Thursday, November 1, 2012

Essay on "Magician" by Gary Miranda

Commentary on Unseen poem: "Magician" By Gary Miranda
From the very beginning of the poem, through its very suggestive title, the reader is introduced to the special world of magicians, magic, magic tricks, which as we see from the start, does not, or more precisely, cannot exist without the audience who makes the “sleight” possible. The poem kidnaps the reader into experiencing a magic trick. In the first stanza the poet tells us “now you see it”, which marks the beginning of the trick which follows. The poem ends with the sentence “now you don’t”, letting the reader know that it worked, the illusion was successfully created, and that the most important participant in the process is not the magician himself, but the audience who allow the magic to happen. The poem has four stanzas.  In the first stanza the magician speaks to his audience revealing a secret, making the setting even more mysterious by doing so. He says that actually practicing for a magician is not that important as the willingness of the audience to be involved.

According to the magician, the easiest way the audience can actually contribute to the magic is through its desire to be tricked. The second stanza attempts to reveal a little more of the magician`s secret of success. The magician misdirects the audience towards noticing his left hand.  He tells the audience that he “counts on their mistake to care”. The trick is made possible through the willingness of the audience to actually obey and play the magician`s game, not wondering what might be in the magician`s other hand. The poet uses a memorable simile, “your undoing blooms like cancer”, to show that the audience`s failure to notice the secret behind the trick is in the same time the only way the trick can succeed. The poem advances toward its third stanza which reveals another astonishing secret: “most tricks are done before you think they`ve started”. The audience allows the tricks to happen through their willingness to believe in magic. They allow the magician to mislead them. They become successful at being tricked and therefore get exactly what they went for. The audience also receives another treat for their participation: the opportunity to become children again and actually believe in the power of magic. Hence, the magicians are able to use the vulnerability of human beings. The magician points out the fact that the audience values space more than time. This suggests that the secret behind the success of the trick is actually a weakness the audience has. Here is where the magic begins. The balls, the cards, the coins don`t physically disappear in a pocket or a sleeve, at the time the audience assumes that. The objects by then are long gone; their presence is history for the magician and a mystery for the audience. In the fourth and final stanza, the magician has one more confession to make. He tells his audience that whatever he gives them is not important because what he keeps makes the audience successful at being tricked. The secret is what makes magic so mysterious and attractive. The secret is which makes the audience interested. The usage of the term hinge in this context tries to illustrate the stability and instability of the magical universe. The suspense within the relationship between the magician and his audience, characterized mainly by the success of the audience in allowing itself to be tricked, reminds the reader about a love affair.

Therefore, the poet decides to use the simile “we are like lovers” followed by the question of willingness which actually feeds the suspense both in the world of magic and love. The next sentence attempts to replace the veil around the secrets of magic. The audience is being told that sometimes they are being tricked without willing and that`s the beauty in it all, the uncertainty of what one can find within a world of magic. The poem ends with the sentence “now you don’t”, which brings the audience`s experience to an end. The cycle of the world of this magic trick has been officially and successfully closed. The theme of the poem is revolving around the importance of the relationship between a magician and his audience. The poem also underlines the flaws of humans who through allowing themselves to be tricked manage to travel back to childhood and get closer to a universe which was believed to be long lost, where magic can become reality.
The tone of the poem can be characterized by seriousness and refinement. The rhythm, as well as the rhyme is irregular.  The sentences are rather short and easy to read. The words chosen by the poet are most often concrete, modern and slightly formal.