Another Night in the Ruins Themes

This Study Guide consists of approximately 29 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Another Night in the Ruins.
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Birds and Transcendence

Transcendence, a state beyond material constraints, is a term often used to describe the spiritual. In Kinnell’s poem, landscapes of nighttime hillsides, ruined buildings, snowdrifts, and bonfires are populated by a bird flying by, a man, a cow, and a rooster. The narrator’s outward observations turn inward to the ruined eaves of his inner self, where a different storm rages, a relentless wintry death. The narrator draws the strength to reconnect himself to creativity from the words of his brother and the example of the rooster. In an interview for Contemporary Literature with Thomas Gardner, Kinnell describes his fascination with bird imagery as the inevitable tension of the bird’s liminal state: “like everyone, I experience the contest between wanting to transcend and wanting to belong.”

The scene is set in the first section when the narrator observes a...

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This section contains 817 words
(approx. 3 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Another Night in the Ruins Study Guide
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