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The Bare Arms of Trees by: John Tagliabue

poetry analysis project
by

Isabella Nixon

on 15 May 2013

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Transcript of The Bare Arms of Trees by: John Tagliabue

The Bare Arms of Trees by: John Tagliabue Sometimes when I see the bare arms of trees in the evening
I think of men who have died without love,
Of desolation and space between branch and branch,
I think of immovable whiteness and lean coldness and fear
And the terrible longing between people stretched apart as these branches
And the cold space between.
I think of the vastness and courage between this step and that step
Of the yearning and fear of the meeting, of the terrible desire
held apart.
I think of the ocean of longing that moves between land and land
And between people, the space and ocean.
The bare arms of the trees are immovable, without the play of leaves, without the sound of wind;
I think of the unseen love and the unknown thoughts that exist
between tree and tree
As I pass these things in the evening, as I walk. Overview Poem is in the style of free verse. This particular style is important because the poem is referring to elements of nature. Nature has a freeing element. Loneliness Throughout the poem there is a sense of loneliness. The trees are being used as metaphors for loneliness. Historical Information John Tagliabue: He was born in Cantu, Italy in 1923 and came to New Jersey at the age of four. This poem was written in 1998. The Bare Arms of Trees Europe during this time period: During this time period, WWI was just ending and there was a rise in Fascist ideas. Benito Mussolini came to power as the Italian Dictator. We can assume that his family came to the United States to escape Mussolini Italy. New York State of Mind Tagliabue, when he was younger, was a wanderer who enjoyed taking the 42nd Street ferry to New York City, where he said he would “walk all day” on the city streets. Lost Connection As trees lose their leaves, the lose a connecting piece, a part of their life. Knowing that Tagliabue used to walk on the streets in New York we can infer that he is referring to the trees as the people on the busy New York City sidewalks. Bare Arms Bare arms of trees have no leaves or anything that moves or that can be seen as different than any other tree. They are plain and have had everything taken away from them. Title: Bare without life
without hope
lacking fruit Arms Have a relation to the human body and human actions to make it seem that the object with no hope is reaching for something that can not be reached. Trees Symbolize the wisdom and growth of a person. Alliteration This is being used to show the continuous amount of branches and how excessive they are. Repetition The repetition of between is important because it is representing an obstacle. There is always something stopping us from interacting with others. It might be how we feel or maybe there is something throwing us off, but we always tend to be hesitant when it comes to approaching people. Shift I would identify this as the shift because it seems that now he has become more serious. He states everything that the trees lack, rather than what they already have and what they experience. By reading after this point, you are left with thoughts and you want to look deeper and put yourself in the trees' shoes so you can feel their sorrow. "I think of vastness and courage between this step and that step..." This is referring to the fact that all of us have the ability to create interaction. In every step we have courage and we can decide whether or not we want to stretch out a little further and interact with others. We can all be BOLD in our actions! the quality or state of being very large "Of the yearning and fear of the meeting,..." The interaction is love. We all have a fears and hopes when it comes to falling in love. We fear that our hearts will be broken. On the other hand, we also want to create love and be loved. a strong wish for something "....of the terrible desire held apart." We have the desire to love, but when we don't let our feelings take control, we will still be standing with distance in between us. Nature During this section, Tagliabue uses the aspects of nature to describe the trees. Space "I think of the ocean of longing that moves between land and land and between people, the space and ocean." a very large or unlimited space or quantity a strong desire especially for something unattainable The ocean represents our desire for love and to create a connection with someone. The only thing that is holding us back is that we don't have the courage to create the connection. Love "The bare arms of the trees are immovable, without the play of leaves, without the sound of wind;" not capable of being moved emotionally The sound of wind and the play of leaves represent love. Without having those two aspects they are not capable of being moved emotionally, capable of loving. They used to have the capability of loving, but losing all of their leaves, leaves them bare and without love. Unseen and Unknown When you haven't experienced love, all you can do is dream. As the character walks he thinks about the trees' desire for love and all the things that are holding them back. Theme Life is not lived to its fullest without love, for it is love which motivates us to have the courage to take action (make a connection). Sometimes when I see the bare arms of trees in the evening
I think of men who have died without love,
Of desolation and space between branch and branch,
I think of immovable whiteness and lean coldness and fear
And the terrible longing between people stretched apart as these branches
And the cold space between.
I think of the vastness and courage between this step and that step
Of the yearning and fear of the meeting, of the terrible desire
held apart.
I think of the ocean of longing that moves between land and land
And between people, the space and ocean.
The bare arms of the trees are immovable, without the play of leaves, without the sound of wind;
I think of the unseen love and the unknown thoughts that exist
between tree and tree
As I pass these things in the evening, as I walk. Attitude The author acknowledges that love is sometimes lost or never achieved, but does not allow it to drag him into sorrow. He continues to walk on while keeping thoughts in his head. The End
Full transcript