Fleur Adcock: Analysis of 'Weathering'

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  • Topic: Death, Ageing, Fleur Adcock
  • Pages : 2 (615 words )
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  • Published : May 15, 2013
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We all feel insecure about our appearance at some point in our lives. No matter how much one denies it, in a world where appearances seem to mean everything, everyone inevitably experiences insecurity towards their body image. In one of her most famous poems, 'Weathering', Fleur Adcock addresses her own personal experience with the standards of beauty. She begins the poem with a strong critical tone, natural imagery and interesting figurative descriptions in order to associate and connect her most recurring themes of nature and place.

Adcock opens 'Weathering' with the candid lines: "Literally thin-skinned, I suppose, my face/catches the wind off the snow line and flushes/with a flush that will never wholly settle". Despite the sense of physical weakness in the first three words, the reader is taken in by her affirmation of psychological strength. She confidently states the thin condition of her skin while carefully avoiding any misconceptions of her being "thin-skinned", which indicates emotional weakness. Additionally captivating is the naturalistic imagery of the wind that "flushes with a flush that will never wholly settle", which portrays her acceptance of the natural process of aging that "the wind" has caused. Her use of the "wind" seems like an interesting symbolic reference to aging being an uncontrollable force like the wind.

The second stanza begins with Adcock comparing herself to a "Pre-Raphaelic beauty". She considered herself just "pretty enough" to be accepted in the stereotyped minds of men. Although there are slight hints of insecurity in these two lines, the reader can sense conviction in her next words; that she doesn't care about her appearance, since she is "in love with a place". This 'place' can be influenced by the physical surroundings of natural beauty - places she loves, such as "the lakes and fells". Or perhaps Fleur is referring to a 'place' in her life, or a particular stage in the aging process that she has reached and has...
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