Creatures of Ignorant Suffering in

Creatures of Ignorant Suffering in

The message in Sharon Olds’ “Poem for the Breast” has to do a lot about loneliness, coping and the idea of moving on with an intimate other. The theme, although, has more to do with not knowing the truth as an easier escape from pain. In the poem, she suggests that if one is dumb or does not have an idea about suffering, it is much easier to live by that ignorance. The poem is fully enriched by the authors hefty use of metaphors and similes. She uses her breasts as a metaphor for her feelings, for her loneliness and for her longing for her husband. The poem talks about a woman’s breasts in the metaphorical point of view. Although in the first part of the poem, the breasts are talked more on a existent level. Their actual functioin and purpose are not concealed in any way by means of a metaphor in the first part. In the beginning, from lines1-18, the author uses a different tone than in the rest of the poem. It talks of there similarity in childhood and their separate identity in adulthood. The woman in the poem talks about her connection to them. That even though they have been part of her since she was thirteen, she can not say that they are her, “though their feelings are almost my feelings”(127). In some areas of the poem, she uses her breasts as if they were her lovers, that she shares a big connection with. After talking about their appearance and their feelings and the way they attracted young men and the way young men loved them as one wanted oneself to be loved, Sharon Olds transitions sharply into the breasts yearning to her husband. This definitely brings more attention from the reader to keep on reading. The poem also takes more of depressive tone. She starts using more metaphors and similes than in the beginnig. She talks of her breasts calling and singing to him , “like a pair of soaking sirens on a scaled rock”(127). In lines 22, the breasts are being compared to a woman’s vulnerability. ” …


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