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Itinerary by Eamon Grennan: A Poem Analysis

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An Analysis of the poem: Itinerary

Any person who can see through his or her mind can easily comprehend that the mind is not a problem, but rather a living machine specifically designed for physicality. Eamon, through the poem, talks of feeling the passion for the invisibility. He talks of the ear of the pitcher and also of a child with clenched eyes metaphorically. At this juncture, he is using the passion for invisibility metaphorically to refer to uncertainty. At times, as he says, one needs to be like a fly on the wall or a child in the corner with eyes clenched meaning that it this can help one to forget the past and be free. A child who has his eyes closed cannot think about anything, a fly hovering around from wall to wall has no worries about anything (Grennan 45).

Attempting to find some comfort from the past is futile. The metaphor of the dog doing rounds gives a direct reference to the theme of the poem. He talks of a person coming back to the reality of the past trying to find some comfort. What he means is that once the past is gone it is gone and trying to find something uncertain from the past is like throwing oneself into a limbo of regret that cannot be helped out by anyone. Uncertainty is synonymous to fear of the future but at times one may find himself or herself failing to get over the fears of the past. The future is always a mystery but once you have lived it, there is no point trying to get back to the past and trying to re-live the moment to overcome the past fears.

The poet makes a point when he says that one should pray to have the ears of an owl and a hawk’s sharp eyesight so as to read the world as a map. It is true that human beings always live in the dark when it comes to having knowledge of what will happen the next minute. Everything is a puzzle in life and uncertainties only serve to worsen the mystery of what tomorrow looks like. To overcome this, the poet advice that no matter how well one plans or prepares for tomorrow, one can never know what to anticipate in the future. One cannot possess the ability to read the world from a supernatural perspective. A human being cannot be able to unravel the puzzle of the future.

His symbolical mention of a friend at a garden weeding his drills of potatoes and then stopping to light a cigarette while sitting on a rock is also integral to the poem’s theme. He simply attempts to pass a message that one should stop living life from past experiences and perceptions and instead one should just let life happen since life is a gift. Eamon makes a reference to how the friend performs some songs during dusk as if it were only him and the world (Grennan 45). This shows how a person should be mentally secure, letting life move on without keenly observing it since one can never change anything about how life is. Life is a mystery, and it is in harmony with the way nature is organized. So instead of living the past, one should focus on the present as a gift and hope for tomorrow and the future.

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