Keeping Things Whole

Lesson 13

Keeping Things Whole: Mark Strand




‘Keeping Things Whole' is about the conservation of ecology and environment. Poet Mark Strand requests for wholeness. He # against the usual fragmentation, twitch is going on in everyday life. For strand, he is the absence of field, when he goes there, He always finds himself missing, wherever he goes. While walking he divides the air. When he goes for the air moves in to fill the space, where his body had been before. Poet says that all hate reasons to move, but he moves to keep things whole.


This poem says very simple in surface but it has deep symbolic meaning. Indirectly poet says that people are breaking the completeness of nature. It means that they are destroying forest, using natural resources excessively. By erecting (making) tall buildings, mysteries, and doing unnecessary infrastructural development, people an fragmenting(destroying) natural beauty. So, poet suggests to videos for wholeness. By exposing the bitter reality of fragmentation, le requests us to conserve natural beauty.

Short Answer Questions



1. Interpret the poem "Keeping Things Whole” in a paragraph.


2062 Q.No.5c and 2074 Set A Q.No.5d


The short poem Keeping Things Whole' a poem by Canadian Born poet Mark Strand, can be interpreted in two different ways. One it treats the double-ness and darkness by which the human beings of today are fiving. The poem implicates that the fragmentation and alienation can never guarantee our existence. The today's man is the victim of this identity crisis. He is accustomed to fragmenting the things. The speaker in the poem does the same. In the field, in the air and where ever he goes he lives with the same problem by which he suffers a lot. He realizes that this can't give him peace and comfort. With this realization, he urges us to move for the harmony and wholeness. Another is the environmental interpretation. The nature seeks balance not the separation Human beings on the other hand separate nature by being superior. The genesis of this superiority goes back to the bible where Adam is created by God to look after the nature for his self. The individual of the poem is not far from his men centric outlooks. When he does so in the field ad in other areas, he misses himself instead. But on the other hand, air, one entity of nature, seeks an intact harmony by filing the gaps the speaker has created. The poet at the end thus indicates to the man nature harmony by presenting the speaker who seeks the wholeness, after being the victim of his isolation.

2. Summaries the poem "Keeping things Whole". [5]


2070 Set A Supp Q.No.5a and 2074 Set B Q.No.5a


“Keeping Things Whole" is taken from Mark Strand's Selected Poems (1980). In the poem he pleads for wholeness against the usual fragmentation that goes on in life. The poet believes in whole but not in part. The poet indirectly pleads human beings to fill the gaps in the nature for which they are responsible. He says he is in the field but he cannot feel its presence This always happens to him. He is losing himself everywhere. When he walks, he parts the air? But the air moves back to fill the spaces created by him. Realizing that he has a habit of separating the thing he moves for the wholeness n matter people move in their own way to peruse the course of their living Thus the speaker treats the double-ness and darkness that rule the human being of the postmodern time by realizing the effects of separation. He thinks the wholeness can make us happy but not the separation. The poem in this sense wants to correct to those all individual who live the life of alienation but not the wholeness. On the other hand, in nature, the problems are seen rampant because of this dying harmony What nature seeks is the balance and harmony. The part of the reality is that we separate us from the nature but nature on the other hand calls for the unity as we see the air moving back to the gaps created by humans.

3. How does the poet view himself in the field, in the air and in the backdrop? (5)


2069 Supp Q.No.5d and 2071 Supp Q.No.5c


The poet feels the crisis of his existence both in the field and the air. The field and air are the symbol of nature in the poem. In the nature the poet finds himself missing. The reason is that the poet is habituated to separate the things. He never sees the things in harmony, in combination. He does it everywhere and every time which in fact threatens his existence. In the field, he feels alone, absence of the field and similarly when he goes in the all he parts it. This phenomenon of the poet never gives him his existence. Realizing this he moves for the wholeness. By giving his own example of being suffered because of separation and fragmentation, the speaker pleads his reader for the wholeness and against the usual fragmentation that goes in on our lives.

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