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  • Topic: Poetry, The Mirror Crack'd from Side to Side, King Arthur
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Love Poem

Linda Pastan is an American poet of Jewish background. She was born in New York on May 27, 1932. Today, she lives in Potomac, Maryland with her husband Ira Pastan, an accomplished physician and researcher. She is known for writing short poems that address topics like family life, domesticity, motherhood, the female experience, aging, death, loss and the fear of loss, as well as the fragility of life and relationships.

Love poem is a very simple poem yet it has a deep dimension if you read analytically. In fact she didn’t get straight to the point that she was primarily addressing which is the “love poem”. Pastan goes on to describe the form of the poem rather than going on to talk about the love itself that she wanted to write about. At the first reading, you think that she is describing the creek; however, she is in a way describing their relationship and their love. In line 6 and 7 “its dangerous banks” refer to the stream of life that is taking everything on its way, yet they are standing on the bank of that stream holding and grabbing each other keeping the two of them close and not letting anyone of them go. She says that in spite of standing considerably far from all these events in life that might draw them apart from each other, yet they must hold tight to each other in order not to be drifted into the strong stream of life and forget about their love.

“As our creek after thaw” is a simile, she is comparing the defrosting creek to their lives. She is saying that problems, turbulences and doubts cause the life between lovers to freeze. “ carry with it … very scruple” extended metaphor where she compares the problems and arguments to twigs, dry leaves, and branches.

“Swollen” is a simile she compares the over-stressed relation to something physically engorged.

“get our shoes soaked” is a metaphor comparing getting absorbed into the disputes and arguments, to being soaked with water.

To A Daughter Leaving Home

This is a fairly simple poem about a mother whose daughter was learning how to first ride a bike. It tells of the mother’s fright as the bicycle gains speed and hurries away from her. She is worrisome of her daughter possibly falling and hurting herself. Though, when relating the title to the poem, one can easily see that it is all a metaphor for when a daughter finally packs up and leaves home. The speed of the bike corresponds to the speed of which children seem to flee from the home and how far away they can seem. The mother’s worry reflects the anxiety of what might happen to the newly departed daughter. Will she be okay? Does she have enough money for food? Will a young boy break her precious heart? But in the poem the daughter does not fall. In life, the child generally does not meet the worst of his or her parent’s fears. Some hard times come and will always come, but they will always come out alright in the end. The goodbye at the end makes us think of acceptance. The mother accepts that her daughter can continue on her own.

“Thud” is the symbol of the daughter's dependence on her mother, but she doesn't need it anymore. The tone in "handkerchief waving goodbye" is a very sad one, leaving the mother behind. There is a simile in “like a handkerchief...” she compares the daughter’s hair to a handkerchief of somebody waving goodbye. The whole poem is allegorical, the poetess is not just telling the story of the daughter riding the bicycle for the first time; she is in fact giving the reader a simplified image of what a mother feels about the independence of her daughter. She is also emphasizing the refusal of the mother to let go of her child at least at the beginning of the daughter’s call for independence.

Lady of shallot
* The first four stanzas describe a pastoral setting. The Lady of Shalott lives in an island castle in a river which flows to Camelot, but little is known about her by the local farmers. And by the moon...
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