2. Leapt to her death from a window. (28)
3. Jane, stay where you are in my first mind. (42)
James Dickey’s, The Leap is an image packed poem full of symbols, perception and realization, a narrative where prequel trumps sequel. The word leap is a principal symbol in the story and Dickey’s affiliation with the word is somewhat homonymous. The first leap in the poem is a symbol of accomplishment and victory for Jane MacNaughton. “And with a light grave leap, jumped.” In front of her peers at dancing class, a young, confident, carefree Jane gracefully jumps up to touch the paper-ring decorations. At that memorable moment, the narrator feels an instant connection to Jane. He admires her ability and begins to form a cherished, emotional relationship with her. The second leap symbolizes surrender. Jane “leapt to her death from a window.” Because the narrator does not want to realize that his flawless Jane could possibly use the same physical act that evoked his emotional relationship with her years earlier, he too surrenders, but to denial and chooses to have her “stay where you are in my first mind.” The narrator doesn’t want the nostalgia of his perceived childhood memories spoiled. Similar to the shock and disbelief when you realize there really is no Santa Clause.
This is a beautiful poem, how graceful and delightful this girl Jane was to watch and see. She was like the goddess above the masses. (line44) “I and the other slow-footed yokels” what does yokels mean? An uneducated and unsophisticated person from the countryside. I love how the author idolizes, Jane, how he pays so much attention to her, almost like he is stalking her. Because he is so obsessed with her, he can’t help but keep her on this high petal stole in his…