Wednesday, March 10, 2010

The Colonel

I thought this story paragraph poem, whatever you want to call it, was pretty interesting. It conveys a sense of danger and urgency almost, as can be seen with the line "My friend said to me with his eyes: say nothing". The first line, "what you have heard is true", suggests that no one really knows much about the Colonel, but the narrator is there in person and is able to confirm the rumors that the villagers have heard. We can see that the Colonel is not a benevolent ruler, he even yells at the parrot to shut up, an animal that most likely doesn't understand the meanings behind the words it mimics, and the Colonel thinks that people who believe they should have rights "can go fuck themselves". The comparison between the human ears and dried peach halves is extremely vivid and even after reading the story I still can't get the image out of my mind. While reading this story I couldn't help but wonder who the narrator could be, and how it is they were able to have dinner with such a tyrannical person.


  1. I loved the last line about the ears being pressed to the floor, almost like they were attempting to listen to the conversation. The feeling of secrecy is huge in this piece, like the broken bottles for scooping up kneecaps of those who stood to the house.

  2. Yeah I agree, this piece has vivid imagery about the ears and how they can seemingly hear the colonel. One line struck me as strange though, the one where the colonel says "Something for your poetry, no?" It is strange because the narrator inadvertently does use it in her poem, but I cant figure out what it means. Perhaps that poets have a responsibility to listen to the world around them, no matter how grotesque, and recreate them in art? It makes sense somewhat given the light political tone of the poem and the motif of the listening ears would further suggest that, but I really don't know. Any thought behind that specific line?

  3. I found it interesting how the piece incorporated a sense of routine normalcy, such as the daughter going out and the wife bringing drinks. The violence of the imagery with the ears and the Colonel's outbursts is starkly contrasted with the beginning of the poem. Great analysis.


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