Blog #2



John Haines is very sufficient at making his reader feel the visual images that he portrays.   He creates an image of Alaskans and their feelings, or tones that the subject feels.   He recreates the feeling that many Alaskans have in the cold of winter when it is difficult to adjust to your surroundings.   It seems to me that he speaks of small communities and the intimate knowledge they have of each other in his poem, “In the House of Wax’ when he writes:



We think to ourselves, murmur


to the one standing beside us:


“How compellingly strange


these people are, and yet familiar


to the world we left behind us,


the street and the household…”





These are the people whose names


we learned, whose lives we studied,


whose thoughts we have become.  (Haines, 2001)





In “Fourth of July at Santa Ynez’, John Haines writes of many dark faces moving among the sweating whites.   He also writes of an old man holding a dented bucket with three crayfish which makes me think of subsistence and the struggle it can be to survive in Alaska. He writes of the old man moving slowly, too slowly, as if returned from a long and difficult journey which is exactly what can be expected of a subsistence life. (Haines, Fourth of July at Santa Ynez, 1993)


Works Cited


Cope, R. K. Alaska Polar and Regions Collections. View of a Landscape. Elmer E. Rasmuson Library, Fairbanks, Alaska.


Haines, J. (1993). Fourth of July at Santa Ynez. Retrieved from Poetry Foundation:

Haines, J. (2001). In the House of Wax. Retrieved from Poetry Foundation:


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