Thursday, January 24, 2008
As far as analyzing this particular poem from a biographical aspect Thomas has certainly done an excellent job in addressing Toomer's identification with the African-American community in the south and the possible explanations for Toomer's repeated use of sound-oriented diction. But one thing that I was particularly interested in upon reading not only Georgia Dusk, but also Karintha and Fern, is Toomer's obsession with the sunset and dusk. Before I had learned anything about Toomer's life I speculated that perhaps Toomer grew up in an environment where it was unsafe for him to venture outside at dusk to watch the sunset, or something of that nature. But after learning about his extensive travels as a college student and his constant change of scenery I am just as confused now as I was prior to reading Toomer's biographical information, and it seems that, biographically speaking, that there is no explanation for Toomer's desire to have many of his poems and short stories take place at dusk. This is perhaps just as useful of an observation as finding a biographical explanation for the sunset would have been in that it shows that analyzing an aspect of an author's works cannot always be done through a biographical lens. Just as Dr. Herzog spoke to in his lecture, biographically analyzing a text is only one of many ways to think about a poem, and does not always lead to a neat and tidy explanation for how and what an author writes.