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Skunk Hour

Skunk Hour

by Robert Lowell

Analysis: Speaker

The speaker is someone who is mentally ill. He seems sad and lonely, as well as bitter (note the tone he uses when describing the townspeople) and restless (driving around all night, standing on his back porch watching the skunks). So can we trust this guy? Well, it's hard to say. You can definitely see the descriptions, especially as the poem progresses, getting stranger. It's pretty cool, actually, to know that everything we find out about this place is slightly distorted because it's seen through the lens of somebody who's mentally unstable. Who knows, maybe the sane version would have been super boring.

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