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Comment 3 of 5, added on April 17th, 2010 at 9:13 AM.
The Plot Against the Giant
There are indeed girls, but "girl" isn't necessarily non-sexual. Young
women can be girls, depending on the perspective.
If it's the perspective of a big, mighty giant, which I think is both
Stevens and men in general (and more generally still, people), then young
women might seem like "girls." Each girl stops the giant with something
progressively more stopping than the last. The first just checks, the
second abashes, and the third undoes. What are the first, second, and
third? the first is smell, yes, but it's also nature. The scents come only
from the flowers. This checks the giant as it checks Stevens and it checks
us. The second is human artistry -- craft, but not necessarily poetry. For
Stevens I think this can stop the Giant still more than nature alone.
Finally, the third girls "undoes" him, seemingly with words. What does she
say? Heavenly labials. There's an obvious labial pun there. She whispers
something sexy. So the things that stop the Giant -- Stevens, men, and
people -- are most importantly words and sex. Words can "do."
from United Kingdom
Comment 2 of 5, added on December 3rd, 2005 at 9:02 PM.
What an odd comment from Tamra! There are three girls in the poem, and no
women. The poem compares three senses, scent, sight, and finally sound; the
last is the most powerful-- it "undoes" the giant-- because it is
self-reflexive, referring to poetry's origins in song.
Leo from United States
Comment 1 of 5, added on July 29th, 2005 at 6:59 PM.
Under a womans exterior is a hidden flower with the power to bend the will
of even a giant. Her submission is never a mistake.
Tamra from United States