George B. Hutchinson

George B. Hutchinson: On "Out of the Cradle Endlessly Rocking"

The poem dramatizes an achievement of control over threatening powers through a form of acceptance of them and a surrender of the self—represented in the bird’s "possession" of the child and then an opening of ego-boundaries to the sea—which miraculously ends in self-possession and a stable relationship with the powers. The progression embodies a specific form of role-process by which the ground of affliction is mastered, its closest relative being the shamanic "call."