Please give examples of theme and style in Marilyn Dumont's poem "Not just a platform for my dance"Examples within the poem of theme & style, my professor is looking for an indepth analysis of...

Please give examples of theme and style in Marilyn Dumont's poem "Not just a platform for my dance"

Examples within the poem of theme & style, my professor is looking for an indepth analysis of this poem.

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Doug Stuva | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

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Marilyn Dumont, in "Not Just a Platform for My Dance," places what the "land is not just" in opposition to what the land is.

The opening two stanzas repeat "this land is not/just" to achieve unity and build intensity.  The first stanza uses the everyday:  house, car, fence.  The second stanza moves to the ceremonial--"dead"--and the regenerative--"seed."

The second part of the poem, beginning with stanza three, repeats "this land is," but omits the "just," and cites sensory organs as samples:  tongue, eyes, mouth.

The speaker repeats again, in part, in the fourth stanza, beginning each line with "this," "these," and "these," respectively, and moves from human senses to human-like nature:  in other words, she uses personification to describe the land.  The grass is "headstrong," the willow "relenting," the fields "flat-footed," leaves, "applauding," and winds, "frank."

The linking verb "are" replaces the repeating "is" from the first four stanzas to open the fifth, and the "th" in "this" from the previous stanzas is repeated in two uses of "they."  Stanza five also moves from the subject of nature to the spiritual (prayer), to the physical (medicine), and to the culmination of her being (song, which is created from the spiritual and physical).

Finally, metaphor provides the conclusion of the poem, as well as the title, of course:

this land is not

just a platform for my dance

as the speaker returns to "this land is not/just," and concludes that the land is not just a stage for her to dance on--not just a place for her to exist.

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