Traveling Light by Linda Pastan

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By reading the new book of Linda Pastan, one can know the comfort of lyrical intelligence as well as sharp observation. Pastan, a Maryland poet was awarded two times having published 12 books of poetry from 1991 to 1995. Therefore, she is a recognized living American poet who work has received extraordinary recognition by the Poetry Foundation. The first book she published A Perfect Circle of Sun in 1971 reveals a statement regarding poets who write about the greatest change of life in Dirge

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Only poets safe at their desks hear death years away,and full of the intensity of words,rush to meet it.

Pastans latest book, the Traveling Light is composed of 63 poems, similar to mini memoirs. Linda Pastan progresses to focus on numerous faces of transformation, specifically death. Even if currently, having turned 80 years of age, death is not far in comparison when she finished the Dirge in just three lines. Pastas Traveling Light is fascinating and exceptionally good. The depth of the poems in Traveling Light turns can turn some of the readers witty self-deprecation, that is, the fluency through ones neuroses. The collection of her poems emphasizes on her age, which is almost 80 during publication, however, there are incidences of youthful playfulness in most of the poems. Pastans sardonic tone on aging is both heart breaking as well as hilarious. In addition, there is perfect union of the present and the past in every poem.

In the opening poem of Traveling Light, The Burglary, loss is presenting itself very clearly. Thieves pilfer the narrators mothers silver, consequently affecting the life of the family.

We must eat with our hands now,grab for food

in this new place of greed,our table set

only with memories, tarnishingeven as we speak: (Pastan,2)

These lines, the poets couple lose the need and greed. The family does not have spoons, forks and knives. In addition, they cannot replace with cheap cutlery. The most unexpected thing is that they the void of their current situation with greed. The opening poem can catch the attention of many readers because of the prevailing situation where the poor are denied their rights and freedoms and the rich are filled with the greed of power and an urge to take more resources from the public illegally. The opening poem is full of imagery.

Different from The Burglary, the books Tannenbaum can compete intensively with A Tourist as Ellis Island. Tannenbaum is one of the best poems using figurative language. The basis if the poem is the ideal that being attached to something can be difficult to part with, specifically when an individual is not supposed to have that thing in his or her possession. According to the poem, the narrator is not supposed to possess a Christmas tree, however, as March approaches, the Christmas tree is removed from the deck of the family and is now a habitat of birds who go out and in throughout the day similar to thrifty housewives. In one stanza of the poem the narrator asks,

How can I, who shouldnt have hada Christmas tree at all, evict them,dragging the tree to the far end of the gullywhere all the other trees I shouldnt have hadended up: stripped by the weatherof their needles; mere skeletons of themselves? (Pastan, 29)

Linda Pastan not only humanizes the birds but she also humanizes the tree. Through this poem, the poet shows the respect of nature. Other interesting poems in the book include The red cardinal, Noel, Late September Song, Bronze Bells of Autumn ,Lettuce Heart with Flower Petals, Return to Maple 9 ,Eve on Her Deathbed, After a Month of Rain and The Moment. Imagery is used in some of these poems such as Eve on Her Deathbed to deliver the message on transition. The poems in the book have the equivalence of Venus flytrap, when you read one poem you are trapped, but it is not that one is trapped, one is not willing to leave the poems in the book entirely.

Works Cited

Pastan, Linda. Traveling Light. New York: W.W. Norton & Co., 2011. Print.

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