You are on page 1of 2

Vicente 1

Jussara Vicente
Mr. Josh English
English 101-006
26 November 2015
SWA 1- Close Reading as of a Poem
This poem, written by Thom Gunn, captivated my attention because of the message it
depicts and the way it is organized. Short paragraphs also referred to as stanzas and short
sentences also called lines, obligates the reader to pause, and originates better grounds to
understanding the concept of the poem. The Man with Night Sweats is a title somewhat
ambiguous. If the text is not read at its integrity, one can make his own conclusions as to why a
man would have night sweats.
The author starts almost all stanzas with an indication that he is the one who performs the
actions depicted in the text. With simple day-to-day words used in a text, for example, I woke
up cold, I who prospered through dreams of heat it is fairly easy to find a meaning to this
phrase, although possible connotations to some words may occur, but still approximately
transmit the same message. To better perceive the big picture of the text, it is necessary to
evaluate the text in parts. As such, the first stanza shows a direct connection to the title of the
text, in other words, it serves to complement the title. For example, it is safe to say that the man
with night sweats, woke up surprised and developed a healthy way through the dreams of heat.
Despite the fact that the words used were different, this type of connection is acceptable and
makes sense, to a readers perspective.
As a reader, I have noticed that when a word is constantly repeated, it is an indication that
it has a strong connection to the title of the text. The word sweat is not only part of the text, as it
is also included in title. For example, wake to their residue, sweat, and a clinging sheet. This
excerpt from the text itself is self-explanatory, and can easily be interpreted, once one knows to
what residue the author woke up to. Shield also appears many times in the text and based on the

Vicente 2
context of the text, it is used as a verb. The author does indeed refer to his body as his protection,
in a world of wonders in each challenge to the skin.
Dreams are compiled images of ones thoughts and aspirations. To an extent, phrases such
as dreams of heat, I grew as I explored the body I could trust show a how content he was
with his dreams, but the phrase hugging my body to me, as if to shield it from the pains that
will go through me on the second to last paragraph, brings controversy to the meaning that has
been depicted by the author throughout the poem.. It may be inferred by some that dreams of
heat are frightening and surprising, but when I grew as I explored the body I could trust is
encountered, the meaning may change to an exciting and surprising experience. Also, as if
hands were enough to hold an avalanche off depending on the connotation, may have different
meanings. Avalanche is used as a form of exaggeration and almost always has a negative
connotation. Words cannot mean something by its own, there always has to be context involved.
This text, as said before, can be understood very quickly if close read, because the
words are used in an uncomplicated way, unlike many poems. The fact that its written in the first
person, engages the reader to an extent as if he himself were living the same situation, almost
arousing the same emotions the author writes about. This story at first can seem mostly shifted to
a sexual perspective, but truth be told, dreaming about being in danger can sometimes evoke the
exact same feelings and emotions. We might also sweat and feel agitated once we wake up, but
then feel the necessity of calming down. Example of this the following excerpt from the text. I
have to change the bed, but catch myself instead