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“In the Garden” –Lawrence Raab. By: James O’Malley. Biography. Birth Date: May 8, 1946 From Pittsfield, MA. Family- Married to Judith Ann Michaels, Daughter: Jennifer Professor- teaches English and Poetry Currently continues to read poetry. Symbols. Garden=Heaven Adam and Eve=Parents

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“In the Garden” –Lawrence Raab

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“In the Garden” –Lawrence Raab

By: James O’Malley


Biography

  • Birth Date: May 8, 1946

  • From Pittsfield, MA.

  • Family- Married to Judith Ann Michaels, Daughter: Jennifer

  • Professor- teaches English and Poetry

  • Currently continues to read poetry


Symbols

  • Garden=Heaven

  • Adam and Eve=Parents

  • Flowers=Children

  • Change in Seasons=Growth of Life


Explication

  • Before the Fall

    Adam and Eve tended the garden,

    Pruning and ordering,

    And when they slept

    The lavish trees and shrubs grew

    Just enough to require attention

  • Adam and Eve watch over the children as they grow.

  • Like flowers the spirits and emotions of kids need to be trimmed and taken care of.


Explication

  • They didn’t call it work.

    It was what they did,

    Being part of a plan

    They couldn’t see the shape of.

    But they must have felt

    How pleased God was to observe them.

    One day was what they had, the same day,

  • It’s not a job to raise kids but a way of life.

  • God is happy with what Adam and Eve (Parents in general) are doing with children.


Explication

  • In which they worked separately.

    At night did they dream? I think

    They could not have dreamt,

    Since the past was the same

    As the future—neither hope

    Nor despair, only tendrils

  • Life is stuck in time

  • Man separates from Female


Explication

  • And branches, the heaviness

    Of flowers leaning over the path

    That led from the man to the woman

    And which, each day, needed to be cleared.

  • Children start to become adults

  • Still needed their parents throughout their life, on certain occasions.


Literary Terms

  • Before the Fall Symbols: Adam and Eve, Garden, Trees, and flowers.

    Adam and Eve tended the garden,

    Pruning and ordering,

    And when they slept Feminine Rhyme: words that rhyme using -ing

    The lavish trees and shrubs grew

    Just enough to require attention

  • They didn’t call it work.

    It was what they did, Enjambment: the running on of thought from a couplet without syntactical break.

    Being part of a plan

    They couldn’t see the shape of.

    But they must have felt

    How pleased God was to observe them. Simile: a comparison between two things, using like or as.

    One day was what they had, the same day,

  • In which they worked separately.

    At night did they dream? I think

    They could not have dreamt,

    Since the past was the same

    As the future—neither hope

    Nor despair, only tendrils

  • And branches, the heaviness

    Of flowers leaning over the path

    That led from the man to the woman

    And which, each day, needed to be cleared.


Personal Analysis

1.

  • Adam and Eve are parents that raise their children through life.

    2.

  • Adam and Eve- Man vs. Female

  • Work together at first but then split up

  • Flowers are obstructions between the man and women


Critical Analysis

  • “…they [Raab’s poems] perfectly capture the persistent inner voice that provides a play-by-play account of one’s life…” (Seaman).

  • “Lawrence Raab’s gracefully haunting poems explore the fine lines of our temporal lives, between distance and intimacy, limits and possibilities, present and past…” (“Lawrence Raab”).

  • “Free-verse poet Lawrence Raab has published six volumes of his work, which uses simple, everyday language to explore a wide range of large, complicated issues” (“Lawrence Raab”).


Works Cited

  • Donna, Seaman. “New and Selected Poems.” Visible Signs. 99.15 (28 Apr. 2003). 2 pp. 4 Apr. 2013 <http://search.proquest.com/docview/234498547/13DB8CBC9744E693493/6?acountd>

  • “Lawrence Raab.” Contemporary Authors Online. (28 Oct. 2003). 3 pp. 16 Apr. 2013

  • “Lawrence Raab.” The Poetry Foundation. N.p., n.d. Web. 29 Apr. 2013. <http://www.poetryfoundation.org/bio/lawrence-raab>

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