Calling a Wolf a Wolf Themes & Motifs

Kaveh Akbar
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Hunger

All throughout the book Akbar uses the abstract concepts of hunger and desire to articulate the internal world of addiction as well as the external.

In several poems the speaker describes hunger as a primal instinct, prompting the reader to reconceptualize what they consider to be the root causes of addiction. This occurs as early as the first poem, “Soot.” In this piece, the speaker tells us, “Blood from the belly tastes sweeter/than blood from anywhere else. We know this/but don’t know why” (1). The image that follows of the woman on TV tasting the blood from a man’s wound with a confused look on her face, as if she cannot comprehend her urge to do so, perfectly represents this concept of an instinct that is both inborn and alien to us. Later in “Against Hell” the speaker considers the implications of such...

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This section contains 2,808 words
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