Can you close-read a poem? Part II

Paper & Pencil Task

Give it a try and close-read another poem on your own.

In 1882, the American writer Sophie Jewett published a poem entitled ‘Entre Nous’:

I talk with you of foolish things and wise,
Of persons, places, books, desires and aims,
Yet all our words a silence underlies,
An earnest, vivid thought that neither names.

Ah! what to us were foolish talk or wise?
Were persons, places, books, desires or aims,
Without the deeper sense that underlies,
The sweet encircling thought that neither names?

Identify one binary opposition in this poem and post a comment on how that binary opposition creates meaning in the text. Refer to the text of the poem itself and refrain from bringing in any contextual information (e.g. author’s biography, historical context).


University of Basel