Leaving the Motel - Reaction Paper.docx

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					LEONARDO, DAYANNE LEI A.                                                                ENG 11 - WFQ

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                                     LEAVING THE MOTEL
                                         W.D. Snodgrass

        The first thing I thought of after reading the poem was that it was obviously about someone
trying to hide something. There was this underlying tone of caution from the way the speaker goes
through the motions of trying to make sure that they leave the motel room just like the way they
arrived in it. Also, while going through the poem, I can’t help thinking of how hard it was for me to
stop myself from flowing through one line to the next. I have it in my head that this is a poem and I
have to pause at certain points, but if I do, the whole thing wouldn’t really make any sense.

         I don’t really know what connotations the word ‘motel’ has from where the author came
from, but here in the Philippines, it’s usually associated with some negative conspicuous act. I think
that if it wasn’t for the title, I wouldn’t really have thought that the poem could be about a couple
trying to hide the fact that they were even together; I don’t know, maybe because the kind of
relationship they have should have never even happened in the first place. I think they were having
some kind of affair, maybe something like cheating on their partners.

        One of the things I noticed about the poem was its form. I couldn’t really understand the
way it was written. It seemed really choppy that it made me think that it was that way so as just to
achieve a rhyme scheme. But now that I think of it, the indefinite line breaks were a huge contrast to
the tone that the poem was giving off. The persona seems very calculating and cautious, the
opposite of the almost ‘jittery’, all-over-the-place arrangement of the lines. Also, I can’t help noticing
the use of the word Check, giving the impression that the persona was spouting off orders like some
to-do list. There was this sense of immediacy, some kind of need for things to be done with as soon
as possible. This actually convinced me that the persona could actually be a man. It seemed like
there was no emotion behind his words at all, making it feel like this was just another day for him;
which was just sad for the woman he was with, because it seemed like he didn’t care about her at all
to even pause and talk to her in a milder, more endearing tone considering that they were about to
leave and go their separate ways.

          But there was this change in the poem starting from the mention of the lilacs until the last
lines that I really liked. From the tone of hastiness and the fact that their situation was stolen and
flitting, there came this slight hint of reluctance to part. For me, the wayside flowers they’ve gathered
symbolizes a time when they could be themselves, be together and be carefree. There was this want
to preserve it as a reminder of the moment that they wanted to last and keep, maybe forever. And
then, there were the last lines that I thought were unfortunate and sad. It basically says that despite
their unwillingness to let each other go, there really is nothing else that they could do.
                                        That’s all. We can’t tell when
                                     We’ll come back, can’t press claims,
They can’t really be together for now no matter what they try to do. They would just have to wait
until they have a chance to be with each other again the way that they want to.
                                  We would no doubt have other rooms then,
                                              Or other names.

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