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What Voice at Moth-Hour
Posted by: EricaCurlz (137.141.232.---)
Date: October 26, 2004 04:37PM

by Robert Penn Warren

very confused...what are some significant strong points or intepretations


Re: What Voice at Moth-Hour
Posted by: lg (---.ca.charter.com)
Date: October 26, 2004 05:20PM

Here's a link to the poem, so our readers can view it:

[www.robertpennwarren.com] />

Les


Re: What Voice at Moth-Hour
Posted by: marian2 (---.range81-152.btcentralplus.com)
Date: October 27, 2004 05:12AM

This is my first sight of the poem, and this is what I think it's about. The theme is reminiscence and nostalgia, and the narrator is, in reality, in various places - in an orchard, a wood, by a stream etc, and being there reminds him so stongly of incidents of being called home from similar or the same places when much younger - a child or adolescent - that he can hear the voice, feel the grass, see the bullbat etc ie conjure up individual times it happened. Not sure whether the wood, stream etc are the actual places where it happened or just similar places he happens to be now.


Re: What Voice at Moth-Hour
Posted by: Hugh Clary (---.denver-05rh15-16rt.co.dial-access.att.net)
Date: October 27, 2004 12:50PM

Apparently other poets have heard of the 'moth-hour'. Googling shows separate poems by Adrienne Rich and WB Yeats. Exactly what time is the moth-hour? Dunno. Sounds like early evening, though. Dew point temperature is 50-something degrees, if memory serves, so the time may be later. Surely, "It's late! Come home." is reminiscent of childhood, a parent calling the child back to the house. What other voice might beckon in such a manner in later life? Your call.



What voice at moth-hour did I hear calling
As I stood in the orchard while the white
Petals of apple blossoms were falling,
Whiter than moth-wing in that twilight?

What voice did I hear as I stood by the stream,
Bemused in the murmurous wisdom there uttered,
While ripples at stone, in their steely gleam,
Caught last light before it was shuttered?

What voice did I hear as I wandered alone
In a premature night of cedar, beech, oak,
Each foot set soft, then still as stone
Standing to wait while the first owl spoke?

The voice that I heard once at dew-fall, I now
Can hear by a simple trick. If I close
My eyes, in that dusk I again know
The feel of damp grass between bare toes,

Can see the last zigzag, sky-skittering, high,
Of a bullbat, and even hear, far off, from
Swamp-cover, the whip-o-will, and as I
Once heard, hear the voice: It's late! Come home.


Re: What Voice at Moth-Hour
Posted by: JohnnySansCulo (---.nycmny83.covad.net)
Date: October 27, 2004 01:53PM

HERE'S A THING:


Attachments: mothra.jpg (56.7KB)  
Re: What Voice at Moth-Hour
Posted by: Pam Adams (---.bus.csupomona.edu)
Date: October 27, 2004 02:11PM

My interpretation goes with Hugh's and marian2's. I think moth-hour is evening- getting dark time.

pam


Re: What Voice at Moth-Hour
Posted by: lg (68.116.87.---)
Date: October 27, 2004 03:04PM

I agree with Pam, from everything I could gather, moth-hour is DUSK. Surprisingly, none of the dictionaries listed here contained the expression:

[www.onelook.com] />

Les


Re: What Voice at Moth-Hour
Posted by: IanB (---.tnt11.mel1.da.uu.net)
Date: October 29, 2004 07:27PM

RPW is definitely writing here about an evening moth-hour.

Probably most moths prefer dusk or dark, but not all. In the seaside summer holiday region near Melbourne zillions of tiny orange-spotted moths sip on tree blossom in the hour before sunrise.

This moth information isn't to be found in dictionaries, Pam. A reference work titled 'Advice To Young Mothers' sounds more promising, but I'm told it's not in that either.



Post Edited (10-31-04 02:06)


Re: What Voice at Moth-Hour
Posted by: JohnnySansCulo (---.nycmny83.covad.net)
Date: November 01, 2004 03:30PM

Mosura ya Mosura
Tasukete yo te yobeba
Toki o koete
Umi o koete
Nami no yo ni yatte kuru
Mamorigami
Mosura ya Mosura
Yasashisasae wasure
Arehateta
Hito no kokoro
Inorinagara utau
Ai no uta

(Mothra's Song)


What Voice at Moth-Hour
Posted by: scootles (192.168.128.---)
Date: May 04, 2006 03:03PM

it seems as if it was coming from the mind of a child playing in the woods. the line that set this idea off was "It's Late! Come Home." I got an eery feeling when i read that line, i can remember playing in the woods behind my house and hearing my mothers voice scream that very line.
just a thought.
-scootles


Re: What Voice at Moth-Hour
Posted by: joe-t (192.168.128.---)
Date: May 04, 2006 04:57PM

I view the poem as a metaphor for growing older - for someone at, or approaching, the later stages of life (the moth-hour) - who starts to hear the faint calling to "come home" to that place from which he came. Now, just who is doing the calling makes for an interesting discussion in itself. I know nothing of Penn's philosophy of life or if has embraces any religion. Does anyone else know?

JoeT


Re: What Voice at Moth-Hour
Posted by: JohnnySansCulo (192.168.128.---)
Date: May 04, 2006 05:13PM

No, I only know stuff about monster-movies

however, it seems equally applicable


Re: What Voice at Moth-Hour
Posted by: lg (Moderator)
Date: May 04, 2006 10:59PM

Moth hour, which is dusk, is the typical time parents call their children in from play:

The voice that I heard once at dew-fall, I now
Can hear by a simple trick. If I close
My eyes, in that dusk I again know
The feel of damp grass between bare toes,

Can see the last zigzag, sky-skittering, high,
Of a bullbat, and even hear, far off, from
Swamp-cover, the whip-o-will, and as I
Once heard, hear the voice: It's late! Come home.


Les




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