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Richard Eberhart "The Groundhog"

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Trae Coulter

on 12 March 2014

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Transcript of Richard Eberhart "The Groundhog"

Richard Eberhart
Born: April 5, 1904
Died: June 9, 2005
Attended many colleges in American and England
Taught English at many colleges after graduating
Married Helen Butcher in 1941
Had two kids
Began writing poetry after death of his mother in 1922.
Summary of Poem
One day, he was walking along and saw a dead groundhog and got a strange admiration for it. Every so often he would come back to the place of the groundhog and see what was left of it. Over the period of time he watched the groundhog decay, the way he felt about it changed and he didn't care about it anymore until one day when he realized the impact it had on his life.
Line 38

"Beautiful as architecture;"
Compares the beauty of the bleached bones to architecture
"The Groundhog"
In June, amid the golden fields,
I saw a groundhog lying dead.
Dead lay he; my senses shook,
And mind outshot our naked frailty.
There lowly in the vigorous summer
His form began its senseless change,
And made my senses waver dim
Seeing nature ferocious in him.
Inspecting close his maggots' might
And seething cauldron of his being,
Half with loathing, half with a strange love,
I poked him with an angry stick.
The fever rose, became a flame
And Vigor circumscribed the skies,
Immense energy in the sun,
And through my frame a sunless trembling.
My stick had done nor good nor harm.
Then stood I silent in the day
Watching the object, as before;
And kept my reverence for knowledge
Trying for control, to be still,
To quell the passion of the blood;
Until I had bent down on my knees
Praying for joy in the sight of decay.
And so I left: and I returned
In Autumn strict of eye, to see
The sap gone out of the groundhog,
But the bony sodden hulk remained.
But the year had lost its meaning,
And in intellectual chains
I lost both love and loathing,
Mured up in the wall of wisdom.
Another summer took the fields again
Massive and burning, full of life,
But when I chanced upon the spot
There was only a little hair left,
And bones bleaching in the sunlight
Beautiful as architecture;
I watched them like a geometer,
And cut a walking stick from a birch.
It has been three years, now.
There is no sign of the groundhog.
I stood there in the whirling summer,
My hand capped a withered heart,
And thought of China and Greece,
Of Alexander in his tent;
Of Montaigne in his tower,
Of Saint Theresa in her wild lament.
About the Author
Nature and Death
Lines 45-48
"And thought of China and Greece, Of Alexander in his tent; Of Montaigne in his tower, Of Saint Theresa in her wild lament."
Shows impact it had on his life by showing impact of these people and places.
My Interpretation
"Richard Eberhart." - Poets.org. N.p., n.d. Web. 12 May 2013.
"Richard Eberhart." : The Poetry Foundation. N.p., n.d. Web. 12 May 2013.
BY: Trae Coulter
Full transcript