POTENTIAL, BUT UNTRANSFORMED NEW ADAMS
Of all the men portrayed sympathetically by women, the saddest are those whose struggle for happiness does not bear fruit. The male characters in this section yearn to enlarge their hearts and spirits, groping for someone or something outside themselves to give their lives meaning and joy -- but either latch on to the wrong object or seem to lack the strength to fully pursue their search. They possess the potential to become New Adams in the New World Garden of Eden, but fail to realize that potential.
Denise Levertov seems to capture the tenor of these men's lives in her poem, "The Mutes." "Those groans men use," she says,
passing a woman on the street . . . . . . to tell her she is female . . . . . . are they a sort of tune, an ugly enough song, sung by a bird with a slit tongue
but meant for music?
Or are they the muffled roaring of deaf mutes trapped in a building that is slowly filling with smoke? Perhaps both. . . . . . . . . . her understanding
keeps on translating:
'Life after life after life goes by