Analysis Of Poem Analysing

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The essay will consider the poem 'Practising' by the poet Mary Howe. It will explore how this poem generates its meaning and focus by analysing its techniques, metaphorical construct and its treatment of memory. The poem can primarily be seen to be a poem of missed opportunity. In this way is comes to form, alongside other poems of Howe's a study about a certain kind of loss and the recuperative efforts of memory, alongside the certainty of the failure of this recuperation. The paper will begin by giving a context to the poem with regard to Howe's life and work and will then proceed to analyse it directly, drawing attention to how it can be seen to fulfil this thesis about its content and meaning. Howe is a contemporary poet who's work has…show more content…
Immediately following the statement they kissed each other's necks is the statement that the girls also 'We sucked each other's breasts, and we left marks, and never spoke of it upstairs / outdoor, in daylight, not once' (11). The clear and simple statement that the girls sucked each other's breasts extends into a longer sentence, which generates the sense of the intensity of the memory dissipating and the desire generated in the action remains unfulfilled. This is immediately followed with another affirmation, present again in a sentence which extends itself: 'We did it, and it was / practicing, and slept sprawled so our legs still locked or crossed, a hand still lost / in someone's hair' (11). The first line of this pair perfectly manifests the tension between memory and loss which is present in the poem. The line break after the word 'was' presents a reading of the words before it as simply an affirmation that the desire between the girls and their physical intimacy actually and really existed. The continuation of the sentence past this line break into a long and diverse sentence detailing in tender detail the way in which the girls would sleep holding each other, serves both to affirm this memory further but also to show that the affirmation in the simple fact of 'and it was' could not be adequately fulfilled within the world of the speaker's youth. She both affirms the event through her memory and at the…show more content…
The poem works by somatically describing an event in the speaker's youth, and through its use of varying prosody and line breaks generates both the sense of an overwhelming torrent of particular details and of a simple clear affirmation that an event happened. The event, however, remains largely unfulfilled and it is this lack of fulfilment on behalf of the speaker which leads to the direct sense that the poem is both a song of celebration and a lamentation for unfulfilled potential happiness. As mentioned at the start of this paper, it is this combination which can be seen to be the distinguishing trait of much of Howe's
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