Study Guide

The Wild Iris Language and Communication

By Louise Glück

Language and Communication

Hear me out: […] (3)

In retrospect, this line is even more meaningful, because it's spoken by someone who once lost and then reacquired the ability to speak. Now the speaker is using this newfound voice to share the good news about the power of words—that they survive suffering and perhaps even death.

[…] that which you fear, being
a soul and unable
to speak […] (11-13)

If you've ever had laryngitis, you know how frustrating it can be. When all you can do is croak or whisper, people don't take you seriously. But it's even worse to be ignored when you're speaking normally. The wild iris recognizes that, deep in our souls, we all have a need, and a right, to speak our own truths and know that we are heard.

I tell you I could speak again: […] (18)

How does this line sound when you read it aloud? Shmoop can't decide whether to read it in an excited tone of voice or an impatient tone of voice. There's surely excitement there—joy at being alive and finding a voice. But we think the speaker is also a little frustrated by humans who don't understand the great Circle of Life (Hakuna Matata, dude).

[…] whatever
returns from oblivion returns
to find a voice: (18-20)

If Shmoop had just returned from oblivion, our first order of business would be to find a large pizza with extra pepperoni. After that, it'd be good to find a voice so we could call up our friends and tell them what oblivion was like (and how good that pizza was). But seriously, folks, who would we be without our voices? And how will you use yours?

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