Carl Phillips 's Double Shadow Essay

Carl Phillips 's Double Shadow Essay

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For this assignment I elected to read a collection of works by a poet I have grown to become more and more familiar with, the ever so syntactically brilliant Carl Phillips and his collection of poems titled Double Shadow. As a poet, I have been influenced a fair amount by Carl since attending his reading a month ago on October 21st. So when it came to reading a collection of works, I chose to read one the books of poetry I bought from that same reading. With regards to Carl and his literary style, Carl has mastered something that I am striving to reach, not just in poetry, but as an artist and human in general. That “something” I am referring to is this level of contemplation and thought provoking self-reflection. In his poetry Carl often creates a speaker who is not only self-critical but reflective on their place in nature and their relationships to nature and what dwells in them. One of the things I find amazing about this is that the majority of his work deals with abstract concepts, yet they are also based in realism. I perceive Carl to be a lyrical poet, as he employs his speakers convey his personal feelings of situations of his life that all can relate to. Most poets are proficient at drawing out the feeling of empathy from their readers, creating speakers or characters that a reader may relate to. But what Carl does that is of specific intrigue to me is how any feeling of either happiness or distain are ephemeral in nature. This is something I find astounding in Double Shadow he succeeds in creating a world where no feeling is constant and that they mental state the speaker is always in flux. There is a sort of "blindness" to the speaker, as they initially have an understanding of a situation but then find sk...


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... If it would be the wind god who they are talking to then that is a funny progression. On the other hand I believe the way to interpret this is that they are talking to each other, as they have either gone mad or fall prey to the relationship that this poem is ultimately a metaphor for. Even when you look at the title itself it is indicative of someone looking onto these two individuals “through an opening”. These are reflective of Carl’s feeling on a particular pairing of people he has observed (or possibly experienced). It is easy to discern what the metaphor of this poem is, but the actual language he uses is masterful in the way expresses its message. Which is what I’ve grown accustomed to when reading Carl and is what I strive to do better as a poet. Carl is truly a master at what he does and that is why I chose to use one of his books to do for this assignment.

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