Eyes of the Mind

October 31, 2008
By Richard Ly, San Jose, CA

Eyes of the Mind

The hues of a cream-orange skyline;
A city of industry

The paradisiacal greens of water;
A lake of algae

Exotic reds of African soils;
A country of genocide

White milk of cloud like purities;
A corporation of corruption

The warmth on a face in the snow;
A hole in the—sky—line of lights;

By planes

A million paradoxes that exist
30 million more eyes that are


Considering the form of the poem, one can see that every semi-colon indicates a negative perspective to a positive image that precedes it. The first two stanzas mirror each other with “the”, which starts each stanza. Each second line in the first four stanzas offer a different perspective and emulate each others sound with the repetition of “A ___ of”. The stanzas and their juxtaposition of images further the idea of perception and how phenomena can often be seen in a cynical sense, just as much as they are seen as beauty. This model is clearly modeled after Stevens as it allows the mind of the reader to see what it wants to see and make whatever it will of the images presented to it through the lines. Furthermore, the 5th and 6th stanzas work in conjunction to test the reader’s perspective and allow them to see more than one image, depending on what kind of thinker they are. The last stanza of the poem furthers the idea that there are many perceptions in the world and that for every paradox that exists there are millions of different ways different people can interoperate them. Finally, imagery is a very large part of the poem as it allows the readers creative mind to take control and identify various scenes as their minds wish. Without the reader’s imagination and interpretations of the lines presented to them, the true meaning of the poem could not be adequately conveyed.

(As a post-note to the analysis, social critiques of current issues in our world today are found in the 3rd, 4th, and 5th stanzas, and a reference to Wallace Steven’s poem “A Sea Surface Full of Clouds” is made in the second stanza).

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