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Analysis and comments on Notice What This Poem Is Not Doing by William Stafford

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Comment 10 of 310, added on April 11th, 2007 at 10:20 AM.

i think stafford is saying that the stones, the light , the earth and water
don't have to tell you anything. their very being is enough. that people
expect to be entertained and therefore we miss the whole point of life-that
we are here now and should be present because nothing lasts .

marilyn mckinstry from United States
Comment 9 of 310, added on February 9th, 2006 at 10:51 PM.

Strafford uses rhetoric to denigrate Romantic poetry by suggesting that
these poems about the beauty of nature do not have any depth.
additionally, Stanford shows random images using the romantic style of
poetry in order to suggest that Romantic poetry is filled with empty
metaphors and meaningless themes. Furthermore, he uses the poetic structure
in order to appeal to audiences whom appreciate poetry of this era and have
also read poetry prior to his era, the romantic period.

matthew finston from United States
Comment 8 of 310, added on January 7th, 2006 at 4:12 AM.

Agreeing with a previous post, we are unnable to directly determine what
the poem is NOT saying. In fact, these lines that seek to draw attention
to the unnamed substance instead are used as a device to draw attention to
what the poem IS doing. I believe that the poem, in talking about a
cemetary and the beauty of the situation, and noticing as well that the
narrator is directly referring to a "someone" leads us to believe that even
in death, this person is not forgotten; au contraire, they are all but
dead.

Weston from United States
Comment 7 of 310, added on November 3rd, 2005 at 9:18 PM.

I don't understand it. What is it not doing? This does not appear to be a
very good ode ppoem. I would know. We are studying ode poems at school in
my English class.

Kayla McDonald from United States
Comment 6 of 310, added on August 28th, 2005 at 5:23 PM.

After some thought and consideration, this poem appears to be warning of
the day of final judgement, as told in the book of Revelations. The light
symbolizes God and, in the poem, everything the light touches is judged,
or, "named". "Every person gone [dead] has taken a stone to hold", and
"catch the sun [be judged]". In the end, it makes a reference to the
reader,the reader will be judged when "the light has found you". All the
poem has not done is actually warn the reader or speak of death or
judgement day, whilst these are the main subjects of the poem. BTW My
colleague and I are not religious at all.

!LeaF! from United States
Comment 5 of 310, added on August 26th, 2005 at 10:27 AM.

The poem is clearly not rhyming, or following similar structural
conventions for poetry, but is rather using a form of prose and calling
itself a poem.

Kjirsten from United States
Comment 4 of 310, added on June 14th, 2005 at 8:16 PM.

Telling the reader to 'Notice What This Poem Is Not Doing' is an
interesting device to draw focus on what the poem is doing. Then notice
what the reader adds between the lines make connections and extensions. The
poem itself is actually rather spare, yet it draws me in, or is that me
drawing me in?

Mike McCulley from United States
Comment 3 of 310, added on June 6th, 2005 at 11:42 PM.

This poem is clearly not telling you what it is not doing. I'm pretty sure
that's the joke behind it.

Ty from United States
Comment 2 of 310, added on February 20th, 2005 at 1:33 PM.

This poem is clearly not laughing at dead children, though that is just my
opinion. Some of you may find that this poem draws humor from the reality
of child mortality, but personally, I do not.

Jeremy from New Zealand
Comment 1 of 310, added on February 2nd, 2005 at 12:01 PM.

What is it not doing... I dont see it.

Sera from Canada

This poem has been commented on more than 10 times. Click below to see the other comments.
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Information about Notice What This Poem Is Not Doing

Poet: William Stafford
Poem: Notice What This Poem Is Not Doing
Added: Feb 20 2003
Viewed: 15626 times
Poem of the Day: Aug 7 2009


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