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Analysis and comments on Thinking For Berky by William Stafford

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Comment 9 of 459, added on September 21st, 2012 at 1:46 AM.

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Comment 5 of 459, added on July 9th, 2012 at 6:00 PM.

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Comment 3 of 459, added on March 20th, 2012 at 7:18 PM.

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Comment 2 of 459, added on March 8th, 2012 at 3:01 PM.

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Comment 1 of 459, added on March 18th, 2009 at 11:23 AM.

Not too long ago I came upon a feminist critique of this poem that pointed
out, among other things, that the speaker of the poem means to think "for"
Berky, rather then "of." But the poem is about a haunting empathy for a
person the speaker knows to be so damaged as to not likely be thinking her
way into safe choices. It takes the everyday urban experience of hearing
an ambulance (police vehicle, fire truck) and imagining a particular person
who is very likely one day to be the object of such a "screaming" mission.
The poem's particular strength, for me at least, is that it goes way beyond
that particular empathy for Berky to an awareness of how unlikely it is
that she will make it safely, given how she was formed by cruel parents and
(last stanza) living in "an occupied country". But the poem then moves
from that particular empathizing and imagining, to a challenge of all those
snuggled safe in their beds who do not understand how stacked the deck is
against the Berky's who seem, by implication, not to be doing the hard
thinking that may bring about that justice the last stanza speak of, one
intricate step at a time.

James McKenzie from United States

This poem has been commented on more than 10 times. Click below to see the other comments.
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Information about Thinking For Berky

Poet: William Stafford
Poem: Thinking For Berky
Added: Feb 20 2003
Viewed: 1375 times
Poem of the Day: Apr 14 2015

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