Monday, 31 December 2012


Just when hope withers, the visa is granted.
The door opens to a street like in the movies,
clean of people, of cats; except it is your street
you are leaving. A visa has been granted,
“provisionally”-a fretful word.
The windows you have closed behind
you are turning pink, doing what they do
every dawn. Here it’s gray. The door
to the taxicab waits. This suitcase,
the saddest object in the world.
Well, the world’s open. And now through
the windshield the sky begins to blush
as you did when your mother told you
what it took to be a woman in this life.

The speaker in the sonnet titled, “Exit,” is a young woman, but this speaker, instead of narrating in the first person, addresses herself using the poetic self. She reveals that she has applied for a “visa,” which indicates that must be traveling abroad. And “just when hope withers, the visa is granted,” she begins.
She feels that suddenly “the door opens to a street like in the movies.” The street while “clean of people, of cats” is her street. She is a bit anxious, however, because of her impending journey. She repeats, “A visa has been granted,” and adds that it has been granted “provisionally,” calling it a “fretful word.”
The speaker then recounts that she has shut windows that “behind you / are turning pink.” But then reports that they always do that “every dawn.” Her mood is painting everything “gray,” while the cab to take her to the airport is waiting. She observes that a suitcase is the “saddest object in the world.”
But once she is on her way, she realizes “the world’s open.” She then observes that the sky is turning pink with the rising of the sun, but she dramatizes that sunrise in a very telling way: “the sky begins to blush / as you did when your mother told you / what it took to be a woman in this life.” At the beginning of her journey, she realizes how inexperienced she is in the ways of the world, but she seems to hold a ray of hope in her heart that things will turn out well.
I believe that this poem is about leaving a life behind and starting a new one. The doors closing behind you and the empty streets of grey symbolize how you alone are embarking on a new journey with your passport, the key to a new future. While you are starting a new life with your suitcases, you are gloomy put then the skys turn blue again and you realize that your new life will be better even though you are leaving your comfort zone behind. Exit is a free verse poem that has imagery, and possibly personification when it reads that “the door to the taxi cab waits”.

Friday, 28 December 2012


She wanted a little room for thinking:
but she saw diapers steaming on the line,
a doll slumped behind the door.
So she lugged a chair behind the garage
to sit out the children’s naps.
Sometimes there were things to watch –
the pinched armor of a vanished cricket,
a floating maple leaf. Other days
she stared until she was assured
when she closed her eyes
she’d see only her own vivid blood.
She had an hour, at best, before Liza appeared
pouting from the top of the stairs.
And just what was mother doing
out back with the field mice? Why,
building a palace. Later
that night, when Thomas rolled over and
lurched into her, she would open her eyes
and think of the place that was hers
for an hour — where
she was nothing,
pure nothing, in the middle of the day.

Every story or poem gives off a certain tone for the readers to catch. In this particular poem Daystar by Rita Dove, she uses her great way of words to present a sorrow, yet sympathetic feeling towards the main character. Some authors use the setting to work this idea but Dove uses her words and the feelings connected to those words to perfect her plan. For example ‘so she lugged a chair behind the garage’ (line 4). Here she uses words like lugged, which we as readers see as a negative yet gloomy action. We as readers get the feeling of the depressed, tired feeling given off by the mother. The mother obviously has had a long, hard day watching the kids, and probably has been cleaning as well. Another example of Dove’s word usage is when she describes the mother’s dream. ‘She had an hour, at best, before Lisa appeared pouting from the top of the stairs’ (lines 1-1). This gives us the one time excitement shared with the mom that she, during her busy day, could have a relaxing and happy moment. But at the same time Dove takes this dream away pretty quick in order to give the readers a sense of reality. We as readers see that in reality the mother cannot enjoy this fantasy for long, for her daily chores call to her. The reader gathers this information, not only by the choice of words from the Author, but also by the phrases put together by the words. These makes up the diction, which in its own way helps the author, give off their plan of how to make the readers sympathize with the main character.

The Diction of a poem is the way the author puts the words together to form a phrase, which not only provides evidence to the characters emotions but to the readers as well. The tone only can go so far. The diction of the poem helps maintain the idea of the theme. A good example of this would be where the mother chooses to set up her safe haven. ’She wanted a little room for thinking’ (line1). Here she ponders a way to find a quite place to rest while her chores do the same. Another example is how she sets up her palace. ’She lugged a chair behind the garage’ (line 4). Here we get the feeling of her tired, lazy body sluggishly preparing her palace for the quick 10 minutes. Then the last example would be her ideas that help her escape her world as it is now and start up in a new one. ’Sometimes there were things to watch- the pinched armor of a vanished cricket, a floating maple leaf. Other days she stared until she was assured when she closed her eyes she’d see only her own vivid blood’ (lines 6-11). Here she uses a vivid use of words that provide the readers with the idea of how desperately she urged for this time away from her daily life.

Rita Dove takes her idea of using a reality situation and expands greatly. By using her choice of words she alone creates a tone and establishes diction to back her idea up. Dove now has a poem where when a reader reads it, they catch the main character’s emotions. In the “Daystar” Dove gave us all as readers the sense of weakened endurance a house mother gets while living with everyday life and along with the chores that reality provides.

On the basis of this analysis it is clear to me that Rita Dove is trying to say that mothers are unappreciated and overworked. In this characters own way she is a star. The character in this poem constantly gives to everyone around her, taking little time for herself. Much like all mothers around the world are.

Tuesday, 25 December 2012

Adolescence 1


In water-heavy nights behind grandmother's porch
We knelt in the tickling grasses and whispered:
Linda's face hung before us, pale as a pecan,
And it grew wise as she said:
        "A boy's lips are soft,
        As soft as baby's skin."
The air closed over her words.
A firefly whirred near my ear, and in the distance
I could hear streetlamps ping
Into miniature suns
Against a feathery sky.

In this poem, Rita Dove depicts a scene of a group young girls inquiring about a boy’s lips. Kneeling in their grandmother’s backyard, one of the girls named Linda shares with the others that she indeed felt a boy’s lips and they are “as soft as a baby’s skin”. Listening intently to her words, the other girls learn from Linda’s experience. The audience can feel how fascinated the other girls are in what Linda shares by Rita Dove’s explanation of the scene. The narrator claims, “A firefly whirred near my ear, and in the distance I could hear streetlamps ping into miniature suns against a feathery sky”. Just by comprehending these lines, the reader knows how intrigued the girls are to listen to Linda’s words.

This poem describes the innocent behavior of young girls toward young boys. The girls only talk about how soft a boy’s lips are, and the conversation does not go any further than that. We know most of the girls are inexperienced because they listen so closely to Linda’s description. Rita Dove successfully portrays the pure curiosity of young girls by simply illustrating the tame nature of the girls’ attitude toward boys. Their inquiry does not go past the physical nature of a boy’s lips. There is no desire or physical need beyond a harmless kiss.