The Great Figure Annotation Essays

808 Words Sep 27th, 2013 4 Pages
After reading several different poems, "The Great Figure" really stood out to me. Although the poem is short in length, I feel like it has a story hidden within each word, phrase and verse.

The poem is about someone seeing the number 5 on a fire truck, in the rain, as the truck is racing through the city. The image connects the to the poem and also tells the same story as the poem. In the image, the number 5 appears three time in three different sizes. The different sizes creates the illusion that the number 5 is seen as the truck is passing by, hence the number would go from being small to fairly large. The bakground of the image is dark and appears to look like a city street, with different signs scattered about. The image depicts
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The next line moving adds clarity to the poem. It is now known that the narrator saw the engine number of a red fire truck as it is moving. The followings lines, tense - unheeded threw me off a little. I question where those words are used figuratively to describe the movement of the truck or the number on the truck. Tense does not realistically describe the movement of a fire truck, but it does describe the movement of the people in the area of the fire truck. Naturally people tend to tense up when a fire truck races pass them, especially if the person is driving. Unheeded literally means "neglected" or "ignored". So is the author suggesting that the fire truck is ignoring its surroundings or is it being suggested that the number is being ignored since most people would most likely not care about the number on the truck?

The following two lines to gong clangs - siren howls gives clarity to the previous two lines. It is now clear that the fire truck itself is being ignored because of the sounds being emitted from the truck. Gong clangs are the instrument used on older fire trucks before electronic sirens and lights were added. The gong is an Asian instrument that was hit with a mallet to emit a drum like sound. In addition to the gong, the siren howls; meaning that the sounds being emitted from the gong and siren radiates throughout the areas in which the fire truck is passing through.

The final two lines, and wheels rumbling - through the dark city complete

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