The second sentence, beginning on line seven, shifts its focus to the lumber used to make the grave. Words are symbols, each with their own attached meanings. This is where Simmerman begins to give the grave a history.
Regardless the reader is lead to believe that this man had to steal the wood, emphasizing that the man had to go through hardship and take great risk in order to dig this grave.
This is a simple man, who dug a simple grave, which speaks to us simply.
In this final sentence, Simmerman closes his poem and conveys a last thought. It is in this sentence where the reader is given a more detailed setting for the grave. That somehow words come up short and are unable to convey the reality of that situation. Perhaps he is illiterate, or just tired from digging the grave, or maybe just too simple minded to even think of writing something.
Immediately the reader knows the speaker of this poem is now inferring, whereas the first sentence was purely a description of the grave, the second sentence guesses at what his man had to go through to acquire the simple materials used for the grave.
The reader does not forget that this man is actually burying his child. The word heart itself carries with it many meanings: The physical toil is symbolic of his emotional toil. It is through the image, not the words, in which true emotion is expressed, the speechless is expressed, the inexpressible.
In order to express the particularities of life, we rely on the image that certain words bring about. The image is enough. In fact the first sentence is only about the land, how hard the red clay of Alabama is, and how difficult it would be to dig into that land, etc.
It is not only physical toil that this man is going through, it is emotional as well. The third sentence is also expanding upon the history behind this grave, only this time focusing on the living conditions of this man.
The forth sentence, starting on line nineteen, continues to add to the overall mood of the poem. He gives this grave a history, makes it real and significant, which allows the reader to empathize with this parent in the poem.
Simmerman also uses repetition to emphasize that the man had to leave.
The reader now should have an idea of how it must have had to feel like for that man, that night, cold and alone. That the experience of burying a child is too powerful for words. At best words can only generalize. Perhaps the speaker knows the man personally, or possibly the speaker is inferring this by the impoverished conditions that this man must have been in to mark a grave only with a piece of wood.
But by using heart, Simmerman is also personifying the land, giving it a human characteristic, which focuses the reader on the land. However we are not able to invent words for every meaning there can possible be, for we would need an infinite amount of sounds and letters to create the words necessary to correspond with the limitless amount of different possible meanings in the universe.
That is why Simmerman uses the image of the grave to express the inexpressible feeling of burying a child. Simmerman uses certain sound to add to the mood as well. These details all add to the particular mood of the event.
Obviously the land that Simmerman mentions does not have a heart, but the image of a piece of lumber being driven through the metaphorical heart of the land is a powerful image, perhaps something one might experience in some vampire movie.Explication of a Poem Jim Simmerman’s Child’s Grave, Hale County, Alabama.
Explication of a Poem Jim Simmerman’s Child’s Grave, Hale County, Alabama The power of an image is immense - Explication of a Poem Jim Simmerman’s Child’s Grave, Hale County, Alabama introduction. A poem can single out an ordinary object of daily .Download