In "Political Meeting" A. M. Klein describes an orator addressing an anti-conscription rally in Quebec. The Orator, we are told, is "a country uncle with sunflower seeds in his pockets." The description of the sunflower seeds in the Orator's pockets is the most vivid physical detail in the poem. But it is more than just that. For anyone who knows "Political Meeting," the image of the sunflower seeds has the power to call up the complex mood of the poem, and, in particular, its ambivalent attitude to the Orator. (p. 48)
Klein's ambivalent attitude to the Orator, deep distrust mixed with fascination, even with a kind of admiration, comes through especially in the detail of the sunflower seeds. What are...
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