Comments on Structure and Theme. Is it a poem with significant sensuous qualities or depicting nature as attempting to make amends with mankind
Amends By Adrienne Rich
Nights like this: on the cold apple-bough
a white star, then another
exlploading out of the bark:
on the ground, moonlight picking at small stones
as it picks at greater stones as it rises with the surf
laying its cheeck for moments on the sand
as it licks the broken ledge, as it flows up the cliffs,
as it flicks across the tracks
as it unavailing pours into gash
of the sand-and-gravel quarry
as it leans across the hangared fuselage
of the crop dusting plane
as it soaks through cracks into trailers
tremulous wit sleep
as it dwells upon the eyelids of sleepers
as if to make amends.
Adrienne Rich's poem 'Amends' is primarily about the relationship between moonlight and human beings: how moonlight lights up various features as it progresses through the sky, how it wishes to make amends, sympathises with the lives of the sleepers.
Perhaps most remarkable about the poem is the personification of moonlight, and the sensuous details employed to describe its action. Moonlight is personified as in 'picking at small stones'[line4] and 'as it licks the broken ledge'[line7]. Examples of sensuousness include:
1. 'laying its cheek for moments on the sand'[line6]
2. 'as it dwells upon the eyelids of sleepers'[line15]
The poem consists of four 4-line stanzas having lines of unequal length. The whole poem, in all its 16 lines, goes on and on through run-on until the moonlight reaches the point of making amends to mankind. The poem is very sparingly punctuated, rather unpunctuated, through to the end. The repeated use of 'as it'--eight times in all--and the anaphoric repetitions at the beginning of lines 7-8 & 15-16, should also be taken good note of. All the four verses are unrhymed.