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Variations on Nothing Summary & Study Guide

This Study Guide consists of approximately 17 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Variations on Nothing.
This section contains 982 words
(approx. 3 pages at 400 words per page)
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Line 1

The title of Ungaretti's poem "Variations on Nothing" is as much a part of the poem summary as any of its twelve lines. There is a resounding sense of negativity that recurs throughout the brief but poignant work, and the premise of "nothing[ness]" and "negligib[ility]" makes for an unsettling poetic environment overall. In the first line, it is a "bit of sand" that is "negligible"—a word meaning something so small and insignificant that it can be disregarded and forgotten. While the irony of the word is not evident in this first mention of it, later its important paradox will be revealed.

Line 2

Line 2 explains that the sand is in an "hourglass" and that it slides "Without a sound and settles" at the bottom of the container. The description of the granules silently falling into place serves to emphasize their negligibility. It is like...

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This section contains 982 words
(approx. 3 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Variations on Nothing Study Guide
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Poetry for Students
Variations on Nothing from Poetry for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.