Onset – College Essay
Spring; a time where rebirth of our earth takes place all around the world. It is a time where replication of flowers begin to blossom and trees begin to start their journey of growing up all over again. It is when the Sun lays back and watches our earth transform into a new season of life, where the sounds of bee’s buzzing and children playing in the newly grown grass shows the purity of this magnificent season. Although spring is a repeated time of the year we still breathe the fresh air with a smile on our face, but to Kim Addonizio, the author and narrator of the poem “Onset” springtime seems to be of terror in her eyes. Onset” is a poem that refers to the replications of spring which slowly lead into the identical features of everyday life. Kim Addonizio uses purified imagery, fastidious word-choice, personification, and metaphoric phrases to exemplify that the constant replication and execution of spring is a tireless action done in all aspects of life. Kim Addonizio uses a lot of imagery in this poem which enhances the overall meaning of the poem. There are two images Addonizio describes. In the beginning of the poem, she starts by giving the reader an image of springtime and his or her observation of what is seen.
Throughout the poem, the image changes to a setting of a grocery store and the replications she see’s are those of “canned beans and soups, freezers of identical dinners; then the snowflake-dimond-snowflake of the rug. ” Although the images are not the same, they all relate in the sense that she sees a form of repetition. When it comes to the choice of words, Kim Addonizio excels and manufactures words that add in-depth meaning to the poem. Addonizio starts her rage of word choice in the beginning of the poem when she is describing the scenery of spring.
When she talks about the “bush of white flowers,” its seems as if “white” is chosen to represent purity of the season. To have the reader understand the purity she also states items such as “Styrofoam cups” and the “snowflake-dimond-snowflake” rug. These words are also chosen to maintain consistency of the purity of spring. The repetition of the color white is also due to the fact that she is terrified of spring “in its tireless, mindless replications. ,” therefore, the repetition of the color also adds meaning to her undergo of spring.
In between lines, Addonizio uses the word “emergence” to give the reader a feel for her emotion. Using the word “emergence” instead of its direct meaning, such as “multiplicity” or “duplicity”, makes it ironic because it almost sounds close to the word “emergency. ” It is appropriately used for the fact that the duplication of her surrounding is of an a emergency to her. Towards the middle of the poem, Addonizio begins to speak about her two feet and how they look exactly identical. The duplicity of her feet seem to “oppress” her as see notices how they mirror each other.
Addonizio writes, “even my two feet, how they mirror each other oppresses me. ” It is ironic that the term “oppresses” is used after she states the term “mirror. ” To mirror something is to lay next to or to duplicate which is why the word “oppresses” is used. Although she is talking about her feet being mirrored together, it is also the term that contains letters that mirror each other as well. In the act of personification, Kim Addonizio gives one example that blesses the poem of a human action. In this area of the poem, she talks about items that represent replication in her own home.
The fact that she “cant stand them” show the negative connotation of her emotions. In line 8, Addonizio writes, “rows of books turning their backs. ” In this line, the books are personified as people turning their backs. This is important to the meaning of the poem because it tells the reader that the vision of Addonizio towards humans is narrow. The fact that the books resemble humans showing their backs to Addonizio, shows her negativity towards people as well as the replication of items surrounding her.
It also exerts a understanding that she may not be noticed by the world around her which eventually makes her enter a mental state of mind towards life. Kim Addonizio’s poetic form and usage of metaphors impose a representation of how aspects of life fit so well together. Addonizio starts her first metaphoric phrase when she states, “they way they fit so perfectly together, how I can nestle one big toe into the other like little continents that have drifted. ” This metaphor refers her identical feet and how the replication of them bother her.
To have the reader understand her emotions towards her feet, she implies a reference to pangeaea, the super continent which was the configuration of our current continents put together. The term “drifting” relates to the space in-between her two feet as the term “nestle” contradicts her statement and relates to her toes being hugged together once as our continents did. The irony of the term “nestle” is given to the poem because of its connotation [relation] to spring. It also implies a bird being closely snuggled in its nest.
By doing this, she is keeping consistency with the theme of the poem. There is always more to a poem once you pick out the little details. In “Onset” by Kim Addonizio, in-depth details roam this poem from beginning to end. She does a great job including many of the poetic elements that are necessary to create a structure that can be broken up to understand the meaning of the poem. Its seemed to me that the meaning of “Onset” was a struggle between the narrator and the replications of life around her.