In Continuum, I think the overriding feeling of the person being described in this narrative poem, is confusion, yet trying to make sense of the vast expansion he sees before him, through creating it into a large game.
As he can’t get to sleep the character, ‘barefoot’, walks outside showing he is determined to figure what’s on his mind as he can’t wait to put on some shoes to save himself from the ‘chill of the planking underfoot’. His determination is shown again through his inability to ‘not think thoughts’, this problem the character is encountering would seem to show he/she is a child based on the fact they aren’t working whilst they’re awake, instead they find more interest in pondering the creation of the universe.
The childish nature of the character is further revealed through their ability personify the moon as like themselves, a child. In this case, the child is being deceived by the moon as he thinks it is rolling over the moon when, in fact it is slowly orbiting the earth as is rotating through centripetal force, this supposed trick shows the child’s lack of knowledge for the universe. Furthermore the way the moons actions are described in the first line, Curnow is making it sound like the moon is playing a game with the child by hiding almost like the infamous game of ‘Hide and Seek’.
His/her confusion, as a result of lack of experience, is further amplified by stanza four where he explains that ‘one’s mine, the others an adversary’ in reference to the ‘bright clouds’ described earlier. I feel that in order to understand why he cannot see the stars because of clouds during the ‘washed-out creation’ he creates them into a game of war, due to naming one an ‘adversary’, this common game is played throughout boy-hood as they idolise the men that fight for their country. This is especially evident in such a patriotic country such as America.
At this time of night, time loses its value, or rather its length seems to change. This is well represented in the poem. ‘A long moment stretches, the next one is not on time’. It is technically impossible for a moment to be late, but this image gives a sense of the way time passes when the moon is out. However I feel that the ‘next one’ might not have been on time due to the fact he has dosed off to sleep and subsequently lost track of time.
The title, is in complete sequence with the rest of the poem as there is enjambment for eighteen of the twenty-one lines showing that he is have a continuum of thoughts showing that they all are very similar yet by the end of his thought trains they are drastically different. In addition, on four of the seven stanzas, there is no capital letters on the starting sentence showing the continuous motion of thoughts.
Throughout the poem there are contrasting elements to the title of continuum, there are a few examples of caesuras, for example, on line thirteen and fourteen, this continues my point that as the first part of the sentence finishes there is a comma showing he has possibly fallen asleep and therefore there is a pause, this contrasts the title of the poem because it is an abrupt stop to the line which is therefore not a continuum.
Hunting Snake personally I feel is the delicate building of atmosphere for it then to be broken into tatters by the arrival of a deadly creature, which is both scary yet impressive.
The poem is structurally set out into four stanzas of