“The black lace fan my mother gave me” written by Eavan Bolland is about a love affair that a couple had in prewar Paris. The poem suggests that there are always going to be problems in a relationship, but those problems could bring joyful memories.
The title gives us the clue that the object is important or has a meaning to it since it is given as a gift. The poet described in the title that the gift was a black lace fan. The object could symbolize many things; the lace fan could suggest that the woman is elegant and beautiful. However, the black could symbolize the mysterious relationship. The fan could also represent the desire which could state the man's feelings for the woman.
In the first stanza, “it was the first gift he ever gave her” (line 1), it states that the fan was the first thing the mother ever received from the man and it was an expression of the love. A first gift usually has an important value behind it, and because the mother is passing down the fan it has greater values. It shows the gift was bought for a special person. When we are told that he bought the fan for five francs during prewar Paris, which would have been a great deal of money back in the time. However, in line 4-5 “It was stifling. /A starless drought made the nights stormy.” The tension in the poem increased because the poet indicated that it was stifling which had a suffocated feeling to it, also the use of weather imagery shows us that the mood of the poem could have changed with it being a dark and dull.
From line 6-9 “she was always early. He was late. That evening he was later. They wrapped the fan. He looked at his watch. She looked down the boulevard des Capucines.” The speaker is indicating that there are some problems in the relationship that could be that their secretly see each other. When the speaker is saying that the mother was early and the gentleman was late could have been that they didn’t want other people to see them together. Also from line 11, “The heat was killing” the poet use personification saying that the heat was killing meaning that the suspense of waiting is killing her.
In the fourth stanza line 13-14 “these are wild roses, appliquéd on silk by hand, darkly picked, snitched boldly, quickly.” It is a comparison of their relationship being fragile and delicate, yet wild and excite. The poet is purposely evasive line 23-24 “and no way now to know what happened then none at all - unless, of course you improvise:” not know what happen after that night the speaker is saying that only the mother and the gentleman will only know. In the last line of the poem line 27-28 “suddenly she puts out her wing – the whole flirtatious span of it.” means that she pulled out the fan that was given as a gift, after she gave the man the desire that it represented.
The theme of the poem is about the relationship between a man and a woman because of one’s desire. My overally judgment on the poem is that even if we are not in a lasting relationship with someone they can always bring us happiness and create many memories for us. I think that the use of word in the poem really express what the mother could had felt, and the author word really made the mood felt well with the situation. Therefore the poem was really convincing and interesting.