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What does "peripheral vision" mean in "Of Being"?
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“Peripheral vision” refers to the nature of the speaker’s consciousness, in which apparently pressing problems become less important, just as when we focus on an object in front of us, other objects beside us, though present, are not of immediate concern. “Ineluctable” refers to the elements introduced in lines 7-12; under the right circumstances they force themselves to become major parts of the speaker’s concerns. The “blue leaves,” “flood of stillness,” and “lake of sky” are all examples of synesthesia (i.e., leaves are green; stillness does not rush about like a flood; lakes contain water, not the sky). They seem true within the speaker’s reflections on the scene around her, and their merging together seems part of the great “mystery” of existence. Under the mystical mood described by the speaker, everything in the natural world, and also in her immediate sphere of activity, is one—a blending of the earth and sky. (We may take “dance” as symbolic of human activity, “kneel” as symbolic of worshipful activity.)
Posted by epollock on October 26, 2010 at 3:01 PM (Answer #1)
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