Explication of a Poem

872 WordsFeb 24, 20134 Pages
Ted Kooser, the thirteenth Poet Laureate of the United States and Pulitzer Prize winner, is known for his honest and accessible writing. Kooser’s poem “A Spiral Notebook” was published in 2004, in the book Good Poems for Hard Times, depicting a spiral notebook as something that represents more than its appearance. Through the use of imagery, diction, and structure, Ted Kooser reveals the reality of a spiral notebook to be a canvas of possibilities and goes deeper to portray the increasing complexities in life as we age. This poem opens with an extreme and vivid simile, “The bright wire rolls like a porpoise” (line 1). This beginning not only grasps the attention of the audience, but the image intensifying language that Kooser has chosen…show more content…
These lines continue to emphasize the ability of a notebook and how it has changed as we grow older, as kids a notebook is something that is to be used for school, always neat and organized. However, life is not as simple as we all have believed it to be as kids, each subject has a different value as time goes on, “demanding an equal share of attention” (line 13). The speaker concludes that aging means to no longer be able to neatly divide things and illustrates the increasing complexities of life. The second sentence grasps the true meaning of the poem, adding to the idea that a notebook is an everyday item, holding much more complexity and ability than it appears to contain. Ted Kooser uses a commonly seen object, a spiral notebook, which is immediately envisioned as something ordinary and mundane and compares it to a profound idea that the spiral notebook is more than what it appears to be. “A Spiral Notebook” symbolizes a canvas that is to be filled with immeasurable possibilities, as well as the growing complexities we face in life. In final analysis, the speaker’s use of imagery, diction, and arrangement of the poem portrays a new and insightful idea about a generic
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