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Stag's Leap Themes & Motifs

This Study Guide consists of approximately 46 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Stag's Leap.
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Submersion, drowning, and buoyancy

Imagery of submersion, drowning, and buoyancy emerges throughout the collection, illustrating the dichotomous nature of the speaker’s relationship with her husband as both sublime in beauty and perilous, as it threatens a loss of her self and life. Early in the collection, she likens her husband’s eyes to “the first ocean, wherein / the blue-green algae came into their early / language” with a “sea-wide iris” (14). The poem pairs her husband’s beauty with the depth of his mystery and obscurity, which evades language itself. The allusion to the antediluvian oceans of Genesis grants her husband a sense of divine scope. However, the comparison also suggests the threat of drowning and submersion, as when the speaker says a final goodbye to her husband at the airport and “ris[es] up out of the passenger seat in a spiral like someone / coming out of...

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This section contains 1,885 words
(approx. 5 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Stag's Leap Study Guide
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