Wednesday, February 2, 2011

The poem I chose to analyze is "Courtship" by Mark Strand. In this poem, Strand appears to be presenting a scenario to a friend, obviously a male one, about approaching a lady that the friend has feelings for. Strand's descriptions and details are very sexual and intimate, and the poem leads to Strand advising him to sexually pursue the woman he adores. Although, through all this sexual tension Strand presents to his male companion, Strand knows through all this "conflict" and struggle that his friend will end up marrying the woman.

The first description I observed while reading this poem was the "roads not taken." The poem is told in the 2nd person point of view, using "you" frequently throughout. Many of us today give advice or scenarios of this type using the second person, so we can personally relate to what Strand is telling or advising his friend. The point of view and details he uses in his descriptions portray that his friend really "craves" this girl. If Strand were to tell it from his personal perspective, using the 1st person, it wouldn't seem as intimate and meaningful because the poem would have take after a story for the reader to follow rather than he or she using their imagination to process the poem. Through the 2nd person, the poem can be processed in the reader's imagination, letting he or she put his or herself in all the "you" situations presented, rather than the reader just following a storyline told in 1st person.

Continuing on the "roads not taken" path, I feel the conclusion of the poem would not have been as strong without Strand including the "craving" and "ridiculous[ness]" shown by some of the actions Strand was telling his friend to carry out. He tells his friend to tell her that "[his] penis is big...but [he'd] be honored...inconspicuously in the dark." This statement makes her "[close] her eyes in horror," presenting a conflict in the poem just off the first few verses. Without this conflict, the "success" at the conclusion of the poem would not be as meaningful. His friend "reach[es] for her panties" with his "craving" being so monumental, showing that he has a strong desire to make love to this woman. Strand knows his friend is going to exchange vows with this woman in the long run, and he wants him to physically exhibit his desire for her. By Strand presenting conflict and struggle within the first couple stanzas, he sets up the TRUE victory of his friend's admiration in the marriage of this woman.

I also noticed "the other parts" in this poem. Throughout the first four stanzas, the majority of the situations presented containly mainly "you" and not as much of "she" or "her." Unlike the first four stanzas, the last stanza references the woman in every verse. I feel like Strand is trying to send the message that the first four stanzas, the "friend" is being very selfish and intimate only for his wellbeing. The last stanza grasps us as readers to let us know that the man realizes that he should put his lady first over himself, which result in that very successful marriage Strand mentions in the very last verse.

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