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Keeping Things Whole

Keeping Things Whole

by Mark Strand

Identity Quotes

How we cite our quotes:

Quote #4

I move
To keep things whole. (16-17)

Finally, a bit of resolution from the speaker. For a moment, we thought he was just shying away from giving us his true identity. Although he doesn't resolve the conundrum of being both here and not here, he gives us his motivation for "moving." It's open to interpretation what moving means in this case. It could just literally be motion through the world, as in, he has to keep moving, stay alive, putting one foot in front of the other, so that he doesn't cease to exist. On the other hand, it could be that his identity is so fraught with a feeling of isolation that he doesn't feel like he belongs anywhere. What's that got to do with identity? Well, he's either constantly searching for his identity, or he's trapped in an identity that's defined by not existing. One plus, of course, is that he has the perfect alibi for whenever he's late for an important meeting. "I was there, but you didn't see me because I am what is missing, and you know, the absence." Or something like that.

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