Cuba, Luis O

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CUBA
CAROL ANN DUFFY
CUBA
No getting up from the bed in this grand hotel
and getting dressed, like a work of art
rubbing itself out. No lifting the red rose
from the room service tray when you leave,
as though you might walk to the lip of a grave
and toss it down. No glass of champagne, left
to go flat in the glow of a bedside lamp,
the frantic bubbles swimming for the light. No white towel,
strewn, like a shroud, on the bathroom floor.
no brief steam on the mirror there for a finger
to smudge in a heart, an arrow, a name. No soft soap
rubbed between four hands. No flannel. No future plans.
No black cab, sad hearse, on the rank. No queue there.
No getting away from this. No goodnight kiss. No Cuba.
CUBA MARK-UP
No getting up from the bed in this grand hotel
and getting dressed, like a work of art
rubbing itself out. No lifting the red rose
from the room service tray when you leave,
as though you might walk to the lip of a grave
and toss it down. No glass of champagne, left
to go flat in the glow of a bedside lamp,
the frantic bubbles swimming for the light. No white towel,
strewn, like a shroud, on the bathroom floor
no brief steam on the mirror there for a finger
to smudge in a heart, an arrow, a name. No soft soap
rubbed between four hands. No flannel. No future plans.
No black cab, sad hearse, on the rank. No queue there.
No getting away from this. No goodnight kiss. No Cuba.
• Repetition
(Anaphora)
• Alliteration
• Consonance
• Enumeration
• Simile
• Enjambment
(general)
• Metonymy
• Personification
• Allusion
• Imagery
• Assonance
FORM
• Sonnet
• 14 lines, 1 stanza
• No formal rhyme scheme, no
pattern in meter or specific
structure
• 9-16 syllables ranging per line
• “Modern Sonnet”
• Recurring enjambment
“…glass of champagne, left /
to go flat…”
“… lifting the red rose
from the room…”
• Anaphora (repetition) of “No” –
tragic, dejected
• Internal rhyme with assonance
& consonance
LITERAL MEANING
• End of a romantic relationship,
thinking about a planned trip
• Vacation will not occur due
to break-up
• Relating of ideas prepared for
trip, sentimental description
since they will never give
• Archetypal honeymoon idea in
hotel in Cuba
• Woman in need of the love, of
the partner
• (through synecdoche “no
flannel”)
FIGURATIVE MEANING
• Lamenting nostalgic end of
a relationship
• Lack of love, lack of
relationship
Gateway
to emotional breakdown
• She views love as an
essential part of her life,
without it there is complete
vagueness
• The love and the relationship
have died
• Not having the love and the
partner = tragic and sad poem
Tragic and sad mood
Becoming lost due to
lack of love
RHYTHMIC DEVICES
“No flannel. No
future plans.
No black cab, sad
hearse, on the rank.
No queue there.
(Lines 12-13)”
• Enumeration, Anaphora and
Form
• Enumeration: short yet dense
poetic and emotional
phrases -> impact in context,
suffering is highlighted
• Anaphora = Negation:
Repetition of no, = Tragic and
sad idea of whole poem. Not
having something, being lost
in a haze due to the lack of
love, tragedy.
• FORM AND STRUCTURE
Beautiful Imagery
“…work of art
rubbing itself out. (Lines 2-3)”
“No lifting the red rose
from the room service tray
(Lines 3-4)”
“…in the glow of a bedside
lamp (Line 7)”
IMAGERY
Negative Imagery
“…might walk to
the lip of a grave
and toss it down…
(Line 5)”
“No white towel,
strewn, like a
shroud, on the
bathroom
floor.(Line 9)”
“no brief steam on the
mirror…(Line 10)”
“…soft soap
rubbed between four
hands…(Line 12)”
• Beautiful imagery: Highlights the
fantasy, contrasting and making
poem more tragic
• Negative Imagery: References to
death
METONYMY, ALLUSION
Metonymy: “No flannel (Line 12)”
Flannel :A kind of soft-woven
fabric, typically made of wool or
cotton and slightly milled and
raised.
NO PARTNER FOR LOVE
Allusion: “No Cuba (Line 14)”,
Cuba: Fantasy. Beaches,
honeymoon. Isolation from
everything, and basically an
escape. No extraordinary love
now and no Cuba because it
died
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS
• How does the narrator portray love as a whole in
the poem? Does she believe it is good or bad?
• How effective is sonnet form, and such dense
poetic material devices in expressing ideas?
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