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Poetry Analysis Notes


The Space
by Gary Soto
interpreted by Shannon Cooney

West of town,
Near Hermosa's well,
I sleep sometimes--
In a hammock of course--
Among avocado trees,
Cane, spider-grass,
The hatchet-faced chula,
The banana's umbrella
Of leaves,
It is here
In the spiny brush
Where cocks gabble
Where the javelina
Lies on its side
Like an overturned high-heel
I say it is enough
To be where the smells
Of creatures
Braid like rope
And to know if
The grasses' rustle
Is only
A lizard passing.
It is enough, brother,
Listening to a bird coo
A leash of parables,
Keeping an eye
On the moon,
The space
Between cork trees
Where the sun first appears.

Poet: - Borne in Fresno, CA
- Not interested in becoming a poet when growing up
- Won many many awards
- Sold over 1 million copies of his poetry books
- Still living

Vocabulary: Chula - Prickly pear, the pear-shaped fruit of a cactus
Javelina: A wild sow; literally a female mountain pig
Parables: Short, simple stories that illustrate a moral or
religious lesson

Type of poem:

Speaker: The poet or some person talking about the place where they like to go to relax.

This is directed towards people who have a special place or spaces. It is also directed towards people who do not have a special space.

Tone: The Tone is very calm, peaceful, and mellow.

- It does not matter where the space is.
- It is special because you make it that way
- It is a place to go to get away form the rush of life.

Structure of poem: Free verse

Examples of poetic techniques used in the poem:

“Where the Javlina lies on its side like an overturned high-heel,” (lines 13-15)
“To be where the smells of creatures braid like rope,” (lines 17-19)
Happens throughout the whole poem
ex. “The Banana’s umbrella of leaves,” (line 8 -9)

Run-On Line
“The Grasses rustle,” (line 21)
“coo,” (line 25)
“gabble,” (line 12)

“A leash of Parables,” (line25)
“It is here,” (line 10)
“Lies on its side,” (line 14)
“Is only,” (line 22)

End Stopped Line

Connection between the poem and the poet's life and/or times: Mr. Soto must have felt very tense or alone at one time and wanted to write about the place where he goes to relax, or a place where he would like to go.

Most memorable quote from the poem:
“I say it is enough to be where the smells Of creatures braid like rope and to know if the grasses’ rustle is only a lizard passing,” (Soto line 16-23).

© Smelli Notes 2001