Showing 661 - 670 of 732 Poetry annotations

night sound

Clifton, Lucille

Last Updated: Aug-13-1996
Annotated by:
Aull, Felice

Primary Category: Literature / Poetry

Genre: Poem

Summary:

A woman who has already lived out more than half of her life lies next to her man, listening to the night sounds of their own breathing, and has intimations of mortality. She thinks of her own mother, who was already dead at this age, and feels she must conserve her very breath. The sexual energy and "soft expensive murmurings" she spends on her lover may cost her--and yet he is oblivious, sleeping "as if there could be even now / no question of tomorrow."

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The Surgeon at 2 A.M.

Plath, Sylvia

Last Updated: Jul-13-1996
Annotated by:
Coulehan, Jack

Primary Category: Literature / Poetry

Genre: Poem

Summary:

This poem is in the surgeon's voice. He surveys his country's terrain, "a garden I have to do with--tubers and fruits / Oozing their jammy substances . . . . " He delves into the patient's organs, "I worm and hack in a purple wilderness." He admires the sunset-colored blood and the "blue piping" that conducts it through the body's intricate maze. When he removes a part of the body, it is sent to the lab ("a pathological salami") and "entombed in an icebox." The surgeon walks through the ward, casting his eyes on the sleeping patients: "I am the sun," he says, " . . . Grey faces, shuttered by drugs, follow me like flowers."

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For My Sister

Jones, Richard

Last Updated: Jul-10-1996
Annotated by:
Stanford, Ann Folwell

Primary Category: Literature / Poetry

Genre: Poem

Summary:

A woman plants a plastic Christmas tree and wrapped gifts at the grave of her young son, speaking to him, but knowing the son can't hear her. What she hears are "the whispered words / and the gentle sobbing / that was becoming / a kind of music inside her."

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The Remedy

Jones, Richard

Last Updated: Jul-09-1996
Annotated by:
Stanford, Ann Folwell

Primary Category: Literature / Poetry

Genre: Poem

Summary:

The speaker of this long poem is recovering from seven weeks of pneumonia, during which time he has been completely bedridden. On the day of the poem, he has just arisen and makes preparations to cook a pot of tomato soup with herbs and vegetables from his (now overgrown) garden. The poem describes the beginning of the day when the speaker gathers the food from the garden, later in the day when he applies various natural remedies, and the evening when he finally drinks the soup.

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Insomniac

Plath, Sylvia

Last Updated: Jun-14-1996
Annotated by:
Coulehan, Jack

Primary Category: Literature / Poetry

Genre: Poem

Summary:

The insomniac looks at the sky ("a sort of carbon paper") and "suffers his desert pillow." Projected in front of him are his life's embarrassments and bad memories. "He is immune to pills." He listens all night to "invisible cats . . . / howling like women." The sun rises, the city awakes, and people everywhere "Are riding to work in rows, as if recently brainwashed."

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The Pull

Olds, Sharon

Last Updated: Jun-06-1996
Annotated by:
Donley, Carol

Primary Category: Literature / Poetry

Genre: Poem

Summary:

The narrator of this poem seems to be starving herself to death to be with her father who has died recently. She talks of " . . . flirting with my father, / his cadaver the only body this thin / I have seen--I am walking around like his corpse . . . . " Her eating disorder may be a form of grieving. She has lost her will to live.

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When Fat Girls Dream

Haddaway, J. L.

Last Updated: May-23-1996
Annotated by:
Donley, Carol

Primary Category: Literature / Poetry

Genre: Poem

Summary:

The poem says fat girls don’t dream they are Marilyn Monroe; instead their dreams are "much smaller: a dance with a man not a blind drunk, a folding chair that won’t cringe . . . . " Or perhaps they can step "into the arms of a man with Ruben’s eyes."

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The Song the Dwarf Sings

Rilke, Rainer Maria

Last Updated: May-23-1996
Annotated by:
Donley, Carol

Primary Category: Literature / Poetry

Genre: Poem

Summary:

This sad poem, in the dwarf’s voice, describes the pain of having "crooked blood" and hands that "hop around sluggishly / like toads after a rain." The dwarf wonders why God doesn’t just throw him out on the dump because his body is so distorted and worn out.

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An Early Afterlife

Pastan, Linda

Last Updated: May-21-1996
Annotated by:
Aull, Felice

Primary Category: Literature / Poetry

Genre: Poem

Summary:

In Linda Pastan's poem from her latest collection of the same name, the narrator proposes to prepare for the parting that comes with death while "in the fallacy of perfect health . . . ." Now, while there is time, dear ones could behave toward each other with all the loving tenderness befitting a preparation for permanent loss. Then the "ragged things that are coming next . . . would be like postscripts . . . Nothing could touch us."

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The Grave of Keats

Mitchell, S. (Silas) Weir

Last Updated: May-01-1996
Annotated by:
Coulehan, Jack

Primary Category: Literature / Poetry

Genre: Poem

Summary:

The poet stands in the Protestant Cemetery at Rome, beside the grave of John Keats, on which the epitaph is written: "Here lies one whose name was writ in water." The poet addresses the cemetery ("Fair little city of the pilgrim dead"), commenting on the beauty of the place and of its music: "Sing in the pure security of bliss." Yet, even this serene place cannot comfort the poet, who has inherited "the anguish of the doubt / Writ on this gravestone."

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