Monday, November 21, 2005

week 8 post 1

Site, II

We were all she's there-
sister, sister, sister, mother, friend, friend-
and by then we know.
We sat on the floor in the mortuary looking as if for beauty
at a plate of jewelry and a room full of urns.
One urn pale wood,
one urn with two cloisonne cranes,
one urn blue steel with four bolts underneath.
My sister took a small brass cube from the velvet plate
and two hollow stars and a screw-top heart
she's to fill with ash and hang from chains
around her neck. What was she thinking?
Who could pour ash into such tiny shapes?
And whose ash?
For one chlid we had a penny bag,
for the other not a thing.

This poem describes an image of a lot of women searching for jewerly at a store. The reality is that these women, sisters, mothers, and friends, are looking at a room full of urns to fill with the ashes of their dead. The speaker describes as her sister picked out some jewel shaped urns to pour ash into. Speaker asks some questions, such as what was she thinking? Who could pour ash into such tiny shapes? At the end of the poem, the speaker describes how they picked out a penny bag for the ash of one child, and have not picked out an urn for the other yet. This poem describes the way the women searched for urns as like shopping in a department store. This comparison although a bit humerous has much sorrow as the theme can be ultimately seen as death. The end of the poem shows the sadness that picking out urns for your children can be seen as such a frivolous thing. The author gets her point across as this complex comparison is described, and readers can't help but feel that although death is a sad thing, it is also something that society created into a mockery. That people "shop around" for things to put their loved ones in before burial and such.

1 Comments:

Blogger brianne fong said...

I found this poem to be rather morbid, but like Michael pointed out - it's all rather disturbing because these women seem to be "shopping" for urns - not merely doing it out of necessity. I think that the casualness of it, however, shows that death is inevitable and around us (happening) everyday and that it's not an uncommon thing. people don't usually write about the burial process, or at least I haven't read too much on it, but I found this poem morbid.

3:55 AM  

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