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Projections and Reflections in Audubon: A Vision

Projections and Reflections in Audubon: A Vision Projections and Reflections in Audubon: A Vision by Keen Butterworth In Part V [B] of Robert Penn Warren’s poetic sequence, Audubon: A Vision,a great tree lies on a mud bank in the Mississippi River. Its root system is lifted and exposed. Its essential wood has been bleached white as bone. Somewhere upstream it once stood tall and full, cloaked in the greenery of life. Now those leaves, the twigs, the bark, the inessential boughs, have been stripped away by weather and the flow of the river. In the water nearby a star — perhaps Arcturus — is reflected. There is no wind save the sweep of our imagination. The river murmurs in its channel, suggesting time, or duration, as it flows past. The tree is perfectly still, looming against the darkness, for it is now outside the di- mension of time. The tree is the Tree of Life, in this instance the life of Audubon, which Warren, in his poetic vision, has reduced to its essential structure. In order to assess the metaphoric significance of this tree we might examine another passage in the poem that addresses the subject of pat- tern or structure in different terms: The dregs http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png The Southern Literary Journal University of North Carolina Press

Projections and Reflections in Audubon: A Vision

The Southern Literary Journal , Volume 36 (1) – Dec 30, 2003

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Publisher
University of North Carolina Press
Copyright
Copyright © 2003 the Southern Literary Journal and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Department of English.
ISSN
1534-1461

Abstract

Projections and Reflections in Audubon: A Vision by Keen Butterworth In Part V [B] of Robert Penn Warren’s poetic sequence, Audubon: A Vision,a great tree lies on a mud bank in the Mississippi River. Its root system is lifted and exposed. Its essential wood has been bleached white as bone. Somewhere upstream it once stood tall and full, cloaked in the greenery of life. Now those leaves, the twigs, the bark, the inessential boughs, have been stripped away by weather and the flow of the river. In the water nearby a star — perhaps Arcturus — is reflected. There is no wind save the sweep of our imagination. The river murmurs in its channel, suggesting time, or duration, as it flows past. The tree is perfectly still, looming against the darkness, for it is now outside the di- mension of time. The tree is the Tree of Life, in this instance the life of Audubon, which Warren, in his poetic vision, has reduced to its essential structure. In order to assess the metaphoric significance of this tree we might examine another passage in the poem that addresses the subject of pat- tern or structure in different terms: The dregs

Journal

The Southern Literary JournalUniversity of North Carolina Press

Published: Dec 30, 2003

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