What thing can we imagine concretely that can be "torn off" when it's unused? In class we decided on a calendar -- the kind with a page for each day which gets torn off as each day passes.
Example 1:The burnt-out ends of smoky days.As well as the general topic -- days -- there is a thing being named there: some thing that burns out and gives smoke. Most of us soon realize that it must be something like a cigarette butt or a cigar butt. Then we can reflect on what connotations that has in context -- waste, revulsion, etc.
-- T. S. Eliot, "Preludes"
Torn off unused
-- Philip Larkin, "Aubade"
Now does he feel
His secret murders sticking on his hands.
Compare your response to that of a fine English critic, H. Coombes.
The image created by "flows" and "liquefaction" together is plain enough, I would hope. The silken dress becomes a flowing liquid surface -- a stream perhaps -- rippling over Julia's moving flesh.
Upon Julia's ClothesWhenas in silks my Julia goes,
Then, then, methinks, how sweetly flows
That liquefaction of her clothes!
Next, when I cast mine eyes and see
That brave vibration each way free,
Oh how that glittering taketh me!
-- Robert Herrick
In the second stanza there is a much less obvious image half-evoked by "cast," especially in the watery context already obtaining. It's an image from angling, is it not? Casting his eyes and seeing the "brave vibration" (as if it were a fish seen through water) results, however (in a nice reversal), not in the taking of the prey but in the captivation of the predator, the poet observer himself.
How all occasions do inform against meWhat is the image -- the thing named -- here, in the second of these lines? There is also an implied metaphor in the first line, to be sure, but for the moment my question asks you to focus on the second line, "spur my dull revenge." What thing is the abstraction "revenge" being imaged as here? Perhaps you'd like to choose an answer. Click on one of the buttons below, add a comment in the scroll area, and then press the "Submit" button.
And spur my dull revenge.
Warning: When you click on "submit" below, you'll see a screen on which I tell you what I think is the right answer and why I think the other choices are mistaken! I do not mean to be offensively dogmatic, just as clear as I can be as a stimulus to your own thinking.
So be prepared to feel annoyed if we disagree, and feel free to return to this page or to the class conference with further arguments or questions.