Golden Retrievals Tpcast
The reader will realize that Mark Doty has an underlying theme to the poem. | P| Paraphrase) This poem starts out by introducing the speaker, which is a golden retriever. Mark Doty does this by writing about activities that dogs generally like to do, “Fetch”, “a squirrel who’s actually scared” and “sniff the wind” are all prototypical activities dogs spend their time doing. The second stanza continues this trend of articulating the dog’s various activities. But by the second line, the dog has shifted his attention towards the activities of his master. The dog is learly disappointed by his owner’s lack of attention, and describes the owner as being “sunk in the past”. The third stanza goes deeper into the problems with the human mind. The dog is warning his owner that people spend too much time worrying about the future, and that it is up to the dog to bring the person back to the present time, as he says, “My work: to unsnare time’s warp. ”The final stanza only consists of two lines; it weaves together the themes of the human mind and the loyalty of dogs. | C| Connotation) The diction used in the first stanza is simple.
None of the words have real in-depth connotations that hint at alternate meanings. Doty presumably does this to establish the fact that the dog has an untainted mind, which will help in exemplifying his final point. ”Fetch”, “Balls and sticks”, “Bunny… sniff the wind” the vocabulary used is pure, literal and blunt. If anything, the word “capture” may be used to develop the image of a dog playing fetch. The second stanza is where it gets more serious. “muck, pond, ditch and residue” are all words that have relatively bad connotations.
They suggest unpleasant images of unsanitary nature. Also, by using the word “thing” directly after “dead”, the golden retriever dehumanizes what was previously alive. This suggests that dogs do not linger in the past, as it is not necessary for it to pay respects for this “dead thing”. | A| Attitude) The overall attitude of this poem is cheerful but with a purpose. The dog’s way of talking is broken up among four stanzas. Sometimes the line ends mid-sentence or mid-thought, and this adds to the impatient attitude of the dog.
Actually, it’s not necessarily impatient so much as it is anxious; easily distracted; living in the present. | S| Shifts) There are clear shifts within this poem. Between the first and second stanzas, the golden retriever changes from discussing his favorite activities to making a comment on the haziness of his owner’s mind. It is also clear that Mark Doty intended for the shifts between stanzas and lines to be sudden, similar to the way (at least the way humans perceive) dogs tend to become easily distracted by things, like squirrels or rabbits.
The shift between stanzas two and three is more clean-cut, the dog is formulating his point that the human mind has two modes—one in the present and one in the past. By the fourth stanza, the golden retriever has shifted back to ‘dog mode’ in a sense and ends it on a light note. | T| Title) now that I look back at the title again, I believe that what Mark Doty meant by the phrase ‘golden retrievals’ is that golden retrievers (or any kind of dog for that matter) are good at living in the present, and they are capable of retrieving their human-friends’ minds back from wandering around in the past or the future.
It is a metaphor for the game of fetch as well as salvation from our bothersome thoughts. | T| Theme) The theme of this poem is to not waste present time worrying about the past or the future. | This is the script (Read poem) So. “Golden Retrievals” by Mark Doty is a poem where the speaker is a golden retriever. I have a golden retriever, so that’s kind of why I picked this poem. Let’s take a look at this first stanza here. Okay, so as far as diction goes, there’s not that much to speak of. . None of the words have real in-depth connotations that hint at alternate meanings.
Doty presumably does this to establish the fact that the dog has an untainted mind, which helps solidify the theme that becomes more evident in the end. The words he uses like “fetch” “balls” and “sniff the wind” are all simple and literal. . If anything, the word “capture” used here (underline) may be used to develop the image of a dog playing fetch. The second stanza is where it gets more serious. “muck, pond, ditch and residue” are all words that have relatively bad connotations. They suggest unpleasant images of unsanitary nature. And a shift in the attitude of the poem.
The first stanza was pretty pleasant and happy, but the second stanza is where it starts to get more dark, and these images and words help lead the reader into this transition. Also, by using the word “thing” directly after “dead”, the golden retriever dehumanizes what was previously alive. This suggests that dogs do not linger in the past, and so when the golden retriever goes on to complain about his owner “thinking of what (he) can never bring back,” it makes sense that the dog would not find it necessary to pay its respects to the ‘dead thing’.
By the third stanza, the reader has already established that the dog does not approve of his owner standing around pondering about the past all the time, but he goes on to enlighten his human further. When the golden retriever says, “you’re off in some fog concerning tomorrow,” it not only suggests an image of haziness, but it is something of an allusion back to the walk that the dog and the person are supposedly having. The reader realizes that when he or she is absentminded, too busy thinking about the past or the future, their dog is in the present.
And the dog goes on to say that it is his, “work to unsnare time’s warp” This is the point where the attitude of the poem turns back around. The dog is trying to tell his owner that he can help him. Also, Mark Doty uses the word “haze-headed” to connect with “fog” used in the beginning of the stanza; this helps to solidify the argument. This last, two-line stanza has a lot of secret stuff. When the dog says “bow wow” all those times, it does multiple things. One is that it solidifies the poem as a whole, by going back to the motif of dogs running around and having fun—which is what the poem started out with.
And two: it indicates that the repetitive “bow wow” sound is coming from the “zen-master’s bronzy gong”. This is ironic because it suggests that the dog is himself the ‘zen-master’ and dogs are usually not the master, but it goes with the theme that golden retrievers live in the present and have the most fulfilling life. By the end of the fourth stanza, the reader can deduce that Mark Doty’s intended theme of the play is that people should not waste present time thinking about the past or the future. That is all.