Route 62 Poem

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In her poem “Route 62,” Helen Moffett paints a beautiful and powerful picture of the landscape in South Africa. However, the title evokes the image of a man-made road familiar to many Americans. Nonetheless, Moffett carefully structures her poem and employs vivid language to clearly illustrate that human achievements and life, like the titular road, are ultimately insignificant in comparison to the durability of the long-lasting mountains. Through intricate construction the poem, Moffett’s form and tone reveals the timeless nature of the power of Earth and its elements. “Route 62” is a free verse poem, reflecting how nature is free from any patterns mankind may want to impose on it. Moreover, the first few lines of the poem establishes a tranquil tone as the mountains are “lying slumbering,” evoking a peaceful image (2). As the mountains sleep, little action occurs, allowing them to match the static image many people would contemporarily associate mountains with. Furthermore, the heat of the landscape drapes its own “spines and ribs” (5). The metaphor of a skeleton reflects how the mountains are merely a shell of what they once were, as described in their formation. Nevertheless, this is not to say they are invariable nor no longer powerful. In a line that transitions between the mountains being described in the present with a serene tone, and the fierce tone that follows, the author says, “history has folded these ranges” (6). The personification of a powerful force like
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