unigo_skin
© 2014 Shmoop University, Inc. All rights reserved.
 

Quotes

Quote #4

And though I may not guess the kind—
Correctly […] (34)

Ah, there's been a language shift in the poem. The poem's early language of measuring and probing has been replaced with guesswork. The act of exploring the sadness of others is kind of a game, but it doesn't matter if you have the right answers. In fact, not having the answers gives the speaker the ability to invent her own, which is pretty handy.

Quote #5

To note the fashions—of the Cross—
And how they're mostly worn—
Still fascinated to presume
That Some—are like My Own— (37-40)

This stanza's a toughie, mostly because of the first line, "fashions—of the Cross"—what does that mean? Well, it could mean several things. It could be a clever, poetic echo of the Passion of Christ, in which case it is another reference to a kind of divine suffering. But could also refer to the practice of wearing religious apparel when one is mourning. In that case the "fashions" could stand in for all the ways that people announce their suffering in what they wear and how they present themselves. In any case, once again the poem puts forth the central mode of exploration—watching, and taking note, but passively. In the end, after all of her exploration and speculation, what the speaker discovers is comfort.

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
back to top