Critical Analysis Of Table Talk

1503 WordsOct 3, 20177 Pages
Alexandria K Abbrat October 1, 2017 Dr. Richard Joines ENGL 3000 Of Table Talk and Transcending Societal Constraints to the Nothing That There Is As defined in the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, table talk is informal conversation at a table or during a meal; so, from the title itself the irony with which Stevens writes is seen when he makes something that is normally seen as shallow and casual into the deeper and more serious thing that Table Talk seems to be. This poem speaks to the brevity of human life and how humanity as whole reads too much into what we do and what we are, when, in the end is all nothing. What then? What more? It is foolish to try and pick apart the whys behind every motive and desire in this existence. We have but…show more content…
The casual way he writes about death, as an inevitable eventuality is seen all throughout Stevens poems and while brief here, it is important to note that it points to death being “for good” an end to all things which makes the here and now much more important and relevant. He questions the why, “Why / Do I happen to like” he wonders, these colors being things he liked. That is of course a question that resonates with all people, of why, why are things they way they are? In Adagia, Stevens says, “There is nothing in life except what one thinks of it.” That rings in this curious desire to know why but not placing all importance on it as the world is what we see in our own versions of reality. The imagery of the colors Stevens uses are ones that inspire life, “red bush,” the “grey grass,” and the “green-grey sky”. Red is a color of passion, perhaps speaking of the things a person loves in their lifetime, the grey alluding to the everyday, and speaking of the sky he might be thinking of a person’s dreams and aspirations. The overall mood of this poem is a gentle instruction on how to think while also being one of indifference so as not to tell one what to do. “That is not what I said;” Stevens makes the point, that he does not say these things to tell us he likes these colors best of all but that these are the ones he likes and that is why it matters, even as
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