Analyzing a Contemporary Poem Assignment: This semester we have learned how to analyze literature. Analyze and perform a ‘close reading” of the following poem in a paper of 3-5 pages. Assume that every word, detail, metaphor, image, and structural element of the poem is significant. Analyze those items to create thesis driven essay/paper that asserts a “close reading” of the text. Treat the words/language of the poem with a respectful intensity of meaning..

Rubric for Grading: Thesis 10 pts Close Reading/Analysis 50 pts Paragraph Coherence 10 pts Style/Structure of Essay 20 pts Depth of Thought/Development 10 pts Any instance of Plagiarism will result in zero credit and course failure. Can You Say It By David Baker Published in The New Yorker, November 1, 2021 ???

1. There was a busyness. Yes, in the apple tree. ???The first light. You could say it was a busyness— ???like a hive of movements, indistinct as h​‌‍‍‍‌‍‍‍‌‍‍‍‌‌‌‌‌‌‍‍​aze caught up in strings of light. Low sunlight, among webs. ???And along the strands those slender brown fingerlings, ???the leaves, hovered, just there, in the breeze. ???

2. What I meant to say is the morning was heavy. ???Was it our sorrow. The tree was at the window. ???Before we could see the webs, the dew, the thousand little apples, we saw the end of it only. The night, yes— ???the end of it. There is always something else to say. ???No, I mean the first light. There’s far too much to say. ???

3. Low sunlight. Yes, in the apple tree, coming up. ???Every day is the anniversary of a terror. ???But there you are. A sorrow. And something caught there dazzling in the haze, just the same. Yes. ???And of this moment closer to you than I can say. ???There was busyness in the apple tree. ???

4. First I thought it just a slim leaf, hanging ???to the screen. On the door. The night was settled. ???Darkness inside, darkness out. Then the wings half-closed like hands, or a clasp. I mean, of a jewel. ???Dust of a moth, half a palm wide, and the crickets ???a busy tide at the seashore, when this was a sea. ???

5. In the morning, the moth was gone. Or was it silence. ???Every day the image at the window—us, each other, ???wings on the door. Yes, can you say it now. Before the webs we saw first light, a breath of haze— ???then leaves, floating there. In the window, yes. We saw ???ourselves. Then we saw​‌‍‍‍‌‍‍‍‌‍‍‍‌‌‌‌‌‌‍‍​ ourselves with shadows.


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