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Happiness Analysis

Author: poem of Raymond Carver Type: poem Views: 15

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So early it's still almost dark out.
I'm near the window with coffee,
and the usual early morning stuff
that passes for thought.

When I see the boy and his friend
walking up the road
to deliver the newspaper.

They wear caps and sweaters,
and one boy has a bag over his shoulder.
They are so happy
they aren't saying anything, these boys.

I think if they could, they would take
each other's arm.
It's early in the morning,
and they are doing this thing together.

They come on, slowly.
The sky is taking on light,
though the moon still hangs pale over the water.

Such beauty that for a minute
death and ambition, even love,
doesn't enter into this.

Happiness. It comes on
unexpectedly. And goes beyond, really,
any early morning talk about it.


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||| Analysis | Critique | Overview Below |||

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"Happiness" is the enactment of itself, a kind of neurochemical epiphany. The simplest, concrete diction expresses the simplicity of the scene, of the boys and their emotion. This simplicity is enhanced by so many endstopped lines, which (as with a stutterer) conspire to create a halting rhythm that leads the reader to desire a resolution and clarificiation.

As the boys advance, and as the sun advances in the sky and sheds light on the literal scene, the language blossoms into fluidity and abstraction ("beauty", "death", "ambition", "love"). This is a kind of apophasis, however, because the argument is that the beauty of the sunrise negates abstractions. The fact that it leaves only Happiness implies that happiness is something 'real' and the last couple of lines play further on the distinction between what is "really" as opposed to mere talk (or poetry).
In a sense it's a poem against poetry.

| Posted on 2009-11-14 | by a guest

.: :.

This poem has indeed no figuritive language at all i must say it is a dille of a poem.. My word.

| Posted on 2008-02-12 | by a guest

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