In the poem “Circular Saws” by Fred Cogswell, he takes us on a journey of pain. This whole poem is centered around pain,and in particular, how we can become the pain that we have experienced. It goes to show that painful experiences create pained people , who then,hence, turn into painful people who cause painful experiences. In this poem, the persona become his own pain.
The poem starts off in a sort of sad,deep, insightful mood/atmosphere. The fact that “circular saws” can be painful suggests that the poem could explore emotional pain. The writer goes to say that it is just all a “bad dream”, and tries to push the pain away until it really hits him. The “scars” are a symbol for a bad memory where pain is a factor. Those bad memories remind him of the pain he suffered, hence, avoiding it. As the third stanza begins, the poem has more figurative meaning.
The third stanza presents what the poem really is about. The poem goes on to portray how the scars we have on the outside can turn inward, and live inside of us. “…without intending to be”( with the use of anthropomorphism). In line 14, the author is referring to people. Everyone has masks to hide their true identity, to hide who they really are. As the end of the poem approaches, there is a very evident shift ,begining in the thrid stanza and continues on.At this point in the poem, the persona takes his own emotional experience and relates it to how it has affected and shaped who he is.