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Mary Ruefle’s personification of the bunny in this poem works very well for creating a different sort of projection or point of view from the majority of her poems inĀ Trances of the Blast, while still managing to implement some of the reoccurring themes of her poetry. More often than not, we see Ruefle focusing on the internal, or projecting thoughts or ideas on to other people, whether they are still living or not. This is of particular interest because so much of Ruefle’s poetry in this particular book focuses on ideas of mortality and time on Earth; she seems to contemplate these ideas as they apply to humans and human relationships, or to a speaker’s own internalized thoughts. In projecting this idea of observing the limitedness of human mortality on to the bunny, Ruefle emphasizes that mortality matters to more than just the humans connected to the dying or the deceased, that certainly all living creatures must contemplate mortality and it’s significance. The rabbit itself is an especially crucial symbolic choice, as the animal is generally associated with new life, and the process of reproduction, as Ruefle mentions in the poem. In the poem, the symbol of beginning and newness is making a habit of considering the end.

Another one of Ruefle’s reoccurring poetic themes is the use of word choice and the interpretation of certain bits of language. She usually meditates on this sort of thing using the speaker’s internality, but again here projects a certainty of language on to the rabbit. Not only is the rabbit depicted as “mouthing the words,” but also as being asked “to write their love letters,” as if his chosen silence, despite his ability to profoundly comment on the observations of mortality, give him in upper hand in communicating with those who have already faced it and are now relegated to silence themselves, except in the expression of words on the page, as those words can transmit beyond just the basic nature of less permanent verbal communication.

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