Counting The Mad Poem Analysis

1015 Words5 Pages
Response to “Counting the Mad” When reading the contemporary american poetry anthology I found myself becoming almost lost in one specific poet. Donald Justice, or more specifically, one of his poems,“Counting the Mad” was a poem that was both the most enjoyable work for me to read and at the same time, the most difficult for me to understand, at first. For myself this poem could be compared to a type of riddle due to its ever apparent ambiguity. At the same time, I believe that this poem takes a satirical perspective of mankind. Justice utilizes the sound similar to that of a nursery rhyme to engage his readers. If the reader is familiar with the story of the “Three Little Pigs” a striking similarity can be identified in the rhyme scheme…show more content…
In the first stanza, the reader is exposed to one that “was put in a jacket,” which knowing the title “Counting the Mad,” the reader may assume a straight-jacket. Following the same theme, the next one that is sent home, must have been presumably cured. The third subject is given “bread and meat but would eat none.” With the fifth line referring to the one that repeats no all day long. The commas in this stanza work together to set off each individual point, and can be interpreted as well, as listing different people. I find that it would be much more confusing to understand why someone would be placed in a jacket if unless the jacket is for protection from one’s self or others or from the weather. Perhaps this same individual is repeating no all day long in answer to the bread and meat, desiring other sustenance, finally putting on a jacket and going home to eat something different. It is a more parsimonious assumption, in considering the title, that this is merely a list of several
Open Document