In the poem If I close my eyes, Nancy Levin (2011) explores various issues that are related to people’s experiences and their worldviews. In particular, the author focuses on the complexity of human memory which is often unreliable. This is one of the questions that are of great interest to this poet because she wants to show that memory is closely tied to imagination.
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Moreover, she shows that a person’s identity is not static; more likely, it changes dramatically with time passing. Sometimes, these changes can take place almost instantaneously. This is one of the main aspects that this author emphasizes. To some degree, this poem shows how difficult it is for a person to rediscover the truth.
Overall, it is possible to argue that Nancy Levin creates a thought-provoking poem which includes rich imagery that produces a strong impression on the reader. Moreover, she attempts to promote such values as critical thinking, creativity, and willingness to re-assess one’s knowledge since these qualities are critical for the wellbeing of a person.
One can also say that this literary work is open to various interpretations, and there is no single approach to the analysis of this poem. These are the main questions that should be examined in this essay.
There are several important details which should be examined in order to understand the ideas that the author wants to express. In particular, Nancy Levin says, ‘knowing what you are who you are changing from moment to moment’ (Levin, 2011, p. 10). In this way, she strives to show that the self-identity of an individual continuously evolves. It should not be perceived as some fixed set of assumptions about one’s values, character traits, and priorities.
In the author’s opinion, this perception of identity is too limited. This is one of the key points that should be taken into consideration because it is one of the central themes that Nancy Levin examines. Moreover, the author uses a very interesting metaphor in order to explore the complexity of human memory and identity. In particular, she compares a person to a “palimpsest” or a scroll on which two successive texts have been written (Levin, 2011, p. 10).
This is one of the main images that attract the readers’ attention. To some degree, this metaphor is vital for showing that a person’s values, attitudes, and beliefs can alter significantly due to some reasons. Sometimes, a person can undergo a rapid transformation and many of his beliefs and assumptions can be shattered.
This is why Nancy Levin is quite right when compares a person’s identity to a palimpsest because this comparison is very vivid. So, the development of a person’s inner world is one of the central questions that the poet explores.
Additionally, in this poem, the author examines the way in which individuals discover the truth. Nancy Levin wants to show that memory cannot provide definitive answers to a person. In particular, one should look at the following quote because it illustrates some of the main themes that the poet explores.
“Truth must be discovered moment to moment a remembered truth is a dead thing” (Levin, 2011, p. 11).
Overall, this passage is aimed at demonstrating that human memory and perception cannot accurately capture objective reality. Therefore, an individual should continuously evaluate the knowledge that is available to him or her. In this way, a person can lead a more fulfilling life. These are some of the ideas that Nancy Levin puts forward.
To a great extent, the author promotes such values as critical thinking, creativity, and willingness to look at various things from various perspectives. These qualities can significantly enrich the experiences of a person who should not limit his/her worldview. These are the main issues that Nancy Levin wants to highlight.
They are vital for analyzing this poem. Yet, one should take into consideration that it is one of the possible interpretations. Other readers can provide different explanations while analyzing the poem. This is one of the main limitations that should not be disregarded.
It should be mentioned that Nancy Levin is not a well-known author. She is not one of those poets who can be regarded as established classics. Her collection Writing for My Life is probably the first book that she has brought her some recognition from readers and critics. The poem that has been analyzed comes from this collection. Yet, one should take into consideration that in the past, her poems were published in various newspapers.
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Many of her poems can be found in online publications. Moreover, in the past, Nancy Levin received some rewards for her poems. Nevertheless, one can argue that she is a talented author who can create powerful images that produce a strong impression on readers. The literary devices that she employs are very vivid and original.
This is one of the things that can greatly appeal to readers. Moreover, one can say that she prompts readers to reevaluate their perception of the world as well as values. Therefore, this poetic works of this author can be of great interest to many people. It is quite in possible that in the future, her books can become more popular.
One can say that the poem which has been discussed urges readers to examine their subjective experiences and some of their beliefs. In my opinion, it enables people to take a new look at their perception of the world and self-identify. To some degree, this poem has influenced me. For example, this reading has made me think about the fallibility of memory and the necessity to evaluate one’s beliefs and attitude.
This is one of the main impacts that I can identify. More importantly, this poem has reminded me that a person can have multiple identities that easily coexist with one another. To a great extent, it has profoundly affected me. More importantly, this literary work can draw attention to other poems written by this author.
This discussion indicates that Nancy Levin’s poem If I close my eyes is one of those literary works which explores various themes such as memory, creativity, and identity. The author attempts to address various existential and philosophical questions.
One can say that the poem can elicit various responses from the readers, and one should not suppose that there is a single interpretation which can throw light on every intention of the author and the ideas that she wants to express. This approach is not very useful for the study of literature. Yet, this poem can pose many challenging questions to the reader. This is one of the main arguments that be advanced.
Levin, N. (2011). Writing for My Life… Reclaiming the Lost Pieces of Me: A Poetic Journey. Carlsbad: Balboa Press.