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The Naked and the Nude

The Naked and the Nude


by Robert Graves

The Naked and the Nude Appearances Quotes

How we cite our quotes: (Line)

Quote #1

For me, the naked and the nude
(By lexicographers construed
As synonyms that should express
The same deficiency of dress
Or shelter) stand as wide apart
As love from lies, or truth from art. (1-6)

Notice how the poem starts with an introduction of a person thinking and seeing in the world? That's a good indicator that we're going to be paying lots of attention to how he sees things—or, put another way: how things appear to him.

Quote #2

Lovers without reproach will gaze (7)

Our speaker's not alone in all his looking. (That would be creepy.) Nope, lots of lovers like to look at their partner's body. Remember the cliché "Beauty is in the eye of the beholder"? Well, our speaker is concentrating on the act of beholding.

Quote #3

In nakedness, anatomy; (9)

Nakedness is just nakedness, right? How do you see anything other than just skin? Well, if you're a doctor, you're training to see through the skin (not literally—unless you're a radiologist). But doctors see the body as a set of symptoms. This means that, to them, the body appears to be something completely different from its surfaces.

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