Annotating Poems: “Theories of Time and Space” and “Incident”

“THEORIES OF TIME AND SPACE”

You can get there from here, though
there’s no going home.

Everywhere you go will be somewhere
you’ve never been. Try this:

head south on Mississippi 49, one-
by-one mile markers ticking off

another minute of your life. Follow this
to its natural conclusion – dead end

at the coast, the pier at Gulfport where
riggings of shrimp boats are loose stitches

in a sky threatening rain. Cross over
the man-made beach, 26 miles of sand

dumped on a mangrove swamp – buried
terrain of the past. Bring only

what you must carry – tome of memory
its random blank pages. On the dock

where you board the boat for Ship Island,
someone will take your picture:

the photograph – who you were –
will be waiting when you return

Visual Elements from “Theories of Time and Space”

Image

The pier of Gulfport lined with shrimp boats located near Biloxi, Mississippi.

Image

This is a photograph taken on Ship Island.  The fort at Massachusetts can be seen in the background.  Ship Island was used as a prison for Confederate soldiers and served as a training area for black combat units during the Civil War.

There are 2 lines per stanza.  There are ten total stanzas and twenty lines.  There are no repeating patterns in the poem.

“INCIDENT”

We tell the story every year-

how we peered from the windows, shades drawn

though nothing really happened,

the charred grass now green again.

We peered from the windows, shades drawn,

at the cross trussed like a Christmas tree,

the charred grass still green. Then

we darkened our rooms, lit the hurricane lamps.

At the cross trussed like a Christmas tree,

a few men gathered, white as angels in their gowns.

We darkened our rooms and lit the hurricane lamps,

the wicks trembled all night in their fonts of oil.

It seemed the angels had gathered, white men in their gowns.

When they were done, the left quietly. No one came.

The wicks trembled all night in their fonts of oil;

by morning the flames had all dimmed.

When they were done, the men left quietly. No one came.

Nothing really happened.

By morning all the flames had dimmed.

We tell the story every year.

Number of stanzas and lines: 5 stanzas with 4 lines

Repetition: The poem is a PantoumThe 2nd line always goes with the first line. Last line always goes with the third. (2-1, 4-3, 1- last)

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