[ilds] The Tree of Idleness -- more questions

Vittorio Celentano vcel at ix.netcom.com
Thu Jul 19 18:48:26 PDT 2007


Bill,

Here is a real banana leaf.

Vittorio


  ----- Original Message ----- 
  From: william godshalk 
  To: ilds at lists.uvic.ca 
  Sent: Thursday, July 19, 2007 7:46 PM
  Subject: Re: [ilds] The Tree of Idleness -- more questions


  Jamie appears to regard the "ragged banana leaf" as a genuine banana leaf outside the Turkish house the persona inhabits. Michael points out that bananas do grow on Cyprus (and in London according to Pynchon), though they are not indigenous as Jamie points out. Jamie suggests that the banana tree is like the persona himself -- not indigenous, a transplant. The banana leaf is a poetic image rather than a statement of horticultural fact. Could the raged leaf suggest something about the outside of the house, something more about the persona? Are there other suggestions?

  Michael has commented on the rock-rose in the jam-jar inside the house, set poetically against the banana leaf outside. Of course the paired images are not explained, just there to be thought upon, pondered. 

  In the second stanza "Perhaps a single pining mandolin/Throbs where cicadas have quarried," i.e. to the "heart of all misgiving and there/Scratches on silence like a pet locked in." Why the indefinite "perhaps"? Why does the mandolin pine, and perhaps throb in the ground where the cicadas have dug? What is the "heart of all misgiving"? And why does the stanza end with the image of a domestic animal locked in and scratching to get out -- though the house is otherwise silent? It appears to be the mandolin that is scratching on silence like the unidentified animal.

  Bill 



  ***************************************
  W. L. Godshalk           *
  Department of English         *
  University of Cincinnati            Stellar disorder  *
  Cincinnati OH 45221-0069      *
  513-281-5927
  *************************************** 


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