Analysis Of Carolyn Kizer's Poem 'Bitch'

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In the poem “Bitch” by Carolyn Kizer the poet uses a satiric account of an exchange between her and an ex-lover. The setting is in an unspecified place where the two meet up after years of ending their relationship and they are trying to have a normal conversation. While to talking to her ex, the speaker is internally trying to keep her feelings or the “Bitch”, calm. But, the more she talks to her ex the rowdier the “Bitch” becomes, yet she eventually controls it by threatening it by giving it “a taste of the choke-chain”, and a story about controlling a female dog or a “Bitch” turns into a story about a heartbroken woman trying to keep her feelings contained. Within in the first few lines of “Bitch”, you notice Kizer hinting that the “Bitch” or her feelings take on the image of a dog. When the speaker approaches her old lover immediately she tells her bitch, “don’t…show more content…
She reminds her feelings of the “casual cruelties, the ultimate dismissal” or when he became, “bored with her devotion, ordered her to the kitchen, /Until he was ready to play.” She notices her forgetfulness towards his neglect during their relationship and simply reminds the “bitch” of her devotion was wasted on “small careless kindness”. While keeping the “bitch” in check, the speaker maintains an external equilibrium, fighting against anger and forgiveness, as she continues her conversation with her ex-lover. In the last lines of the poem she instructs the “bitch” that she wasn’t the right type of woman for the man, describing herself as “too demonstrative, too clumsy, /Not like the well-groomed pets of his new friends.” And with that, the speaker conjures up some last cheerful words for a goodbye and drags the bitch, “by her scruff”. As the fear of further weakening her will or the shame in her inner weakness towards the man, we can see that she is a still a heartbroken
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