He uses this poem and many others to portray the way he views the barren lives of blue-collar men and women: they drink too much, they are lonely, they are ashamed, and they find their only comfort in dreaming of a better life. The key to this opening line, however, is not just his mention of the school itself, but the football stadium in particular.What must be remembered is that the Celtic festival of Samhain, the traditional root of the Halloween celebration, was originally a slaughter festival when the fattened and beautiful animals were ritualistically killed for a feast in order to save the precious feed grains for human consumption during the long winter months. In the second stanza, the poem shifts from the workplace to the home. It is also common for him to use as his setting the Midwest, the place of his birth and the region where he spent the greater part of his life. The women are so hungry because of the lack of love it? And it was a time of a new spiritual and sexual freedom for women unlike anything imagined in previous decades. We are in a specific place, in a particular window of time, but it is everyplace, throughout time. As in much of America, the myth exists of success in sport as a ticket to freedom for the poor, even though the odds often are about as improbable as winning a lottery. On the outside, the men are nearly beaten down by poverty, frustration, and a hopeless future. The line reflects their impotence, perhaps literally, but more likely emotionally. Similarly, the boys are fated to repeat their parents lives. Interpretation of this adverb has generally fallen along two lines with critics over the years. Also note the characterization of drinking applies to both place and people. And they are uneducated. After all, the first line of the poem locates the entire work in the imagination. The answer may seem obvious: people prefer excitement and power in their sports more so than tedious strategy and finesse.
Let me know in the comments! Only the poet has securely alienated himself from this world.
This poem is both a portrayal of the way a depleted social environment can also diminish people's spirits and an illustration of the crudeness and violence that Americans have come to think of as acceptable and normal.
Nevertheless, the reconciliation with nature is incomplete at best, and the violence of the game impairs its consolatory capacities. There the entire poem turns on this seemingly modest word.
It was published in the collection The Branch Will Not Break, a book which came to mark a turning point in the poet's writing style, moving him from formal, rhyming patterns to a more lyrical free verse.