Deeply respectful of custom, Ransom, speaking from the point of view of a Southern gentleman, controls his probing paradox, carefully rhyming abab and guiding line lengths to four beats. Even the title resists harsher diction, substituting "bells for" as an indicator of death. As though tipping his hat to the inevitable, he lops off the fourth line of each stanza to dimeter or trimeter. Allusions to death are numerous, but restrained — the shadowed adversary, the whitening of grass with snowy feathers, and the irony of a "tireless heart" and "noon apple-dreams," now permanently frozen in time.Like an overly fastidious adult, the speaker searches for the appropriate terms to fix on the child's unusual torpor. The incongruity of her pose vexes a mind that once demanded ladylike behavior in place of willful caprice. Now, the swift-footed Miss Whitesides is forever forced into a "prim
This is the end of the preview.
access the rest of the document.