Monday, March 24, 2008

Red Shift Essay

In the poem “Red Shift”, the poet Ted Berrigan suggests that the speaker of the poem is telling their story from the after life. Berrigan surmises his reader to this conclusion by the poems ending. “Alone and crowded , unhappy fate, never the less I slip softly into the air the world’s furious song flows through my costume”. The speaker is talking about their isolation from the human life if he/she were looking down from heaven. The speaker states alone and crowded Ted Berrigan created here in this line a visual adaptation of the speaker in spirit visible to no one, unhappy fate pertaining to unhappiness with being alone, and crowded, isolated. “I slip softly into the air the furious song flows through my costume” another visual adaptation by the poet, giving the reader imagery of the speaker floating back up to the heavens while “the worlds furious song floats through my costume, pertaining to the interaction of living beings engulfing the speakers spiritual body as it floats back to heaven.

In the fist stanza of the poem seems to be telling a tail of pain and mourning. “The streets look for Allen, Frank, or me, Allen is a movie, frank disappearing in the air, its heavy with the lightness heavy one me, I heave through it, them as the calvados is being sipped on the long island now twenty years almost ago”. Ted Berrigan creates a big visual picture for the reader in the excerpt. “ The streets look for Allen, Frank, or me” this line could translate into the fact that a gang or someone whom they owed a debt to was coming after them. From there the speaker goes on to say “Allen is a movie” possible meaning that Allen’s dead and all that’s left of him are the memories of pastimes spent together somewhat like a movie. “Frank disappearing in the air its heavy on me” The reader gets a visual picture here of franks soul lifting to the heavens and the speaker somewhat and the speaker who was close to Frank as he was to Allen also. The reader gets a sting of the pain the speaker is felling because the speaker talks of the calvados which is an alcoholic drink. The speaker is getting intoxicated to remove themselves from the pain of death.

In the next stanza the speaker states “ the calvados are being sipped on long island now twenty years almost ago” Not as significant, but still very important. The speaker changes subject after speaking of his friends Allen and Frank’s possible deaths. “Twenty years almost ago” big time change which is very significant to the poem it somewhat shows that the speaker went through a time of mourning and “ the calvados” an alcoholic drink is what the speaker used to soothe their pain.

The speaker changes his tone slightly in this exert. The speaker shows some interest in a women he reflects back on her…” Not that pretty girl nineteen who was going to have to go careening into middle age so, to burn and to burn more fiercely than ever she could imagine so to go. Not that painter who from very first meeting I would never and never will leave alone until we both vanish into the thin air we signed up for and so demanded to breathe and who will never leave me, not for sex, nor politics”. The speaker here speaks of the past woman with a clingy, stalker tone. “not that pretty girl nineteen, who was going to have to go careening into middle age so to burn and to burn more fiercly than ever she could imagine” when the speaker, speaks of this young girl who ages this anger resonates thought the words it’s almost as if the speaker id seeking revenge thought the words instead of the person. When the speaker speaks of the nineteen year old girl who ages he says to burn and burn more firercly. He’s wishing death upon this innocent women maybe in an attempt to take anger out on her because of the death of the speakers wo lost friends.

The speaker in the poem Red Shift by Ted Barrigan ahs taken us on a Journey of the speakers hardships, trials and tribulations. From death and Dying to love and heartache its very evident that the speaker is telling this story to someone of importance after the speakers death.

1 comment:

Danielle S. 5 said...

I choose to make this my anaylist essay because it is an explication on the Red shift, and the purpose of this essay was to anaylise the meaning of various themes throughout this piece of literature.