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Analysis of Ondaatje's "King Kong Meets Wallace Stevens"

Form:
Four stanzas and a final couplet in irregular meter, unrhyming.


Line-by-Line Analysis:

This poem is in the form of a psychodrama in which the two figures of the title represent two aspects or faculties of the poet. It is, the situation suggests, the product of their tense interaction. It is structured upon a series of antitheses between Wallace Stevens and King Kong.

1-2: The meeting between the two antithetical images—King Kong and Wallace Stevens—occurs not simply in the juxtaposing of their photographs but also within Stevens’s mind. Kong becomes an aspect of Stevens himself, his shadow self.

3: The poem also suggests playfully that Stevens is not the only poet with a shadow self. After all, the speaker of the poem asks humorously “Is it significant that I eat bananas as I write this?” In view of the almost symbiotic relationship between Stevens and Kong, there can only be one answer. Despite the parenthetical nature...

Posted by: Jack Drewes

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