An extended metaphor in which the title—which is any naturally-occurring protective covering of an organism—becomes symbolic of the poem itself.
“The City Limit”
The city is here described in fecal terms as a means of examining the quality of equilibrium in nature.
An attempt to impose upon the fragmentary nature of the poet’s verse the symbolic realization that lack the anguish of becoming is necessitated by a quality of brokenness in the process.
A consideration upon the nature of spirituality through barely punctuated confessional emotions.
A demiurgic reflection upon the cosmic and scientifically powerful nature of poetry as an act of creation.
An evocation of the hard work of farming and the vital contribution of agriculture in the creation of America through the story the titular mule surviving a potentially catastrophic snakebite.
Although Silver is never directly identified as a mule in the poem which the animal’s name as its title, the connection is made palpable by the direct identification of the titular mule in this poem as Silver.
“The Role of Society in the Artist”
The poem answers the question inherent in its title by suggesting that the role is to be an outsider always looking in, but never in hope of gaining approval from society, but rather as a means of determining originality which cannot be so easily gleaned from the inside.
“A Poem Is a Walk”
In which the poet asserts that one can only come to know the meaning of any poem by figuratively taking a walk inside it; you can’t hope to interpret what you don’t read with observation.
“Singing & Doubling Together”
An expression of love toward an unidentified object which could just as easily be a tangible woman as it could be a more abstract conceptualization of nature.
An ode to Transcendentalist shirking of belief in the superiority of the Gods versus mortals through the suggestion that given the choice, life down her among the mortals is invested with more meaning precisely due to the lack of immortal abilities.
A stroll along the titular geographic tidal stream provides yet another opportunity for the poet to follow one of his recurring themes and motifs: the accumulation of details perceived by a singular observer.
"The Ridge Farm”
A meditative reflection upon what makes the best nature poetry: one where nature is free to roam and not restricted by the intrusive policies of man.
A long poem in which the verse seeks to unify the poet’s expression of the refuse of humanity as a symbol of everything that unites and connect society together through philosophically, economically and ideologically.
In which crystal becomes a metaphor for reason; as capable of creating brilliant radiation as it is of being crushed under the weight of force.