“The Death of the Moth” by Annie Dillard

I was attracted to this one because it had the same title as the one that Virginia Woolf wrote. I can tell that she was attempting an imitation or some sort of ode, even; but it definitely was something of it’s own making. I also chose this piece because I wanted to read more essays by Annie Dillard. I think she’s amazing at writing lyrically. One can definitely sense her background in poetry coming out in her essays. Not only does it come out in the words and sentences, but there is also a poetic structure to the piece. Each paragraph is a stanza, and she manages to create a volta in the concluding paragraph that leaves me the same chill that poem leave me with when I finish reading them. I can tell that she has an understanding of the objects, matter, texture, feeling and weight of words; she hefts words in her hand like produce, and feels the crunch of the bread, the suppleness of an orange, the firmness of an apple, all of these are words that she considers with her recipes: “Her moving wings ignited like tissue paper, enlarging the circle of light in the clearing and creating out of the darkness the sudden blue sleeves of my sweater, the green leaves of jewelweed by my side, the ragged red trunk of a pine.” That’s a beautiful sentence. That’s a careful weighing of words, a strong familiarity with their texture and weight and taste in the mouth.