The Cobweb Themes

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Many writers and artists often claim that their work can give them a kind of immortality. The poems in Ultramarine, written in a short period of time, just a few years before Carver's own death, all evoke the speaker's awareness of his inevitable death. There's nothing subtle about this awareness in "The Cobweb." Human beings die. Everyone knows this. What is startling, however, is the suddenness with which the speaker acknowledges his own impending death, after what seems an innocent description of a rather mundane experience with a cobweb. When the speaker announces, "Before long, before anyone realizes, / I'll be gone from here," readers understand that he's not referring to leaving on a vacation, but to dying. The poem has gained an added poignancy since Carver's death in 1988, making it seem prophetic. If Carver were still alive, readers would consider it just one more poetic musing on the...

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This section contains 435 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy The Cobweb Study Guide
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Poetry for Students
The Cobweb from Poetry for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.