Paper Moon by Mia Conover

Hey, canary bird 
Don’t you just love these long rainy afternoons When an hour isn’t just an hour 
A little piece of eternity 
A paper moon 
But it wouldn’t be make believe if you believed in me 

I don’t want realism
I don’t tell the truth—I tell what ought to be 
After all, a woman’s charm is fifty percent illusion 

The paper moon
You left nothing here but the paper moon Sailing over a cardboard sea
With a nocturnal brilliance

Just as phony as can be 

Writer’s Memo 

Using fantastical diction, particular form/rhyme, and figurative language, I uncover the fragile dreams of grandeur found within Blanche’s dialogue. The diction used, such as ‘paper moon’ and ‘cardboard sea’ put emphasis on the frailty of her dreams, since paper and cardboard are temporary, fragile things. This supports the overarching theme of the frailty of fantasy. Secondly, the form emphasizes particular lines, such as ‘paper moon’ and ‘I don’t want realism’. Additionally, the rhyme schemes found in the beginning and ending stanzas place particular emphasis on lines expressing the phoniness of her paper and cardboard fantasies, while making the lines ‘As phony as can be’ and ‘It wouldn’t be make believed if you believed in me’ stand out. Lastly, figurative language illustrates exactly what such fantasy dreams are, such as the image of a moon sailing over a cardboard sea, and a ‘nocturnal brilliance’ (which contradicts itself but serves as a tool to illustrate how fantasy cannot compete with reality for such reasons). 

Photo by freddie marriage on Unsplash