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Analysis and comments on The Partial Explanation by Charles Simic

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Comment 4 of 72, added on February 24th, 2009 at 11:12 PM.

it kinda sounds like he's hungry in the beginning. this poem is like when
you're by yourself doing nothing or waiting for something. and this poem is
what you're thinking ... for example, "seems like a long time since the
waiter took my order" or "the snow falling outside". the person in the poem
is just observing, what i think, are random things. its an interesting poem

mark from United States
Comment 3 of 72, added on November 2nd, 2005 at 10:50 PM.

I really like this poem. It’s an “I’m alone” poem. If you’ve ever gone to a
diner or someplace to eat by yourself, you feel like time passes so slowly.
Going out to eat or to a movie by yourself gives you this feeling of
incredible loneliness because they’re something that you customarily do
with your friends. This poem just communicates that long loneliness of it,
the way time goes so slowly, the profound need to be around someone, or
just see someone—you feel like it’s been a long time since you’ve seen even
the waiter or a passerby on the street.
The poem implies that the one alone chose to be alone because “…this table
I chose myself/Upon entering.” It seems to him as if “it has grown darker,”
and snow falls outside, and he is kept company only by “…a glass of
ice-water.” It’s just a very lonely little poem about some guy who’s alone
in this dark tiny little world of his own and would appreciate just hearing
someone else’s voice, and that’s why it’s so sweet and sad, and yet there’s
still a hint of that person being comfortable in it. He did choose his seat
after all, and he is drinking ice-water—not hot cocoa, or coffee, even
though it’s probably cold outside since it is snowing. He chose to be alone
but wants someone to be alone with him—I mean, consider how different this
would be if he was with a friend. It would be enjoyable to be in apparently
empty, grimy little diner where it’s snowing outside but you’re probably
warm. He wishes it was different, but his isolation, his utter seclusion,
was chosen, and it is somewhat comfortable for him.

Clemintigne from United States

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Information about The Partial Explanation

Poet: Charles Simic
Poem: The Partial Explanation
Volume: Selected Early Poems
Year: 1999
Added: Feb 20 2003
Viewed: 506 times

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