Study Guide

Proem Writing Imagery

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Writing Imagery

We can't be too surprised that a poem about poetry mentions writing a couple of times. Writing is the act that brings a poem into being. It's kind of like its mom. In this poem, though, writing is an extreme sport! It's catches fire, it jumps out of airplanes, it's a boat that crosses the sea and the desert—in a nutshell, it's not for sissies. Just look at all the ways that Paz animates writing, making it into something dangerous and Indiana Jones-like.

  • Line 3: This line isn't about the act of writing, but rather about demolishing something that was already written. Here poetry burns up the rules and the holy commandments (hopefully there's a stone copy somewhere around here) with its rebellious attitude.
  • Line 4: Writing is like letting little words jump out of a plane onto the desert of the blank page to fill it up with poetry.
  • Lines 5-6: Here the blank page becomes a boat that carries the poet's despair across the sea and desert of sorrow. It's as though writing were a vessel for emotions.

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