Kisla Rami 21.12.


Robert Duncan¶s ³Often I am Permitted´ Explication We all dream. Our dreams, according to Sigmund Freud, are what we encounter in our sleep that reflects our unconscious desires. Dreams can also be considered as our subconsciousness trying to tell us stories or hint things we may have never otherwise known about ourselves and our loved ones. But sometimes our dreams may leave us in a dazed confusion or terrified state which makes us never want to dream again. In the poem ³Often I am Permitted´, the author, Robert Duncan, attempts to create a particular setting of his reoccurring dream for his readers by incorporating several literary techniques and skillful writing to make his readers feel what he felt at the time of his dream. Based on the vast amount of information we¶ve read about authors and poets, it¶s reasonable to conclude that a writer, poetic or not, makes certain decisions in his or her writing that is significant to their work as a whole. Like Faulkner or Hemmingway, other prominent writers and poets may develop their own specific style in order to get their message across clearly to their audience. In ³Often I am Permitted´, Duncan uses parallelism throughout his poem in order to reflect on the idea that this dream continues to haunt him in his sleep. Duncan starts with ³Often I am permitted to return to a meadow´ and he also ends with the same phrase. Another example of Duncan¶s parallelism is when he writes ³wherefrom the shadows that are forms fall. Wherefrom fall all architectures I am...´ Again, these examples may be Duncan¶s way of trying to explain to his readers the repetitiveness of his dream.

Similar to an author¶s style of writing, their diction is also crucial to the work as well. Duncan¶s diction is particularly important because it makes the reader understand the subject of the poem, being the dream. Phrases such as ³a made place´, ³eternal pasture folded into all thought´, and ³only a dream´ are what can make the readers assume that Duncan is describing his dream. There¶s also a feeling of calmness and serenity as Duncan describes the ³meadow´ and the ³grass blowing east against the source of the sun´. But at the end of the poem Duncan decides to talk about the ³ring a round of roses told´ which refers to the ³Ring Around the Rosie´ children¶s song that is essentially about death. Maybe Duncan chose to talk about the song at the end because he wanted it to relate to the temporary ³death´ of his dream that would just come back to haunt him the next day, like a ghost would. There are always those dreams that come back to haunt you or dreams that you always remember. They may not have a specific significance or importance, but somehow they have an effect on you. In Duncan¶s poem, his dream seemed to give him a feeling of inner peace and calmness and turned out to be an ³everlasting omen´ of death most likely. Duncan¶s style and diction in his poem allow his readers to follow his thought process and understand the significance of this reoccurring dream.