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Continuum: Poetry Essay

Continuum: anything that goes through a gradual transition from one condition to a diffrerent condition, without any abrupt changes or discontinuities In this poem, Curnow explains the hardness of poem. He is waiting for inspiration for his poem and he is bored about thid and wants to sleep. He explains that writing a poem is an endless cycle. He personifies moon as a symbol for himself which creates a restless mood. The poet can not rest until he finished his poem. “I am talking about myself” this sentence suggests the reader that the poet is lonely and isolated.

His source for inspiration is nature in this poem and he sais “Better bare-foot it out the front” because he wants to connect directly with the nature. He can not concentrate anything because of his restless mood. “washed-out creation” and “dark-place” imageries suggest that he wants to find sth unique. “A long moment stretches, the next one is not on time. ” this sentence means that the poet doesn’t notice the time had gone. Curnow used “(query)” because he want to explain his sense of questioning.

The “cringing demiurge” is the creative side of the persona and he is in an inner-conflict because one side of him wants to sleep the other one wants to write a poem. At last stanza, we are not sure but we understand that he found sth like inspiration and he turns to his bed, stealthily in step. Curnow’s punctuation suggests that he is lack of control. His commas shows that he is jumping from thought to thought. Curnow’s enjambment rambling poet’s own thoughts. The poem’s structure is also explains the theme and title of th poem, “Continuum”.

The poem is also composed of very long stanzas which explains the confused mind of the speaker. Allen Curnow’s “Continuum” is a poem on the continuity of poetic inspiration. The poetic source of stimulation of great poets since ages has been the landscape. The moon has been a persistent metaphor for poetic inspiration in celebrated poems like Samuel Coleridge’s “Dejection: An Ode. The poet’s quality of being a satirist is prominent here. He first asserts that the moon rolls over the roof, and falls back. This is to imply that his poetic capabilities are sinking.

Subsequently, he goes on to substantiate that the moon does neither of these things, he is talking about himself. When poets generally do falter in poetic output or due to lack of inspiration, they tend to blame the external circumstances. However, Here Allen Curnow asserts that the poet himself is to be blamed; for, Poetic inspiration comes from within and not from outside. Being sleepless is not an excuse for writing a poem. Sleeplessness does not necessarily allow one to ruminate over a subject, or planet or subjective thoughts.

The condition of insomnia can also be dodged conveniently by walking barefoot on the front. The speakeris then visualized as an onlooker of nature. As he stands at the porch he beholds an objective view of himself, as he discerns “across the privets/and the palms a ”washed out creation”. This portion is a dark space. The poet moves to his satiric tone yet again. This dark space contains two particular clouds, one was supposed to be a source of inspiration for the poet, and the other for his adversary-the other fellow poet.

Bright clouds dusted(query) by the moon, one’s mine The other’s an adversary, which may depend on the wind or something. The clouds seem to dust the moon for the poet in his quest/query for poetic stimulation. Nevertheless as one cloud functions in his favour, the other (cloud) poses as an adversary that may shadow the cloud, accompanied by the wind. Poetic brainwave or competence must not mar the other’s inspiration, for each poet has his individualistic insight that springs from within and does depend on external features.

Creative Inspiration The poet gets the feeling that he has overcome his writer’s block. As creativity begins in impulses, there are gaps. The next gap is a long one, and obviously the next poetic impulse is not on time. Corresponding to the inner lack of productivity, the feet outside lack warmth as the chill of the planking underfoot rises. As the poet cringes for poetic output based on external inspiration, the night sky seems to empty all it contents down, as in an action of excreting or vomiting.

The speaker then turns on his bare heel and closes the door signaling the end of his creative endeavour. This is He, the objective Author, feeding on this litter of the scenic sky and employing his poetic tools in the process. Therefore, he is aptly the cringing demiurge. “The demiurge is a concept from the Platonic, Middle Platonic, and Neoplatonic schools ofphilosophy for an artisan-like figure responsible for the fashioning and maintenance of thephysical universe.

Although a fashioner, the demiurge is not quite the creator figure in the familiar monistic sense; both the demiurge itself and the material from which the demiurge fashions the universe are the product of some other being. ” (Wikipedia) The poet Allen Curnow asserts that he neither is he original, nor his poetic source of insight. This is because the motivating stimuli did not spring from Him. It is objective, when it should be rather subjective. {Continuum * Allen Curnow} In the poem Continuum by Allen Curnow, he tells us about his lack of inspiration or his lack to “create”.

The theme of the poem revolves around poetic inspiration, and how he is unable to get that inspiration. He uses a variety of literary devices to portray this. The title, “Continuum”, shows us that the problem he talks about, his lack of inspiration is never ending and is continuing all the time. The first stanza shows us Curnow’s unstable thoughts; “the roof falls behind”, as he is unable to compose poetry he is in a sense of rolling and falling all over the place. In the first line, the word “moon” is used as a metaphor, as a symbol for himself.

As the moon is unable to shine on its own, as it depends on the sun, just like that Curnow depends on his writing to keep him going in life. The first stanza also tells you about the setting and time of the poem which is at night. The poem has no rhyme scheme, this tells us that the poet is finding it difficult to express his thoughts, and he cannot tap into the world of imagination. The last line of the first stanza; “I am talking about myself. ” Also shows his frustration. In the next stanza, Curnow is seeking connection with nature to find poetic inspiration.

The line, “It’s not possible to get off to sleep”, tells us that the poet is unable to sleep which shows that something is troubling him. Curnow goes out “barefoot”, to rid himself of the human material and wants to connect with nature. He stands in the porch looking at the moon and the clouds, not really conscious of either the time or the chill that he starts to feel. Curnow eventually goes back to bed having written this poem. He writes about himself as another person or thing – He says he is the moon; in the last stanza he writes as if he is describing what he did to the “the author”.

Curnow walks “stealthily in step” as if half of him is afraid of what is happening to him. Summary: The author writes about his inability to sleep due to his inability to come up with material to write about (most likely a poem, could be another form of text). He therefore gets up in the dead of night when everyone is asleep and experiences a surreal world as his reality and dreams blend together in one beautiful work of poetry. It is ironic however, that when he finds nothing to write about, he writes about his inability to write.





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