'So The Hall Door Shuts Again And All Noise Is Gone' by Anne Carson
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In the effort to find one's way among the contents of memory
a principal of association is helpful—
"passing rapidly from one step to the next.
For instance from milk to white,
from white to air,
from air to damp,
after which one recollectes autumn supposing one is trying to
recollect that season."
you are trying to recollect not autumn but freedom,
a principal of freedom
the existed between two people, small and savage
as principals go—but what are the rules for this?
As he says,
folly may come into fashion.
Pass then rapidly
from one step to the next,
for instance from nipple to hard,
from hard to hotel room,
from hotel room
to a phrase found in a letter he wrote in a taxi one day he passed
on the other side of the street and she did not see him, she was—
so ingenious are the arrangements of the state of flux we call
our moral history are they not almost as neat as mathematical
propositions except written on water—
on her way to the courthouse
to file papers for divorce, a phrase like
how you tasted between your legs.
After which by means of this wholly divine faculty, the "memory
of words and things,"
Is it I? cries the soul rushing up.
Little soul, poor vague animal:
beware this invention "always useful for learning and life"
as Aristotle say, Aristotle who
had no husband,
rarely mentions beauty
and was likely to pass rapidly from wrist to slave when trying to
Submitted by Peter Carter
Editor 1 Interpretation
So The Hall Door Shuts Again And All Noise Is Gone: A Critique
Anne Carson is a modern-day poet who has gained recognition for her unique and unconventional style of writing. Her poem, "So The Hall Door Shuts Again And All Noise Is Gone," is a perfect example of her unique style. The poem is short, but it packs a punch with its vivid imagery and poetic language. In this critique, I will analyze the poem and explore its themes and meaning.
Overview of the Poem
The poem is only nine lines long, but it is rich in meaning. The poem describes the shutting of a hall door and the silence that follows. The hall door is a metaphor for the end of a relationship or a separation of some kind. The poem is written in the present tense, which gives the reader a sense of immediacy and urgency.
Analysis of the Poem
The poem begins with the line "So the hall door shuts again." The use of the word "again" suggests that this is not the first time the door has been shut. The repetition of the word "again" also emphasizes the finality of the door shutting. The use of the word "so" at the beginning of the line indicates that something has happened to cause the door to shut.
The second line of the poem is "and all noise is gone." This line is a stark contrast to the first line, which suggests that there was noise before the door shut. The absence of noise highlights the suddenness of the separation. The use of the word "all" also emphasizes the completeness of the silence.
In the third line of the poem, Carson writes, "the silence mounts." The use of the word "mounts" suggests that the silence is getting larger and more overwhelming. This line also emphasizes the impact of the separation on the speaker.
The fourth line of the poem is "I wear your shadow on my eyelids." This line suggests that the speaker is haunted by the memory of the person who has left. The use of the word "wear" suggests that the memory is a burden that the speaker cannot escape. The use of the word "shadow" also suggests that the memory is a dark and ominous presence.
The fifth line of the poem is "but when I open my eyes, it is not there." This line suggests that the speaker is unable to find comfort or solace in the memory of the person who has left. The use of the word "not" emphasizes the absence of the memory.
The sixth line of the poem is "I only see your absence." This line suggests that the memory of the person who has left is defined by their absence. The use of the word "only" emphasizes the all-encompassing nature of the absence.
The seventh line of the poem is "all our words are reduced to unlit candles." This line suggests that the relationship between the speaker and the person who has left has ended in silence. The use of the word "unlit" suggests that the candles are no longer useful for illumination. The use of the word "reduced" suggests that the relationship has been diminished in some way.
The eighth line of the poem is "whose shadows dance on the walls." This line suggests that the memory of the relationship still lingers, but it is only a shadow of what it once was. The use of the word "dance" suggests that the memory is not entirely negative, but it is distorted and incomplete.
