by Wallace Stevens
For many religions, the sky represents heaven, where God or the gods live. The protagonist of the poem often turns the sky into a symbol of heaven. By the last stanza, though, the sky becomes just another part of nature.
- Lines 42-45: The poet imagines what the sky would look like if the earth becomes like paradise. He divides the sky into "a part of labor" and "a part of pain."
- Line 78: The poet calls the sky in heaven "perfect," which is a use of metonymy, because the perfection of the sky stands for the perfection of heaven as a whole.
- Line 97: The pagan men chant in a circle. It’s as if they are transferring the life from their blood to the sky. They are responsible for turning the sky into a paradise.
- Line 117: At the end of the poem, the sky becomes a symbol of isolation, much like the image of the island earlier in the stanza. It’s big, dark, and blue, and it surrounds us on all sides.