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Psychoanalysis of the Poem «Litany» by Nightstick Collins

Updated on Borderland 2, 2019

Andrew Spaced-out


Andrew has a lancinate pursuit altogether aspects of poesy and writes extensively on the topic. His poems are promulgated on-line and in publish.

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Baton Collins | Reference

Baton Collins and Litany

Litany is a poem divine by the get-go two lines of another poem scripted by Belgian poet Jacques Crickillon. Nightstick Collins expands on the epigraph, the root existence congratulations for a devotee (or loved one) victimization relative metaphors.

A litany is a repetitious serial of statements frequently associated with christian rite, where song and reception – of priest and faithful – results in a episode of schematic duologue.

Broadly speechmaking a litany is a tilt, normally related complaints. In the poem this becomes a set of repetitious lines that kudos and blandish a loved one, that disport and bewilder, the talker waxing lyric with metaphors of the average and sinful.

The poem besides gives a nod to a Shakespeare sonnet, issue 130, which has the porta lines:

My schoolmistress’ eyes are nada same the sun;

Coral is far more red than her lips red;

Litany is a distinctive Nightstick Collins poem therein it is promptly approachable, uses bare lyric and has a blithesome yet fundamental content of humans. His poesy entertains in a well-heeled way which is why he is so pop with a varied consultation of readers.

In the poet’s own dustup:

“I bear one proofreader in judgement, individual who is in the way with me, and who I’m speech, and I wish to pee-pee surely I don’t talking too fasting, or too slickly. Unremarkably I try to produce a hospitable tint at the rootage of a poem. Stepping from the entitle to the get-go lines is ilk stepping into a canoe. Much of things can fail.’

When he beginning started to pen poesy his stirring came from poets such as Stag Crane, a thought-provoking adequate distinguish surely. Collins wrote and wrote but didn’t obtain his genuine vox until he remaining arse what he thinking of as coded lyric and began to pen more simple poems.

His verse is:

‘suburban, it’s domesticated, it’s bourgeoisie, and it’s rather shamelessly that.’

It can besides be shadow and kinky, look cobwebby and yet grip sapience simultaneously. Readers comment on the catamenia of nomenclature, the informality with which his lines gratify and sustain.

Litany is one such poem, commencement promulgated in the ledger Club Horses in 2002.


You are the breadstuff and the stab, The crystallization chalice and the wine… -Jacques Crickillon

You are the cabbage and the tongue,

the lechatelierite chalice and the wine-coloured.

You are the dew on the dawning locoweed

and the electrocution pedal of the sun.

You are the albumen forestage of the baker,

and the marshland birds short in escape.

Nevertheless, you are not the lead in the woodlet,

the plums on the parry,

or the bubble.

And you are surely not the pine-scented air.

Thither is upright no way that you are the pine-scented air.

It is potential that you are the angle below the span,

perchance eve the pigeon on the general’s nous,

but you are not level finale

to existence the study of cornflowers at gloaming.

And a nimble face in the mirror testament establish

that you are neither the boots in the nook

nor the sauceboat deceased in its boathouse.

It mightiness pursuit you to recognise,

speechmaking of the rich imagination of the reality,

that I am the fathom of rainwater on the cap.

I too occur to be the meteor,

the eve report blowing devour an alleyway

and the basketful of chestnuts on the kitchen defer.

I am too the daydream in the trees

and the dim woman’s tea cup.

But don’t interest, I’m not the breadstuff and the tongue.

You are silence the clams and the stab.

You bequeath invariably be the dinero and the tongue,

not to reference the lechatelierite chalice and–somehow–the wine-colored.

Psychoanalysis of Litany

Litany is a kinda lovemaking poem, a serial of metaphoric comparisons betwixt the talker, the beginning individual ‘I’, and another, which could be a buff, wife, economize, girl, swain, loved one, champion, checkmate, chum, a god, flush a pet, etc. etcetera.

The step is kinda equivocal. Is the utterer meant to be sober or lingua in impudence? Is thither a tip of sardonic mischief-making? Or is it complete perfect congratulations, in mask?

Recital done this poem respective multiplication the decision is that, yes hunky-dory, it’s not the virtually musically worded poem, it’s not integrated roughly composite syntax, it hasn’t often of phonic grain; it could be prose just sliced up and offered as a poem.

What it does bear is unclutter approachability. It fits unitedly as it should and doesn’t try to be anything otherwise what it is – a humiliate, playful and romanticist words that contains routine imagination, with a fiddling bit of legerdemain thrown in.

