What does the poem mean in Secret Invasion Episode 4?

By Kieran Burt
Published: July 12, 2023
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What does the poem mean in Secret Invasion Episode 4

What does the poem mean in Secret Invasion Episode 4? We discuss the popular MCU series and answer a key plot question. 

Secret Invasion is nearing its close, with only two episodes left to resolve the Skrull conflict and help the refugees find a new home or a new way to integrate them on Earth. Episode 4 showed a near-devastating Skrull attack on the U.S. President, though for now, he survives to fight another day.

One of the earlier but just as important moments in the show happens in a flashback, where Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) and his Skrull wife (Charlayne Woodard), Priscilla Fury (Charlayne Woodard), meet up just after the events of The Avengers in a bar in Paris and discuss a poem, titled Late Fragment.

This poem is quite important, as it manages to encapsulate the themes of the show in just a few lines.

What is the poem in Secret Invasion Episode 4?

In an early scene of the episode, Priscilla meets with Nick. where she is reading a collection of poems by Raymond Carver. She explains he’s known for his brief but powerful poems, often no longer than a few lines. Her favorite one is called Late Fragment, written in 1989, and it goes like this:

And did you get what
you wanted from this life, even so?
I did.
And what did you want?
To call myself beloved, to feel myself
beloved on the earth.

It’s read out again later in the episode when Priscilla and Nick hold each other at gunpoint. It’s a short, brief poem, but despite its length, it’s still effective at getting its audiences to take notice and think about its deeper meaning.

What does the poem mean in Secret Invasion episode four?

Looking to the poem, it has a lot of meaning in the show. It’s the last poem Carver wrote before he died, and while it’s phrased as a conversation, it’s not clear who’s asking the questions.

But Carver is answering them, and he’s saying that all he wanted in his life is somewhere to belong and to feel loved, and he did.

Carver lived a short life, dying aged 50, and whoever is questioning him wonders if he’s still lived a full life, indicated by the “even so” in the poem. Carver answers in the affirmative, though, that in the short time he was alive, he was able to find a sense of contentedness.

A surface-level reading of the poem indicates it applies to the brief episode, but one that still packs a punch, with a nail-biting attack on the U.S. President and the death of Talos. It’s the shortest episode so far, at only just over 37 minutes long.

Here, Marvel would be asking the audience the questions, hoping that they respond yes, they were content with it. It could also apply to Secret Invasion as a whole, as Marvel has only given the show six episodes to tell a hugely influential story.

But a deeper meaning shows it applies to Priscilla, suggesting she’s content with her life on Earth, to be loved by Nick even though she’s an alien with no home.

She is content with the body she has chosen, later explaining how it came to be and that it was done with consent from the woman, hoping to spare her family the sadness of her passing.

Later in the episode, when she and Nick recite it to each other at gunpoint, it’s the pair’s way of saying that despite their rocky marriage, they’re still happy with the belonging they have with each other and that, ultimately, they’re content with their time together, even though it’s now likely to come to a close.

When looking at the wider Skrull population, it applies in a similar way. It’s asking them if they’re satisfied with their lives and reinforcing the idea that they’re looking for a place to be beloved and content in, a place to walk about in skin they’re comfortable in, a home.

And depending on the Skrull, the answer is different. For Talos and Priscilla, they’re happy on Earth, but for G’iah, Gravik, and the Skrull terrorist group, they’re not.

The title of the poem, Late Fragments, suggests a fractured whole, just as how the Skrulls are a fractured people, with some happy to live on Earth in different skin, and others wanting to fight and break away from the whole.

There are a million Skrulls on Earth, and it’s safe to say that not all of them have taken arms against humanity.

Is the poem important in Secret Invasion?

Yes, the poem is important to Secret Invasion, highlighting the importance of belonging, love, and acceptance in life. Ultimately, this is what the Skrull refugees wanted when they came to Earth, but since it wasn’t as forthcoming as they hoped, some of them began to fragment and form a terrorist group.

While the poem likely won’t be referenced again in Secret Invasion, its themes of looking for a home and a place to feel safe is central to the show, so the poem is worth keeping in mind throughout the final two episodes.

The themes of feeling content and a sense of belonging also carry through to Secret Invasion’s other, more political themes, with the Skrull refugees mirroring real-life refugees, many of whom are looking for a home from a war-torn world themselves.

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