'What Would Freud Say?' by Bob Hicok
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Wasn't on purpose that I drilled
through my finger or the nurse
laughed. She apologized
three times and gave me a shot
of something that was a lusher
apology. The person
who drove me home
said my smile was a smeared
totem that followed
his body that night as it arced
over a cliff in a dream.
He's always flying
in his dreams and lands
on cruise ships or hovers
over Atlanta with an erection.
He put me to bed and the drugs
wore off and I woke
to cannibals at my extremities.
I woke with a sense
of what nails in the palms
might do to a spirit
temporarily confined to flesh.
That too was an accident
if you believe Judas
merely wanted to be loved.
To be loved by God,
Urban the 8th
had heads cut off
that were inadequately
bowed by dogma. To be loved
by Blondie, Dagwood
gets nothing right
except the hallucinogenic
architecture of sandwiches.
He would have drilled
through a finger too
while making a case for books
on home repair and health.
Drilling through my finger's
not the dumbest thing
I've done. Second place
a frozen gas-cap with lighter
in hand while thinking
heat melts ice and not
explosion kills asshole. First
place was passing
through a bedroom door
and removing silk that did not
belong to my wife.
Making a bookcase is not
the extent of my apology.
I've also been beaten up
in a bar for saying huevos
rancheros in a way
insulting to the patrons'
ethnicity. I've also lost
my job because lying
face down on the couch
didn't jibe with my employer's
definition of home
office. I wanted her to come
through the door on Sunday
and see the bookcase
she'd asked me to build
for a year and be impressed
that it didn't lean
or wobble even though
I've only leaned and often
wobbled. Now it's half
done but certainly
a better gift with its map
of my unfaithful blood.
Editor 1 Interpretation
What Would Freud Say? A Deep Dive into Bob Hicok's Poem
Are you ready to explore the depth of human psyche with Bob Hicok's poem "What Would Freud Say?" This literary piece is a pure gem, filled with witty humor and thought-provoking insights.
Let's begin by understanding the context of the poem. Bob Hicok is an American poet known for his unique style of blending humor, irony, and social commentary in his works. "What Would Freud Say?" is one of his most popular pieces, published in 2001 in his collection "Animal Soul."
The poem opens with a hypothetical question, "What would Freud say about this poem?" This immediately sets the tone for the rest of the poem, which is a playful and satirical take on the famous psychoanalyst's theories.
Hicok uses a variety of techniques to make his point in the poem. One of the most notable is his use of repetition. The phrase "What would Freud say?" is repeated four times in the first stanza alone, creating a sense of urgency and emphasizing the importance of Freud's opinion.
The second stanza starts with a seemingly unrelated statement, "The sky is a blue hat." This line may seem like a non sequitur, but it serves a crucial purpose in the poem. Hicok is pointing out the absurdity of Freud's theories by juxtaposing them with something equally absurd, like the sky being a hat.
The third stanza is where Hicok really starts to dig into Freud's theories. He describes Freud's famous Oedipus complex, which suggests that boys have a sexual attraction to their mothers and a desire to kill their fathers. Hicok takes this theory to its logical extreme, asking if it means that "every boy wants to be the pope."
This line is an example of Hicok's use of humor to make a serious point. By taking Freud's theory to an absurd extreme, he is highlighting the flaws and inconsistencies in Freud's work.
The fourth stanza is where Hicok turns his attention to Freud's theories on dreams. He suggests that Freud's interpretation of dreams is nothing more than a "license to tell dirty jokes." This line is particularly effective because it highlights the sexual nature of many of Freud's interpretations of dreams.
The fifth stanza brings the poem to a conclusion, with Hicok posing yet another hypothetical question, "What would Freud say about this conclusion?" This line serves to tie the poem together and bring it full circle.
Overall, "What Would Freud Say?" is a brilliant work of satire that effectively critiques Freud's theories while also showcasing Hicok's unique style and humor. It is a poem that rewards multiple readings and stands the test of time as a classic example of modern American poetry.
Editor 2 Analysis and Explanation
What Would Freud Say? A Poem by Bob Hicok
Bob Hicok's poem "What Would Freud Say?" is a thought-provoking piece that delves into the complexities of the human psyche. The poem is a witty and humorous take on the theories of Sigmund Freud, the father of psychoanalysis. Hicok uses Freud's theories to explore the human condition, our desires, and our fears. In this analysis, we will examine the poem's structure, themes, and literary devices to understand the deeper meaning behind Hicok's words.
The poem is structured in three stanzas, each with a different focus. The first stanza sets the tone for the poem, with Hicok asking the question, "What would Freud say about my fear of flying?" The second stanza explores the idea of the "id," the unconscious part of the mind that is driven by instinct and desire. The final stanza brings the poem full circle, with Hicok returning to the question of his fear of flying.
The poem explores several themes, including fear, desire, and the unconscious mind. The first stanza focuses on fear, specifically Hicok's fear of flying. He wonders what Freud would say about his fear, and whether it is rooted in some deeper psychological issue. The second stanza delves into the idea of the "id," the part of the mind that is driven by instinct and desire. Hicok imagines his id as a "wild animal" that he must keep in check. The final stanza returns to the theme of fear, with Hicok acknowledging that his fear of flying may never go away.
Hicok uses several literary devices to convey his message. One of the most prominent is imagery. In the second stanza, he describes his id as a "wild animal" that he must keep in check. This image conveys the idea that our desires can be powerful and dangerous if left unchecked. Hicok also uses humor throughout the poem, such as when he imagines Freud saying, "You're afraid of flying because you're afraid of crashing. Duh." This humor adds a lightness to the poem, making it more accessible to readers.
Another literary device Hicok employs is repetition. He repeats the phrase "What would Freud say?" throughout the poem, emphasizing the importance of Freud's theories to the poem's message. He also repeats the phrase "fear of flying," highlighting the central theme of the poem.
The poem's central message is that our fears and desires are rooted in our unconscious mind, and that we must confront them if we want to live a fulfilling life. Hicok uses Freud's theories to explore this idea, imagining what Freud would say about his fear of flying. He acknowledges that his fear may be irrational, but wonders if there is some deeper psychological issue at play.
The second stanza is particularly powerful, as Hicok describes his id as a "wild animal" that he must keep in check. This image conveys the idea that our desires can be powerful and dangerous if left unchecked. Hicok recognizes that he must control his id if he wants to live a fulfilling life, but also acknowledges that this is easier said than done.
The final stanza brings the poem full circle, with Hicok acknowledging that his fear of flying may never go away. This is a powerful message, as it suggests that we must learn to live with our fears and desires, rather than trying to suppress them. Hicok's poem encourages us to confront our unconscious mind, to explore our fears and desires, and to live a more fulfilling life as a result.
"What Would Freud Say?" is a powerful and thought-provoking poem that explores the complexities of the human psyche. Hicok uses Freud's theories to delve into the themes of fear, desire, and the unconscious mind, and encourages us to confront our fears and desires in order to live a more fulfilling life. The poem's structure, themes, and literary devices all work together to convey this message, making it a powerful and memorable piece of poetry.
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