Literary and Pop Culture References in Southernmost: Background information when reading Southernmost

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Southernmost

by Silas House

Southernmost by Silas House X
Southernmost by Silas House
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    Jun 2018, 352 pages

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Book Reviewed by:
Rebecca Foster

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Literary and Pop Culture References in Southernmost

This article relates to Southernmost

In Silas House's Southernmost, Asher's estranged brother Luke sends him postcards with quotations from books, poems, and songs that serve as secret messages passing between them. Here's a closer look.

Sandpiper"Sandpiper": Asher's most recent communication from Luke is a postcard of a sandpiper with a line of poetry appended: "the roaring alongside he takes for granted." This is the first line of the Elizabeth Bishop poem "Sandpiper," which appeared in her 1965 collection Questions of Travel. The "roaring" is the literal crash of ocean waves, but the bird's equanimity is also a picture of keeping calm in times of turmoil, knowing that "every so often the world is bound to shake." The watery imagery is a reminder of life's cyclical nature and a reassurance that what seems confusing will eventually be made plain: "The world is a mist. And then the world is / minute and vast and clear." The sandpiper is also a metaphor for striving: "he is preoccupied, / looking ...

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