What is unique about lines 55-64 in "Dream On."


James Tate

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From lines 55 through 64, the images suggest that poetry goes beyond the ease of being “categorized” (how poetic a word is that?). The song of a “rare species of bird” is barely audible, the implication being that poetry is not easily perceived, even though it is nevertheless perceptible. Poetry is based on the attempt to reach, to understand those aspects of life that are not readily amenable to understanding. Like a dragonfly, poetry flits in and out, up and down. It is elusive, and it is such elusiveness that distinguishes poetry from ordinary experience and language.

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