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Research Paper on “entrances and Exits”

Autor:   •  September 26, 2016  •  Research Paper  •  1,183 Words (5 Pages)  •  423 Views

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Ryan Leiss

Dr. Fink

American Literature

21 November 2014

Research Paper on “Entrances and Exits”

Mary Szybist is a current celebrated author and poet from the United States. She lives in Portland, Oregon where she teaches at Lewis and Clark College. “Her many writings have emerged in publications such as Best American Poetry, The Kenyon Review, Poetry, Ploughshares, and two Pushcart Prize anthologies”(Szybist). Mary Szybist has written two books, Granted and Incarnadine. “Granted was the winner of the 2004 GLCA New Writers Award and was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award”(Szybist). Most recently, Incarnadine won the 2013 National Book Award for Poetry. The theme that runs throughout the entire book has to do mainly with a famous annunciation painting, or the announcement of the Incarnation by the angel Gabriel to Mary (Luke 1:26-38). This painting happens to be the cover of Incarnadine. One particular poem that stands out in Incarnadine is “Entrances and Exits.” Szybist finds a way to intertwine many stories and art in complete different historical periods, to all connect back to the annunciation scene and her-self. She uses these many different connections and allusions from historic scenes in order to bring the theme and what she believes is the true importance.

The poem begins by stating that the speaker’s friend’s daughter, Olivia, has walked into her office where she eats rice cakes and when she eats it leaves crumbs. The author also explains that she is looking at a painting by Duccio, a great Italian painter during the 13th and 14th century, but does not go into detail. This is the first story that Szybist offers the present, and each stanza switches to a different story. Not much can be understood this early in the poem besides the fact that the setting in the present is taking place in Mary Szybist’s reality. The second stanza initiates the next story of how a 76-year-old-woman was found after two rigid weeks in the wilderness. “This is a true story that takes place in the thick woods of eastern Oregon’s Wallowa Mountains, just 261 miles from Mary Szybist and Portland” (Associated Press). She states that ravens circling the elderly woman were the reason the men searching for her found her. The third stanza is where the poem really begins to connect and the reader can finally pick out some of Szybist’s ideas. The third stanza shows:

“Duccio’s Annunciation sits open on my desk. The slender angel (dark, green-tipped wings folded behind him) reaches his right hand towards the girl; a vase of lilies sits behind them. But the white dots above the vase don’t look like lilies. They look like the bits of puffed rice scattered under my desk. They look like the white fleck at the top


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