“True Night” opens with the narrator’s mind sheathed in sleep in a dark bed. From without this embrace of dream, an insistent “clatter” draws the poet’s mind from sleep into wakefulness, like a fish on a hook. As he awakes, the realization seizes him that the clatter must be coming from a raccoon because of the distinct sounds of bowls, plates, and jars crashing and rolling about and the fact that he’s been through this “ritual” before. The narrator rises unsteadily from bed, grabs a stick, and stumbles off to confront the intruder only to realize that there are more raccoons than one. Describing himself from the raccoons’ perspective as a “huge pounding demon,” he chases them around the corner outside and hears their claws scratching bark as they scurry up a tree.
From the bottom of the tree, the poet looks up at two young raccoons gazing down at him while clinging to two broken branches that stand out from either side of the pine tree. Admonishing them like bad children, the narrator “roar[s]” at the two for continually waking him at night and ransacking his kitchen.
The narrator now stands silent beneath the tree, focusing on the cold air against his naked skin. Instantaneously shocked into fuller consciousness, he comes to himself and the environment in which he is now fully immersed, becoming aware of how his bare foot contours itself to the...
(The entire section is 742 words.)
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