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Ode To Meaning

Robert Pinsky

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Analysis on Ode to Meaning by Robert Pinsky
Added by: Sara
I was wondering if someone could help me or send me to a web site that would have information on the poem, Ode to Meaning by Robert Pinsky, thanks..
Added by: richard
The irony is that “Ode to Meaning” essentially is meaningless.

A barrage of of undeveloped images and references does not clarify,

it merely confuses. There is energy in the writing, but it’s undisciplined


Passages such as,

“After my mother fell on her head, she became More than ever your sworn enemy. She spoke Sometimes like a poet or critic of forty years later. Or she spoke of the world as Thersites spoke of the heroes, “I think they have swallowed one another. I Would laugh at that miracle."

Are moving and interesting because one can clearly understand the event.

Even the stanza following it, “You also in the laughter, warrior angel: Your helmet the zodiac, rocket-plumed Your spear the beggar's finger pointing to the mouth Your heel planted on the serpent Formulation Your face a vapor, the wreath of cigarette smoke crowning Bogart as he winces through it,” creates some interesting associations. But an entire poem of such

scattershot imagery grows tiresome.

Some of the of the imagery is simply incomprehensible

Gesturer, when is your spur, your cloud? You in the airport rituals of greeting and parting. Indicter, who is your claimant? Bell at the gate. Spiderweb iron bridge. Cloak, video, aroma, rue, what is your Elected silence, where was your seed?

About three quarters of this poem should be cut.

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