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Introduction & Overview of The Blue Rim of Memory

This Study Guide consists of approximately 21 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of The Blue Rim of Memory.
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The Blue Rim of Memory Summary & Study Guide Description

The Blue Rim of Memory Summary & Study Guide includes comprehensive information and analysis to help you understand the book. This study guide contains the following sections:

This detailed literature summary also contains Further Reading on The Blue Rim of Memory by Denise Levertov.

Some critics consider Denise Levertov's poem "The Blue Rim of Memory" one of the many written about her mother's death in Mexico that make up much of Life in the Forest, in which it first appeared in 1978. While this may well be the case, the poem could also reflect the poet's thoughts on any sorrowful occasion, as her mother is not specifically mentioned in it, and the images described would be as effective, regardless of the particular event. The poem is wholly metaphorical and divided into four primary images, each describing "the way sorrow enters the bone." Levertov turns to a historical reference—appropriate in discussing the concepts of memory—and to the natural world—specifically, fire, fish, and snow—to express the presence of sadness as it persists in the human mind, soul, and body. Both the message of the poem and its clarity depend on the beauty of language and the power of creating a sharp picture in the reader's mind to exemplify what sorrow feels like. In each of the four instances portrayed, the reader is offered a sensory experience to consider, a provocative image detailing how sorrow operates in memory.

"The Blue Rim of Memory" was also published in Poems 1972-1982, which compiles Levertov's books The Freeing of the Dust (1975), Life in the Forest (1978), and Candles in Babylon (1982). This book was released by Levertov's former publisher, New Directions Press, in 2001.

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This section contains 235 words
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Poetry for Students
The Blue Rim of Memory from Poetry for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.