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Love Calls Us to the Things of This World

Love Calls Us to the Things of This World


by Richard Wilbur

Love Calls Us to the Things of This World Questions

Bring on the tough stuff - there’s not just one right answer.

  1. What's with all the mentions of washing and laundry? How many times does Wilbur bring it up? What's he trying to tell us with this imagery?
  2. What are the contrasts and double meanings doing for the poem? Can you identify all of them? 
  3. The soul changes its mind about the body a few times. Ultimately, what do you think its true opinion is? What evidence is there to support your opinion? 
  4. Why end on the image of the nuns? They weren't mentioned until the final stanza; why are they important? 
  5. Can you track the movement of the poem? The beginning is pretty different from the end. How does Wilbur carry the poem along? In other words, what's happening from stanza to stanza? What's action and what's just reflection? 
  6. What's love got to do with it? No seriously—in light of the entire poem, how does love call us to the things of this world? And what are those things anyway?

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