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Explain the theme of frustration in the poem "Continuum" by Allen Curnow?

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jessicamartin... | Student, Undergraduate | Salutatorian

Posted May 21, 2012 at 5:16 PM via web

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Explain the theme of frustration in the poem "Continuum" by Allen Curnow?

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literaturenerd | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

Posted May 21, 2012 at 5:43 PM (Answer #1)

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The speaker's frustration in Allen Curnow's poem "Continuum" is made most relevant through the word choices of the poet. The poem is full of contradictions (a source of frustration for many).

The poem opens with the speaker stating what is happening:

The moon rolls over the roof and falls

behind my house.

Then the speaker states that this doesn't happen. The speaker then states that he (assumptive based upon the poet's gender alone) cannot sleep or think. For most, sleep is the time where they don't have to think.

One can assume that the narrator is frustrated with life. Another assumption which can be made is that the poet, himself, is having trouble with inspiration, needed to compose. The imagery in the poem is very poetic. At the same time, confusion can set in for the reader as to the point of the poem given its jumping nature from one place to another. This jumping can also speak to the narrator's frustrations with life, or the poet's frustrations with writer's block.

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