Monday, February 2, 2009

Karintha and the use of Poem and Prose

This poem is mysterious. Toomer uses her literary skills to carefully portray Karintha as the beautiful person she is in great detail, but obscure the actions she has done. Toomer uses short verses within the longer prose to iterate points and also transfer the African-American village feeling to the reader. The first verse simply describes Karintha's appearance. She describes Karintha's color as the "dusk on the eastern horizon/ When the sun goes down." This is dark, rich, and deep. Her color is not light, as many portray beauty with a lighter complexion, but rather much darker than the reader my first expect. The sun sets in the west, and the east is neglected of its light. Just so, Karintha is neglected of emotional love by the men in her village, for she is the object of their physical attraction. The second verse in the prose is a reiteration of the first, though it is more abbreviated. This brief repeat allows for the transition into the description of how Karintha has changed. She is still beautiful, but she's different. The third verse is different than the first two, shorter as well. This is a short song describing the smoke in the village and how it rises up in the air. The smoke, as it lofts towards Heaven, is incited to take a soul of to Jesus. This casts more light onto what Karintha has done, possibly leaving her child to die in the woods or killing it in the burning sawdust. The final verse is a repeat of the first verse, making the story come full circle. This shows that despite what Karintha has done, she is still beautiful and seen as beautiful. With her beauty comes the darkness, mirroring her guilty conscience. The last poem fades off with a reiteration of the last words, "Goes down..." This somberly closes the poem, as the sun "goes down" in the horizon, so do Toomer's words and Karintha's innocence.

1 comment:

  1. Toomer is actually a He.
    But apart from that i agree with what you say. Especially as you say the piece comes full circle, which is the same for the whole novel which purports to end with dawn but as the circular images at the beginning of each chapter indicate it is a circular novel as opposed to one with a resolution and this takes us back to dusk.