Air for Mercury Summary & Study Guide

Brenda Hillman
This Study Guide consists of approximately 18 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Air for Mercury.
This section contains 2,110 words
(approx. 6 pages at 400 words per page)
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Stanza 1

The first noticeable aspect of Hillman's "Air for Mercury" is the title, which can be interpreted in two different ways. The title could be noting an alchemical change, where air is transformed into the metal mercury. Or, it could denote the Roman god, Mercury. At first, it's not clear if either of these interpretations is correct. The poem's first section starts out with the following two-line stanza: "After the double party / for the poorly loved." At this point, it is too early to guess what this "double party" might signify, or who the "poorly loved" might be. The next few lines give some more setting details: "when the gleam in the hound's eye / fell like glass rain on the south / lawn of the countergarden." As with the terms "double party" and "poorly loved," the "hound" is probably symbolic. A symbol is a physical object, action, or...

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This section contains 2,110 words
(approx. 6 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Air for Mercury Study Guide
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Poetry for Students
Air for Mercury from Poetry for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.