Individual Work
Candles for a Street Corner

Robert Kendall's "Candles for a Street Corner" begins with a small character who stands sadly under a bright light with the number “32” slowly rotating around him. The character remains in the middle of the page as words fade in and out of the picture, revealing poetic verses which tell a story about missed opportunities. There are many indications that the speaker is unhappy about turning thirty two, growing older, and the things he has still not accomplished. Kendall narrates, “He always left a tip lying among the chances I could not take.” He adds, “Why does my life hurt so scenically when they touch the missing parts?” Kendall uses many other audio and visual cues to highlight the melancholy tone of the text. Crooked words and illustrations spin incessantly around the character, providing a visualization of his thoughts. The number 32 functions as a reoccurring motif, anchoring missed opportunities and future dreams to the occasion. Although Kendall makes this character’s sadness evident throughout the piece, at the end, the character rises to the top of the page, and looks as if he is holding the word “trust” in each hand. A birthday cake with the number “32” is now beneath him, evidently implying that there may still be hope for the future.