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McHugh’s Webcam the World
Poems That Changed My Life
"Metaverse” is the first word that comes to mind when I read this poem. "Webcam the World" by Heather McHugh is a passionate, verbose, and visionary (2009) poem about saving the world. The author's tone is hopeful and optimistic as if she has a childlike wonder in all of creation. This poem is deep and multifaceted, with very detailed imagery that seems to be pulled from reality or from a dreamscape lens with an exciting point of view that keeps readers engaged throughout their reading experience. The fragmented storytelling leaves you wanting more while also feeling satisfied in a way that reflects the content of the story being told was proper for your consumption at this time and place.
In the first stanza of this poem, McHugh continues to develop the theme by asking a series of questions that will lead you to believe that she personally feels as if we will not be able to save everything. Yet, she hopes that we will be able to save some at least - "save it all now," "while we can.
"in neck-irons, when barns begin to burn."
As he continues through the poem, we see torture, violence, and suffering images. Yet, this is not a poem about putting on rose-colored glasses or pretending that everything is beautiful. Instead, McHugh presents her readers with an honest depiction of our brutal reality. There is no chance for poetry to hide from what we face today as human beings.
"It will serve as its own storage."
This line is the key to McHugh's vision and gives us a perspective on what this poem is about. McHugh wants us to realize that we can use these images as history for generations to come one day.
This is an example of the poet speaking in an authentic voice that many people can connect with and understand. By presenting such images, she reaches out to readers who are faced with similar issues today and allows them to see themselves in his words.
Heather McHugh's poem, "Webcam the World," is a story being told from a sincere voice and one that many people will connect with. She has created an iconic image of our brutal reality by presenting us with ideas that are not easy to stare at for long periods. However, her ultimate message masks the horrors of our current society. What is telling us that we can save what we can and that the only way to do so is to keep all images captured today before they are gone forever.