Friday, August 28, 2015

[Palestine, the metaphor, says to me]

I'm going to approach this poem through a poetry response. So, I will be talking about my feelings.

A short poem, but puzzling. I have lots of questions as I read through this. The first question that comes up is Palestine as a metaphor. A metaphor for what? I know that Palestine is a holy land for many people--groups fight over this land all the time. It is consumed by war. This is the theater of the bible, so I would assume that we would get some biblical imagery in this poem and there definitely is some. But Palestine as a metaphor? I can think of some symbols that could be ascribed to Palestine. Hmmmm.

I love lines 6 & 7. Just some beautiful imagery. It is just a list of colors/things and ampersands (&), but it is really evocative. The land begins green, then becomes black and red because of the turmoil. Then black and ash. Ash is such a great word. The image I get comes from The Road, by Cormac McCarthy, where ash is falling like snow. That is what I see in this poem--darkness and ash falling from the sky. But it could also be the ash of dead generations of people, caught up in these "holy wars." Then finally we get black war. Sounds bad doesn't it.

At the end of the poem we get references to Genesis--working for six days and then on the seventh God rested. But in this poem the six days of work is fruitless--there is no victor. The seventh day is a waste. And then we get the image of the daffodils. Daffodils are perennials and bloom year after year without replanting or much maintenance. This could also be a biblical reference of the Resurrection of Christ. Palestine is the area where that happened. So, the speaker doesn't want to dramatize Palestine, the reality is not great. But I do sense some hope at the end of this poem. The speaker believes that Palestine will become a beautiful land once again, that the wars will end and peace will reign.


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