Poem Analysis: Spinster

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Spinster

The poem Spinster as the title explicitly suggests, tells the story of a woman still unmarried beyond the age of marrying. The title also suggests that the narrator wants a life without men, showing she wants control. The poem juxtaposes the order of the seasons to show how this affects the narrator’s desperation to keep control.

The structure of this poem is consistent. There seems to be a repetitive pattern reflected in every stanza in which the lines follow an order of short, long, short long, short, short. Whilst the length of the sentences provide no real meaning, the repeated pattern implies disorder in an orderly fashion. Whilst she feels uncomfortable and unstable she is still in control of her physical actions. There is also a period at the end of each stanza making the poem strict in appearance.

Within the poem there is an extended metaphor of men and spring. The extended metaphor of “a burgeoning unruly enough to pitch her five queenly wits into vulgar motley” conveys the frustration and distaste for men, seeing them as unruly and uncontrollable giving us the reasons why she wants to withdraw herself from men. This is then contrasted to “how she longed for winter” which contrasts to men being spring, showing her yearning to be away from men, “scrupulously austere in its order of white and black” shows the need for control in her life and the simple colours suggest the narrators needs for a simple life.

The poet has also included dictions related to war. “such a barricade of barb…against mutinous weather… with curse, fist and threat” portraying men as a threat and the bring chaos and disorder to the narrators life and affect her emotions.
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