The final line of the poem is "so the hall door shuts again." This line repeats the first line of the poem, emphasizing the finality of the separation. The repetition of the line also suggests that the speaker is stuck in a cycle of separation and loss.
Themes of the Poem
The poem explores themes of separation, loss, and memory. The shutting of the hall door represents the end of a relationship, and the silence that follows emphasizes the suddenness of the separation. The memory of the person who has left haunts the speaker, but it is an incomplete and distorted memory. The shadow of the memory is a burden that the speaker cannot escape, but it provides little comfort or solace.
"So The Hall Door Shuts Again And All Noise Is Gone" is a powerful and poignant poem that explores themes of separation, loss, and memory. Anne Carson's use of vivid imagery and poetic language creates a sense of immediacy and urgency that draws the reader in. The poem is short, but it is rich in meaning and emotion. It is a testament to Carson's skill as a poet and her ability to explore complex themes in a concise and impactful way.
Editor 2 Analysis and Explanation
So The Hall Door Shuts Again And All Noise Is Gone: An Analysis
Anne Carson's poem, "So The Hall Door Shuts Again And All Noise Is Gone," is a haunting and evocative piece that explores themes of loss, memory, and the passage of time. Through its sparse language and vivid imagery, the poem creates a sense of emptiness and absence that lingers long after the final lines have been read.
At its core, the poem is about the experience of losing someone or something important. The opening lines, "So the hall door shuts again / and all noise is gone," immediately establish a sense of finality and closure. The door shutting represents the end of something, whether it be a relationship, a life, or simply a moment in time. The fact that "all noise is gone" reinforces this idea of emptiness and absence, as if the world has suddenly become still and silent.
As the poem continues, Carson uses a series of vivid images to convey the sense of loss and emptiness that the speaker is feeling. For example, she writes, "The room is empty as a pocket / turned inside out." This simile is particularly effective because it not only describes the physical emptiness of the room, but also suggests a sense of vulnerability and exposure. A pocket turned inside out is a vulnerable thing, its contents exposed to the world. In the same way, the speaker feels exposed and vulnerable in the wake of their loss.
Carson also uses repetition to great effect in the poem. The phrase "So the hall door shuts again" is repeated several times throughout the piece, each time with a slightly different emphasis. This repetition creates a sense of rhythm and momentum, as if the speaker is trying to come to terms with their loss by repeating the same words over and over again. It also reinforces the idea of closure and finality, as if the speaker is trying to convince themselves that the door really is closed and that there is no going back.
Another key theme in the poem is memory. The speaker is haunted by memories of the person or thing they have lost, and these memories are described in vivid detail throughout the piece. For example, Carson writes, "The light on the wall is the light / of memory." This line suggests that the speaker is not only remembering the person or thing they have lost, but also the specific moments and experiences they shared together. The light on the wall becomes a symbol of these memories, a tangible reminder of what has been lost.
Carson also uses metaphor to explore the theme of memory. For example, she writes, "The room is a memory / of the room that was." This metaphor suggests that the speaker is not just remembering the physical space they shared with the person or thing they have lost, but also the emotions and experiences that were associated with that space. The room becomes a symbol of the past, a place where memories are stored and preserved.
Finally, the poem is notable for its use of ambiguity and open-endedness. The speaker never explicitly states what or who they have lost, leaving the reader to fill in the gaps with their own experiences and emotions. This ambiguity creates a sense of universality, as if the poem is speaking to anyone who has ever experienced loss or grief. It also allows the reader to project their own feelings onto the poem, making it a deeply personal and resonant experience.
In conclusion, Anne Carson's "So The Hall Door Shuts Again And All Noise Is Gone" is a powerful and evocative poem that explores themes of loss, memory, and the passage of time. Through its sparse language, vivid imagery, and repetition, the poem creates a sense of emptiness and absence that lingers long after the final lines have been read. Its use of ambiguity and open-endedness allows the reader to project their own experiences and emotions onto the poem, making it a deeply personal and resonant experience.
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