The title of the poem, “The black lace fan my mother gave me”, already suggests that the narrator had received a speciﬁc fan from her mother. It shows their relationship and the possible importance of the fan in the relationship. The lace fan suggests a particular aura of elegance and probably extremely feminine values. The fact that it was “the ﬁrst gift he ever gave her” signiﬁes a very large importance of the fan to the poet’s mother. The ﬁrst gift a lover gives is usually the most signiﬁcant and the most memorable. “Pre-war Paris” also displays a possible foreshadowing of separation of the lovers. “A starless drought made the nights stormy” gives off both a romantic but tragic aura of the poem. The second stanza describes their relationship and the day he gave the poets mother the fan. “They stayed in the city for the summer” gives readers the impression that the couple spent their summer in the city of love, or the city of light (La Ville-Lumière). This amorous description makes readers feel like the relationship was an extremely loving one. However, the fact that “she was always early” and “he was late” displays the possibility of the woman putting more effort into the relationship than the man. It shows the possible one-sidedness of the relationship and how the fan could represent their main link. Also, the fact that “that evening he was later” while “they wrapped the fan” displays how he may have been using the fan, either as an apology towards his lover or something to display his affection, which was so important that he was willing to be late for their date.
The third stanza describes the woman waiting for him as “she looked down the Boulevard des Capucines”. It is one of the four “grand boulevards” in Paris, displaying it’s importance and signiﬁcance in their relationship. After waiting for him, “she stood up” as “the streets were emptying”, probably because she was looking out for him. However, the fact that “she ordered more coffee” signiﬁes the...
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