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The Time Around Scars Analysis

Author: poem of Michael Ondaatje Type: poem Views: 11

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A girl whom I've not spoken to

or shared coffee with for several years

writes of an old scar.

On her wrist it sleeps, smooth and white,

the size of a leech.

I gave it to her

brandishing a new Italian penknife.

Look, I said turning,

and blood spat onto her shirt.

My wife has scars like spread raindrops

on knees and ankles,

she talks of broken greenhouse panes

and yet, apart from imagining red feet,

(a nymph out of Chagall)

I bring little to that scene.

We remember the time around scars,

they freeze irrelevant emotions

and divide us from present friends.

I remember this girl's face,

the widening rise of surprise.

And would she

moving with lover or husband

conceal or flaunt it,

or keep it at her wrist

a mysterious watch.

And this scar I then remember

is a medallion of no emotion.

I would meet you now

and I would wish this scar

to have been given with

all the love

that never occurred between us.

Submitted by shadowfax


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

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I agree with the above analysis, but I dont know if it is clear that the scar was an accident. That is what gives this poem so much mystery; is it possible that he cut her on purpose? And if he did, why is there no emotion behind it?

| Posted on 2009-01-02 | by a guest

.: Time around scars :.

This poem is absolutely beautiful. Several years ago he accidentally cut this girl with a pen knife. He still thinks of her and this meaningless scar. A scar that shes going to wear for the rest of her life, and it has no meaning. It was born out of an accident and he's wishing now that the scar meant something that she recieved it in a manner that had emotion attached to it. He's saying that scars seperate people, his wife was in an accident and she has scars all over her legs, he imagines the whole thing as almost beautiful, her as a mythical creature he has no emotion attached to her scars and that seperates them because he doesnt understand. It ties in with the whole idea that people we meet who seemingly have no impact on our lives really do, this incident happened years ago and he still thinks about her. Scars tell stories and he wishes that she had a beautiful one to tell about hers.

| Posted on 2008-03-31 | by a guest

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