Ol' Higue

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O'l Higue - Literature Notes
Please note that the information given on this poem is not meant to replace any material given in the classroom setting. It is a very BASIC giude to enable a literal understanding of the poem. Metaphorical interpretations should be sought in the classroom.  

The physical structure of this poem has been altered from the original layout in the text.

You think I like this 5.stupidness! -
6.gallivanting all night without skin,
1.burning myself out like cane-fire 
2.to frighten the foolish?
2.And for what? A few drops of baby blood?
2.You think I wouldn't rather
take my blood seasoned in fat
black-pudding, like everyone else?
And don't even talk 'bout the pain of salt
and having to bend these old bones down
to count a thousand grains of rice!

If only babies didn't smell so nice!
And if I could only stop 
hearing 3.the soft, soft call
of that 7.pure blood running in new veins,
4.singing the sweet song of life
tempting an old, dry-up woman who been
8.holding her final note for years and years,
afraid of the dying hum ...

Then again, if I didn't fly and come
to that 9.fresh pulse in the middle of the night, 2.how would you, mother, name your ancient dread?
2.And who to blame
for the murder inside your head ...?
Believe me -
As long as it have women giving birth
a poor ol' higue like me can never dead.

McWatt, M. 'Ol' Higue' in A World of Prose. Edited by Mark McWatt and Hazel Simmonds McDonald. Pearson Education Ltd, 2005. | This is the OPINION of one individual, which might not coincide with the views of others.

LITERAL MEANING
In this poem, the Ol' Higue / soucouyant tells of her frustration with her lifestyle. She does not like the fact that she sometimes has to parade around, in the form of a fireball, without her skin at night. She explains that she has to do this in order to scare people, as well as to acquire baby blood. She explains that she would rather acquire this blood via cooked food,...
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