Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Speaker Poem 1: Sudden Journey

"Sudden Journey"
-Tess Gallagher

The author made it blatantly obvious right at the beginning of the poem that the speaker is both a women and is a child. Although it is later revealed that the speaker is an adult, she is speaking from her past. It is evident that the speaker is speaking from her childhood through her syntax in the first few lines. She uses mostly short sentences and statements. These are also generally observational, another sign that the speaker at this point is a child. However, we soon see a shift in the speakers identity as she goes from her memory to her current adulthood. She begins to reminisce about the event and talk about its importance. This transition is evident in her change in diction. The speaker suddenly begins to speak more eloquently and uses far more complex thoughts and ideas, as evidenced in the "cold platitude" and the "running" in the last few lines. 

here is a reading of the poem by the author! In addition there is an interview with her about her inspiration for the poem. Enjoy!


Lauren said...

This was actually the poem I chose as well. I thought that the speaker was a child because of the uncomplicated and simplistic diction and syntax. Also, the poem reflects a child’s perspective of the world. The poem is based entirely around observations of the rain. THe poem shows how beautiful the point of view of a child is.

Chris said...

I agree that Gallagher uses her syntax to portray the simplicity of a child's mind. The poem is also showing the innocence of childhood. The little girl talks about still being a "boy" and it shows how innocent she is because she has yet to realize the difference between the two sexes.

Gaby said...

Gallagher really conveys the child's perspective through the poems flow. The thought process is obviously childish since it bounces from one simple thought to another. I liked how descriptive the speaker gets when talking about herself enjoying the rain. It really portrays a child's mindset nicely.

Michaela said...

What I also found interesting about this poem is what the speaker says when the perspective shifts back to her adult self. The peaceful, childish musing about the rain gives way to more urgent, frightened speech. The speaker says her skin is "shattering" and that she needs "to gulp." It sounds as though she is drowning in the rain, or perhaps the "hard, cold" adult world.