Keeping Things Whole Summary And Important Questions

Keeping Things Whole

-Mark Strand

Keeping Things Whole Summary

The poem “Keeping Things Whole” was composed by a Canadian poet Mark Strand. In this poem, the poet pleads for unity, integration, and wholeness against the usual fragmentation that takes place in everyday life.

The world and the people in it have been divided into many fragmentations due to politics, religion, economy, caste system and geography. The fragmentation has given rise to the sense of alienation, exile and identity crisis. The poet in the poem “Keeping Things Whole” feels the same; when he goes he finds himself missing. As he walks, he causes fragmentation in the air. The fragmented air moves back to fill the space where his body has been. All the people in this world have different reasons for moving but the poet moves to keep things whole.

In the poem “Keeping Things Whole” the poet might be trying to tell us that fragmentation is the usual process that keeps in taking place all the time. Though we claim to bring unity, integration, and wholeness among things and people, it is useless because we ourselves are the agent of fragmentation. Our involvement in different social, political and religious situations inevitably invites fragmentation among people.

Some Important Questions And Answers From “Keeping Things Whole.”

Question. How does the poet view himself in the field, in the air, and in the backdrop?

Answer. The given poem “Keeping Things Whole” has been composed by the 20th-century Canadian poet Mark Strand. The poem “Keeping Things Whole” is written as a defense of nature conservation, in fact, it focuses on the need for wholeness in everything because the poet feels the absence of wholeness everywhere.

The poet is in the field but in abstract form. He is fully absent from his own concrete form. Wherever he is he is himself missing. It is the truth of living things and nonliving things. When he walks he parts the air. He walks making way through the air but the air fills the gap space immediately. Everything is moving and everything moves to keep things whole. The poet also moves to keep things whole.

The poet in this poem pleads for wholeness against the usual fragmentation that goes on in life in the earth. The poet believes such fragmentation is due to human causes.

The poet views his absence in the air. He thinks that the air in spite of being extremely mighty is not as powerful as himself, the wholeness. He also finds his absence in the fields where he should have been. He tends to say that everywhere there is a gap, a hollowness, and a vacuum. Similarly, he views himself to be absent or missing everywhere.

In fact, the poet in “Keeping Things Whole” tries to present a horrible picture of the imbalance in the systems of nature, the gap of vacuum is seen perhaps because of the factors like deforestation, extinction of various species, imbalance in the ecosystem, growing population, pollution and so on.

Some Important Questions From “Keeping Things Whole”

Short Questions:

  • Interpret the poem “Keeping Things Whole” in a paragraph.
  • Summarise the “Keeping Things Whole”.
  • How does the poet in the poem “Keeping Things Whole” view himself in the field, in the air, and in the backdrop?
  • How does the poet view his existence in the field and in the air?

Also Read:

THE RECURRING DREAM
THE LOST DOLL
THE HOUSE CALL
FEAR
THE LOVING MOTHER
MY HEART LEAPS UP WHEN I BEHOLD
SPEAKING OF CHILDREN
LOOK AT THE TEACUP
A WORN PATH
THE THREE DAY BLOW
THE POPLAR FIELD
THE NIGHTMARE LIFE WITHOUT FUEL
UNCHOPPING A TREE
CONCRETE CAT
OOPS! HOW’S THAT AGAIN?
MALINI
THE SIX MILLION DOLLAR MAN
ON THE VANITY OF EARTHLY GREATNESS
IN BED
THE GARDENER

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