senseless wit
Not to conclude against a wall of stone.

It has no need to falter or explore;
Darkly it knows what obstables are there.
And so may weave and flitter, dip, and soar
In perfect courses through the blackest air.

And has this smile a like perfection?
The mind is like a bad. Precisely. Save
That in the very happiest intellection
A graceful error may correct the cave.

I enjoyed reading this poem as well as thinking about what this poem could possibly be about. The first time I read the poem, I was quite confused with its meaning and couldn't really comprehend what it was trying to say. After reading the poem a couple of times after that, I began to understand the poem a little bit more, however truthfully, I can say that I don't know the full explanation. To my understanding, the speaker compares the "mind" to a bat, the animal. In a way, that seems comparable because the bat is a creature who has great skills and who are able to see in the dark, kind of like how the mind can search through the darkest places of yourself. When the speaker says "purest play" in the first line, I see it as referencing to a mind that is innocent and not corrupted, kind of like a child's mind. I believe that the speaker in comparing the mind to a bat is trying to prove the point that the mind acts like the bat in the sense that it doesn't need to explore in the dark, it kind of just knows its way around. In other words, a mind has a mind of its own. It doesn't have any guidance or direction, it simply just does what it does. I also enjoy the diction that the speaker uses throughout the poem such as "blackest air," and "senseless wit," because these words are kind of out of the ordinary. On a day to day basis, I usually don't really think of black air, in a way, it kind of seems contradictory because most people know air with no color. As a whole, the poem might be a little confusing at first, but overall, it brings a different way of looking at the mind's role.


Blogger Purple said...

Should have written a little more in explanation.

12:23 PM  
Blogger Bruce A. McMenomy said...

The word in the middle of line 9 should be "simile", not "smile".

1:37 PM  

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