"Epithalamium" by Nick Laird Explication and Analysis Essay

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Epithalamium
Nick Laird
The New Yorker
January 24th, 2011

You're beeswax and I'm bird shit.
I'm mostly harmless. You're irrational.
If I'm iniquity then you're theft.
One of us is supercalifragilistic.

If I'm the most insane disgusting filth you're hardly curiosa.
You're bubble wrap to my fingertips.
You're winter sleep and I'm the bee dance.

And I am menthol and you are eggshell.
When you're atrocious I am Spellcheck.
You're the yen. I'm the Nepalese pound.
If I'm homesteading you're radical chic.

I'm carpet shock and you're the rail.
I'm Memory Foam Day on Price-Drop TV and you're the Lord of Misrule who shrieks when I surface in goggles through duckweed,

and I am Trafalgar, and you're Waterloo, and frequently it seems to me that I
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“You’re bubble wrap to my fingertips” is the second time in which he shows an unconvinced attitude (7). The imagery used in this line makes all readers think of the pleasant and enjoyable act of popping small plastic bubbles repeatedly with the fingers. So once again, the partner is described positively, as a pleasure. The final line of the second stanza presents an allusion of “winters sleep”, something that refers to the act of hibernation, comparing it to the “bee dance”, a series of quick movements performed by a bee to communicate with other bees (8). When you think of hibernation you think of a bear, and although they may be exciting at times, during the winter I don’t think I would use that word to describe them. In fact, the speaker uses the phrase “winters sleep” to describe the bride’s boringness and even laziness, while a bee, the groom in this case, is always exciting and active (8). Stanza three opens with relating “menthol” and “eggshell” (9). Other than what “menthol” actually is, the reader is obligated to figure out its characteristics (9). I would say its traits are minty and fresh. And how would one define “eggshell” (9)? What’s leftover? This could easily be an argument stating that he is original and new, while she is always a little more bland and derivative. The next sentence states that while the bride is “atrocious”, he is equivalent to “spellcheck” (10). This is a statement that means that whenever

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