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The Whole Soul Analysis



Author: poem of Philip Levine Type: poem Views: 15

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Is it long as a noodle

or fat as an egg? Is it

lumpy like a potato or

ringed like an oak or an

onion and like the onion

the same as you go toward

the core? That would be

suitable, for is it not

the human core and the rest

meant either to keep it

warm or cold depending

on the season or just who

you're talking to, the rest

a means of getting it from

one place to another, for it

must go on two legs down

the stairs and out the front

door, it must greet the sun

with a sigh of pleasure as

it stands on the front porch

considering the day's agenda.

Whether to go straight ahead

passing through the ranch houses

of the rich, living rooms

panelled with a veneer of fake

Philippine mahogany and bedrooms

with ermined floors and tangled

seas of silk sheets, through

adobe walls and secret gardens

of sweet corn and marijuana

until it crosses several sets

of tracks, four freeways, and

a mountain range and faces

a great ocean each drop of

which is known and like

no other, each with its own

particular tang, one suitable

to bring forth the flavor

of a noodle, still another

when dried on an open palm,

sparkling and tiny, just right

for a bite of ripe tomato

or to incite a heavy tongue

that dragged across a brow

could utter the awful words,

"Oh, my love!" and mean them.

The more one considers

the more puzzling become

these shapes. I stare out

at the Pacific and wonder --

noodle, onion, lump, double

yolked egg on two legs,

a star as perfect as salt --

and my own shape a compound

of so many lengths, lumps,

and flat palms. And while I'm

here at the shore I bow to

take a few handfuls of water

which run between my fingers,

those poor noodles good for

holding nothing for long, and

I speak in a tongue hungering

for salt and water without salt,

I give a shape to the air going

out and the air coming in,

and the sea winds scatter it

like so many burning crystals

settling on the evening ocean.






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

.: :.

Thanks Melinda It should be noted that with all my clniets the song selection is picked out by them. I could have done a mix of this to a slow tune, and I thought about it half way through, but the song grows on you and this party was far more exciting than your typical Jack Johnson group. But thanks for watching.- R

| Posted on 2014-03-04 | by a guest


.: :.

Ryan,These photos are beiuatful and so real. You've captured their eyes in a way that almost tells their stories. It makes me want to get out there and help them and love them. What an incredible experience you must've had. Thank you for sharing. I am really looking forward to seeing more. x x

| Posted on 2014-03-04 | by a guest


.: :.

a lot without hvinag to say a lot. At first glance as the reader you notice that Clifton does not use capital letters in her sentences. Also the poem does not have any visible stanza breaks in the lines but are only separated by periods at the end of her statements. From what I know of this poet her poems usually focus on the strength and adversity of the African American experience. Clifton uses the word “hips” to describe the freedom and independence of the black woman. Clifton being an African American woman clearly identifies with the struggle that women of color have had to endure. History puts African American Women in a box and labels them as the hypersexual female. The language of the poem is very sensual and Clifton uses this sensuality to her advantage. She turns it around and makes the “hips” a center of freedom from sexual oppression.In lines 1-6 “these hips are big hips…they need space to…move around in they don’t fit into little petty places these hips are free hips”, the language used suggest that she as a woman will not be confined to a stereotype. She will not be put in a box or backed into a corner at in anytime in her life time. Her “hips” can also refer to her personality; she is a strong woman and determined to do what she wants to do. Clifton makes this notion more prevalent in the next few lines; lines 7-10, “they don’t like to be held back. these hips have never been enslaved…they go where they want to go… they do what they want to do”. At the end of the poem in lines 11-15 Clifton writes “these hips are mighty hips… these hips are magic hips… i have known them to put a spell on a man and spin him like a top. In these lines this women is empowered and self-assured. Clifton paints the picture of a strong African American woman above the realm of simple stereotypes that are placed on her by society. Clifton’s use of the word “hips” also can imply that this woman has power, enough power to control others actions. The last two lines are even more so sensual because women are known to be able to control a man with the simple switch of her hips. This poem by Lucille Clifton has deeper meaning to it then when first read.

| Posted on 2014-03-03 | by a guest




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