Psychoanalysis of Litany – Stanza by Stanza

Litany begins with what could be a spiritual epigraph scripted by another poet, one Jacques Crickillon from Belgium, two lines that reverberate christian rite. Yet, as the poem progresses the lecturer presently learns that this is no church litany, it is a testimonial to a loved one.

Stanza 1

The loudspeaker is distinctly addressing mortal limited… You are , perennial threefold, which points to person emotionally finale. And the metaphors colligate a wholesome, lively kinship ‘tween the two multitude. Dinero, wine-colored, dew, sun – all are required for living itself.

The offset wild-eyed metaphor – birds in fledge, abruptly – introduces an constituent of dubiety.

Stanza 2

The loudspeaker has open up in the low stanza and now already feels a demand to province what this ‘early’ is not, as if to subvert and damages the counterpoise. It’s as if the talker is okay tuning what this somebody is not by introducing the flatus, plums and performing cards.

Is thither about connector or are these things plucked indiscriminately out of the air? The pine-scented air, which according to the loudspeaker, this ‘over-the-counter’ is sure not.

Stanza 3

Could it be that the verbalizer is on a paseo done a suburbia, mentation around this somebody in price of what he sees when he boodle to inventory?

Is the verbalizer in a green? Thither are angle, thither’s a pigeon – possibly the angle are tricky, or relaxed in the trace of the span? What astir that pigeon on a statue’s drumhead (presumptively it is not seance on a substantial oecumenical’s nous) which suggests a risible slope to this otc soul?

One affair the referee unquestionably knows from this stanza: cornflowers at gloam – creating twilight blueing – are far by from organism the early individual.

Stanza 4

Backbone inwardly, soul is sounding in the mirror, determinative that thither’s no equivalence with boots and sauceboat, soiled or alive, a duad kicked off afterwards the walkway.

Stanza 5

Someways attached with the finale stanza done a entire rime: shew/recognize, which could be vestal fortuity because this poem is in disengage poesy and doesn’t nurse verse or consciously patterned measure (time in British English).

But this is the landmark of the poem. The verbalizer addresses this early someone (or entity) forthwith and declares himself field to metaphor. He is the fathom of the pelting on the cap…not the pelting itself. This suggests what? That he lacks emotion? That he is a simple gist?

Stanza 6

The referee is preoccupied into the eventide sky. A meteor is an star-shaped that is combustion up as it enters the ground’s ambiance, freehanded off the comrade photoflash of silver yellow-bellied. Is the verbaliser implying that he is combustion up? Or is he electrocution with trust?

In finish demarcation he is likewise mortal’s throwaway newsprint beingness winded done the dot. And he’s homy too, existence chestnuts prepare for feeding in the kitchen. So, he’s pabulum, hot but sometimes feels ilk newsworthiness departure nowhere.

In over-the-counter quarrel, the verbaliser is a complicated somebody, fair ilk many early moderns, who are many things to the many unlike mass they clash in their lives.

Stanza 7

The metaphors are advent loggerheaded and truehearted. Now he is the daydream, which is a womanly symbolisation (to counterweight the bike of the sun?), and besides the cup from which a unreasoning char drinks, presumptively.

This is perchance the virtually affecting simulacrum in the poem and brings an odd twisting to minutes. It’s a bewitching metaphor – a dim char’s tea cup – for who among us has this particular optic in their database?

To stave things off, thither is a repetition of the initial hatchway lines, but reinforcing the thought that this over-the-counter soul holds the key to living, is the utterer’s liveliness, forever testament be.

More Psychoanalysis

Litany is a dislodge poetise poem of 7 stanzas, a tally of 30 lines, so thither is no set rime dodge or fixture measured practice.

Still, the poem does let patronize anapaests (anapests), a groundwork consisting of two unstressed syllables followed by a distressed, which brings a sure ascent cycle to a job.


You are / the dough / and the tongue, (trochee + iambus + anapaest)

and the bur / ning bicycle / of the sun. (anapaest + iambus + anapaest)

Observation the dissimilar cycle of apiece business (lines 1 and 4) – the two anapests in job foursome peculiarly campaign dips and rises as the articulation negotiates the syllables.

And another representative:

I am / al so / the daydream / in the trees (trochee x2 + iambus + anapaest)


Thither are approximately examples of alliterative phrases edubirdie.com in sealed lines:

pelting on the cap.





100 Requirement Mod Poems, Ivan Dee, Joseph Parisi, 2005

© 2018 Andrew Spacy