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“Eating Poetry” is unique, however, because it emphasizes the pleasure and joy of learning. Indeed, the poem is an intellectual romp, just like the dogs coming up the stairs (line 9) to devour more poems. Poetic allusion in the poem may be seen in the phrase “eyeballs roll,” an overstatement to indicate the throes of passion which is used by Pope in “Eloisa to Abelard” (line 323). In addition, the phrase “bookish dark” (line 18) recalls Frost’s “pillared dark” in the poem “Come In.” In Frost, the pillared dark is like an invitation to come in and change the speaker’s life. Here Strand uses the phrase similarly, for the “bookish dark” has effected such a change in the ebullient speaker.
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