Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Man Moth

I really found The Man-Moth fascinating. Every aspect of it. Even the structure and how the stanzas are set up is interesting. Every stanza has 8 lines, and the first line is always the shortest and indented. The reasoning behind it eludes me, but since it's a pretty specific structure I feel like there has to be a reason that's just going over my head. The poem's specific style of surrealism just happens to click with my personal interests really well, with the kind of old school pulpy sci-fi horror idea of a both man and moth creature that lives underground and only comes out at night, but at the same time being incredibly innocent and hopeful and not really a creepy poem at all. I liked how the Man-Moth has a dream, knows he'll fail, but tries again every night with the same results, and get's discouraged by it, but never lets it beat him. His dream is physically impossible, flying through the moon that he sees as a hole in the sky, yet his dream is that important to him that he can't just let it go without some sort of fight. I'm not totally sure what I think about the final stanza though, but it really stands out and makes itself important to the rest of the poem by acknowledging that this creature lives in our world and how it would interact with you. I'm not totally sure what I think it's saying, but what I've got right now is that the tear is kind of the innocence and hopefulness that keeps the Man Moth going every night, that if it can get away with it, the Man Moth will always work for it's dream, but if caught and pressured the other way, the Man Moth will surrender the thing that's most important to it out of the shame of dreaming so big and working so hard for such an impossible dream. But I'm still processing it and deciding how I feel about that part. I just really wanted to talk about this poem since it stuck out so strongly to me compared to really anything else this section so far, which although has been fine, also hasn't been what I've found the most interesting this semester.


  1. Good points about the tear. It was a question to me when reading it, couldn't really decide what to think of it. I agree that this section has been a little off for me as well, but I liked this one, as strange as it was.

  2. Zac,
    I think this interpretation is a good one! Here's some commentary from a critic that reads the poem much the same way and has an interesting analysis of the ending of the poem:
    Robert Dale Parker (1988)
    … Moths never aspire, and no reader could previously have associated aspiration with Man-Moths, having never heard of the things before. Only people (Men, in the language of the poem) aspire, so that the poem becomes an allegorical commentary on human ambition and the restraint of ambition by fear, especially fear of failure. The Man dares not ascend, because he knows he will fall; whereas the Man-Moth believes he will fall if he dares ascend, but dares not refuse to try. Read the rest at: