Friday, February 4, 2011
This poem irked me in the author's indifference to the seemingly frightening events that she sees. "I see them place the hones/ In their hip-pockets as a thing that's done," she observes unemotionally (Cain 5). The reapers sharpen their blades and put away their hones almost robotically, without a second thought. She continues saying, "I see the blade,/ Blood-stained, continue cutting weeds and shade" (5). The mower moves with complete disregard to anyone or anything around it, even the rat that it mutilated. The alliteration "silent swinging" provides a similar tone as the reapers methodically move, yet without a sound (5)? I imagine looking out my window and seeing people hack away at the ground but not hearing the sounds of the blades- half of me removed from the action because of its silence, but half of me still drawn more to the action itself, almost in a terrifying sense. They may be merely swinging the scythes into the ground for agricultural purposes, probable based on the description of the mower in the next line. I can't help but imagine this scene taking place at night with the repeated use of the color "black" and its darker imagery. While the scene may have a rather unnerving tone to it, perhaps this entire poem is taking place on a farm in broad daylight. If this is the case, the disturbing methodical imagery of scythes swinging and blades turning may only prove to be a typical day at work, a tireless and emotionless long haul. Instead of a relentless blade, a steady tool, deafeningly silent because of great space and isolation.
It's incredible how different interpretations of the same text can be based on a change of tone...
Posted by Alex Orton at 7:10 PM