Daystar

Topics: Wife, Mother, Poetry Pages: 4 (883 words) Published: May 23, 2014


Roberto Diaz

The poem “Daystar” by Rita Dove sheds the spotlight to the opposite side of the joys of motherhood. Dove’s invented speaker is a metaphor of a woman caught between her internal battle for personal bliss and her social role as a mother and wife who cannot go beyond her predetermined status. The first and second stanzas of the poem give the impression that the woman is overwhelmed by motherhood and all the duties that come with being a mother. During the course of her busy day, a mother needs to find a quiet time and place to recharge and clear her head. While attempting to find personal serenity, her first sight was at one of her daily chores looking back at her. The diapers hanging on the line indicate she has her hands full caring for an infant and toddler or young child. The diapers are a constant reminder of her never-ending duties she must accomplish on a daily basis. The “doll slumped behind the door” (Dove) is yet another reminder of something she has to pick up and put away. The metaphor of the doll slumped in the corner mirrors the woman's own weariness. Her mind is easily distracted with all the work to be done in and around the house. Amidst all of this, Dove’s character finds a restful place behind the garage where she finds her Zen place, even if it’s just for an hour. During this hour she can release the burdens placed on her and receive strength to continue meeting her family's needs. She looks forward to one hour of escape from her family's demands. In an attempt to find rest from her daily maternal responsibilities, the woman character in the poem sits alone behind the garage as her children take a nap. The third stanza describes the woman's ritual of clearing her mind. Simply being able to watch a cricket or a “floating maple leaf” (Dove) is a peaceful escape for her. The phrase "she'd see only her own vivid blood" indicates an awareness of life flowing in her veins. Behind the garage...
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