What is the poem "Strangely Fresh" by Kuroda Saburo about? What would be a good thesis for it?
By Kuroda Saburo
It appears quite unexpectedly
from the depth of oblivion,
like a lost object
that comes out
from under fallen leaves
piled up by winter winds -
The strangely fresh memory
of a moment of a day long gone by.
Why is it so?
What does it mean to me?
It is a simple thing,
almost too simple a thing-
A deserted white country road in midsummer,
which I saw from the train window traveling alone.
The tune of someone's bright whistling I heard
on a station platform after an air raid.
The faint scent of perfume
of a woman I passed by in the fog-filled valley of a night.
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This moving lyric poem in three sestet stanzas in unrhymed free verse is about a World War II memory that seems to have occurred in London (or somewhere with fog like London) and that continually recurs to the poetic speaker, the persona. The poetic speaker in this poem may be the poet himself because of the nature of the memory and his reaction to it.
London-like place: "station platform after an air raid. / [...] / the fog-filled valley of a night."
The persona has this recurring memory that is "strangely fresh" and wonders why a memory of such a "simple thing" should so persistently come upon him as though "fallen" upon him in the "winter wind." This memory of a day, as he tells it, is indeed simple: a country road seen from a train; a man on a train platform whistling a tune in the aftermath of a bomb air raid; the fragrance of a woman's perfume in a fog-shrouded London night. This is what this poem is about: a memory of a day in the war.
A plausible thesis might be that stanza three answers the questions in stanza two by implying that he lost his wife to a war related event and that thus these seemingly random events clung together as the woman's perfume clung to his thoughts because they remind him of his lost love (perfume), her absence (whistling following air raid), and their life together (the country road).
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