Everything you need to understand or teach Vancouver Lights by Earle Birney.
The poem opens with the speaker describing the landscape surrounding him. The "moonless" night has an almost omnivorous quality, as it "wimples," "wraps," and "sucks" everything around it. Birney uses the word "wimple" to show the way the darkness creates what looks like folds or ripples around the mountain. The city itself "webs" the peninsula, suggesting its spider-like qualities. This buried metaphor is taken up again at the end of the fourth stanza. The lights of the city, which itself is described as "throbbing," are as active as the night is hungry, as they "overleap," "vault," and "climb" towards the speaker. In the distance, the speaker sees a lighthouse, from which light emanates like "lambent spokes." The overwhelming sense we have from the description is one of humanity and nature overlapping, with light serving both as both agent and effect of that overlapping. The speaker locates himself in an almost... View more of the Vancouver Lights Summary