Beware Do Not Read The Poem Analysis

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“Beware: Do Not Read This Poem” written by Ishmael Reed portrays that the power of love can cause a person to feel deeply trapped to a point where they are afraid to face people and isolate themselves from others. The speaker begins with a story about an old woman who hides in her mirror-filled house, until her self-admiration resulted in the mirror's devouring her. Later occupants of the same house lose a loved one to the mirror. The poem's speaker can be placed as a person watching a horror show on television. This poem is written in free verse, which means it does not contain regular stanzas and meter. This poem is for a general audience. The most distinct thing about the poem, is its nontraditional spelling and punctuation. The spaces scattered throughout the text reinforces the idea of loss and disappearance. After the third stanza, the subject changes from the woman to the poem itself. Which then the poem starts devouring the reader. The poem warns you away at first, "the hunger of this poem is legendary" which is an example of…show more content…
Reed uses a metaphor in line 25-26 “back off from this poem it is a greedy mirror” by introducing a human emotion. In lines 19-24, the speaker unexpectedly leaves behind the narrative a switching off of the show about the old woman and focuses on the power of this specific poem. The poem itself is figured as a beast. By personifying the poem as an animal with an unappeasable appetite, an ironic comparison is made to the mirror of the first section. While a mirror is expected to reflect, instead this mirror devours. Reed uses the imagery of poetry's unsatisfied appetite to endanger the reader, who is essentially attacked by the poem. The poem concludes with a "Statistic" about the number of persons who disappear and leave "only / a space in the lives of their friends" (ll. 47-48), ironically implying that the poem could be responsible for the
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