Monday, November 28, 2005

The Room

The Room
by Mark Strand

It is an old story, the way it happens
Sometimes in winter, sometimes not.
The listener falls to sleep,
The doors to the closets of his unhappiness open

And into his room the misfortunes come --
Death by daybreak, death by nightfall,
Their wooden wings bruising the air,
Their shadows the spilled milk the world cries over.

There is a need for surprise endings;
The green field where cows burn like newsprint,
Where the farmer sits and stares,
Where nothing, when it happens, is never terrible enough.

"The doors to the closets of his unhappiness open". This line is by far my favorite in the poem. It is a metaphor that is developed through the poem, but is so interesting because of the additional connotations to the ones which are preconcieved by us as children where there is always a monster hiding in our closet. In addition to that, we can drraw that in order to live his life like a successful human being, the speaker locks all his unhappiness with the world and with his life away in a closet, or merely shuts it out in a hidden place so as not to let it interfere with his day to day life, something I think we all do to a certain degree. Then there is an interesting turn in the poem where it seems the speaker needs to let these unhappinesses out at night because his life is too boring otherwise, in the pastoral farmtown. If taken literal, the speaker now seems to be disturbed, watching his cows burning on the field but having it not be terrible enough. Either that, or he is comparing the cows burning to his terrible dream, the dream inside of him which embodies all his unhappiness, which not even this is on the same level as. Interesting poem.


Blogger Esther said...

This poem is interesting in itself because of the language that it uses. It seems as if this poem is simply telling a story and all the incidents that are said throughout the poem are apart of that one story. The line "the green field where cows burn like newsprint" is an excellent comparison and kind of adds a comical relief to the whole poem.

2:26 PM  

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