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The Lake of Auber

Symbol Analysis

This is another pretty strong image from the opening stanza. The speaker doesn't use a ton of words to describe this lake, but he doesn't really have to. Just a few well-chosen adjectives are enough to give us a sense of how icky and spooky it is.

  • Line 6: In this first reference, he calls the lake "dim." This fits right in with the "sober" skies and the "misty" region of Weir. As any good horror movie fan knows, dark water is a great way to creep people out. Who knows what could be under there?
  • Line 8: Now he calls the lake "dank." That means damp and cold. The damp part doesn't really seem fair, since it's kind of a lake's job to be damp. Still, you get the picture right? It's a slimy dark, cold lake in the middle of the woods. Not where you want to be hanging out.
  • Line 91: At the end of the poem, the lake makes a comeback. Before, it was just part of the set-up. Now it's a sign of the speaker's memory coming back. This is the big payoff for the whole poem, the main dramatic event. This little refrain, the repetition of the description of the lake, helps to give it its impact. In a way, when we read this echo of a previous line, it's as if our own memories were coming back too.

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