In the poem "Junk" by Richard Wilbur, what exactly is meant by 'in the making dark'?

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tinicraw eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In Wilbur's poem, "Junk," the phrase "in the making dark" appears at the end of the poem after the speaker has described many objects sitting on the edge of a curb waiting to be hauled away to the dump. Earlier discussion alludes to the journey through which these man-made things have traveled up to this point.  He acknowledges the people behind the making of the things in the trash with their hard work not being appreciated as much as it should have been.  Then, we as a wasteful society simply toss such things into a landfill and out of our sight forever.  Ironcially, it is out of our sight and in the darkness of the earth that beautiful things like diamonds are made; but also, things are broken down and decomposed. Thus, "in the making dark" implies that just because we throw things away doesn't mean that they disappear; in fact, trash and diamonds seem to be mixed together in the "prisoned sand." The images of valued and unvalued things existing in the earth together seems ironic.

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