Keeping Things Whole
by Mark Strand
Keeping Things Whole Questions
Bring on the tough stuff - there’s not just one right answer.
- What is the effect of the super short lines in this poem? How do line breaks and enjambment help shape the way we read this poem?
- Is this poem about presence, absence, or both?
- What does the speaker mean when he says, "I move / to keep things whole"? Do you think he has a fear of staying still? Why or why not?
- How does the speaker use repetition in this poem to complicate the meaning of his poem? How does repeating words in such a short poem embody the speaker's self-reflective nature?
- How would this poem change if it were written in a traditional form instead of free verse? How does the form, or formlessness, of the poem shape how we understand what the speaker is saying?
- Is this a hopeful poem in any way?
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