Response: What Narcissism Means to Me, Section 1

Reading: Section 1 (America) of What Narcissism Means to Me by Tony Hoagland

Impressions: The first two poems stuck out most for me. From “Commercial for a Summer Night” I got the image of watching the people in the poem as if they were in their own commercial. And then I read the last line, and it all made sense for me! I could picture the scene as if I was watching the events of the poem on a television screen, the characters looking at their own television. Almost an “Inception” sort of moment.

From “America” I got the picture of a surreal world, much like a Dali painting. I’m not sure if Hoagland intended this, but the poem evoked the feeling of being stupefied by the population, wondering if I/you are the only person in the country (or planet) that’s not crazy. That feeling of “if I could just wake up from this wacko dream, then maybe it will all go away.”


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