Monday, November 21, 2005

week 8 post 2

As by Giving or Letting Go

How to tend to their belongings-
Mend them?

Spend them?
Send them to us who still have children

though we try not to speak of them,
frightened as we are.

Lent to my son and me:
four cartoon plates, a box for lost teeth,

and a homemade board game
with a sack of markers and dice.

For a child of six and a child of eight
it must have been ecstacy to count so high!

What my sister can't give away
let her break, remake,

take out of the closet the red velvet dress
her eldest wore one thanksgiving in high fever

when we pressed our hands to her forehead
to cool her, fool the child sleep.

This poem is very strong and conveys a sense of mourning. The title "As by Giving and Letting Go" gives readers an inside to what the poem is going to be about. The speaker talks about receiving "their items" and as the speaker describes the items given, it is clear that the "their" belongings refers to children's items. This is seen as the author talks about the cartoon plates and the board games. The end of the poem talks about the items the speaker's sister cannot give away. The item talked about is a velvet dress that the child wore one Thanksgiving. This image has a very sad feeling as readers figure out near the end of the poem that the speaker's sister must give away the belongings of her dead child. And although she cannot give away all of her belongings, the one that she does keep and the ones she does give away all hold very strong emotional memories. The poem conveys the sense of loss while talking about something as childish as cartoon plates. Readers feel the pain of both of the people. They feel the speaker's pain as she must accept these so called "gifts" from her sister and they also feel the sister's pain having to give away the memories of her children.


1 Comments:

Blogger brianne fong said...

I think that Michael's interpretation of the poem is pretty accurate. I also think that we can all relate to this poem in some way or another, especially if we're "pack rats" in keeping stuff. Through the discussion of possessions, one gets a deeper meaning of sentimentality through the poem which I think is good. It makes the poem have a sort of dual meaning to it.

3:51 AM  

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