Friday, March 14, 2008

Close Reading: “The Doe” by C.K. Williams

“The Doe” by C.K. Williams

"All that moved was her pivoting ear
the reddening sun shining through
transformed to a color I’d only seen
in a photo of a new child in a womb. "(Williams, lines 5-8).

This poem is representative of the peacefulness and serenity of nature at its most natural state of being. The author clearly is speaking of a doe, and how calm they can be when alone in the woods. The author compares the doe’s physical characteristics to that of a child in the womb; another symbol for calmness. These two images parallel one another in their ability to be tranquil. This poem means that when objects are left to their own devices, they are the most beautiful. The author wants the reader to grasp the beauty of nature. The author does not use any type of rhyme scheme throughout this poem, and I cannot pick up on a set meter. I feel these absences represent how nature is constantly changing; growing and dieing all at the same time. The author does use persona to express his feelings towards the doe; as the reader, we are receiving the authors point of view. The author uses some form of alliteration with the repetition of “ing” words. I feel this aids in the meaning of the poem by having something constant. When one thinks of the concept of “calm”, repetition comes to mind. If things are erratic, then they usually are not calm. This form of consonance sticks out in ones mind because it is familiar. Familiar gives the comfort of calmness.

*Williams, C.K. “The Doe”. The Norton Introduction to Poetry. J. Paul Hunter, Alison Booth, and Kelly J. Mays. 9th edition. New York: Norton, 2007. 59

1 comment:

Mrs. Bedwin said...

I agree with your analysis and I really enjoyed this poem!
I'm wondering what else a new child in a womb may be a symbol for? I can definitely see how it represents peace, but I think that another image it gives is that of being frail and delicate. Children in the womb are fragile; they are dependent on their mother and fully susceptible to many unfortunate circumstances. A doe is also fragile and frail, as is shown by how timid it is ( " but she startles and bolted away from me into the crackling brush" ).

I'm also thinking that the fact that there is no structure in the rhyming scheme demonstrates how uncontrollable life and nature is. It can not be contained in a formula.