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Analysis


Symbols, Imagery, Wordplay

Welcome to the land of symbols, imagery, and wordplay. Before you travel any further, please know that there may be some thorny academic terminology ahead. Never fear, Shmoop is here. Check out our...

Form and Meter

A poem is considered when it celebrates natural beauty. It can take almost any form, and this one is in free verse, which means that it has no regular rhyme or meter. There are just 31 lines of poe...

Speaker

At the beginning of the poem, the speaker wants us to think that he’s pretentious. He starts talking about "new thinking" and "old thinking," like some fashion expert talking about last year&...

Setting

You might not even realize that the poem is "set" in a place called Lagunitas if not for the title. For a pastoral poem, there’s not that much nature imagery from the place that he praises. A...

Sound Check

As we’ve mentioned elsewhere (see "Calling Card"), Hass is capable of writing really great poems that sound like prose. This one sounds like a regular person chatting with us as if he were an...

What's Up With the Title?

"Meditation" could make you think of religion. Hass is really interested in Eastern religions like Hinduism and Buddhism, so that’s part of what he’s up to. But, "meditation" has anothe...

Calling Card

Do you notice how the Robert Hass poem "Meditation at Lagunitas" sounds a lot like a normal guy talking, except his sentences are broken up in verse? The sentences just start and end right in the m...

Tough-O-Meter

Although the references to Plato and philosophy require a little extra background, the poem isn’t really about dense philosophy. It’s about how dense philosophy fails to capture importa...

Brain Snacks

Sex Rating

No doubt about it, there’s sex in this poem. If this were a movie, right around line 16 the film would cut to a softly lit room. We catch a glimpse a man and a woman with "soft shoulders." An...

Shout Outs

Plato (lines 3-4)
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