D Habitude Poem Analysis

2397 Words10 Pages
The Overwhelming Power of Habits in the Poem “D’habitude” by Moira Egan. Does it sometimes strike you that what you are doing in a particular situation is largely prompted by the habits you have? Indeed, when we give thought to it, we understand that at times, our decisions are fueled more by how we are used to acting than by pure reasoning. In her poem “D’habitude,” Moira Egan reflects on this idea, applying it to a secret love affair, in which the speaker of the poem finds herself entangled. She points out that acting by habit – d’habitude in French – is appealing to all humans, even if it contradicts with what reason tells them. Perhaps, this is because of the comfort and joy we feel, which make particular habits preferable to us in the…show more content…
One can easily attribute the first phrase of the poem to many different life situations, not only the love ways mainly concentrated upon in this poem. Essentially, Moira Egan demonstrates it herself: in the second stanza, she starts giving the examples of the habits she and her lover have. Egan talks about the habits common to many of us: switching the lights on even when there is no electricity and we know it (“when we hit the switch knowing there’s no electricity,” 5-6), and trying to wash the hands, even though there is some work done by the plumber in the basement, which requires interruption of the water flow (“turn the faucet to wash our hands anyway, plumber downstairs, no flow,” 7-8). The poet draws attention to these habits in particular, and it seems that they were the ones that gave her the idea to write this poem. In other words, the absence of electricity and water flow in her house and their habits associated with it served as a catalyst for the speaker to begin contemplating on the idea of human habits in general. What catches one’s eye, however, is the words “the way we laugh,” by which the poet begins the second stanza, because it indicates that “we” are not frustrated by the fact that we act according to our habits but do not get the result we are used to getting. This creates a lighter atmosphere and also hints at the…show more content…
On the one hand, it can be that the chaos was created because the “yes,” given at the altar to this other woman by the man, did not have behind it the sufficient love for her – sufficient for the purpose of being always faithful to her, i.e. there was a part of the man that wanted to say “no” instead of a “yes.” On the other hand, the “yes” can symbolize the consent that the speaker in the poem gave to starting this type of relationship with the man in question, even though the reason (an essential characteristic of humans in the chain of being) and, perhaps, the social convention told her that she should have said “no” to this. Mentioning the chaos that was “created by a yes / born of a no” (23-24) was, probably, used to emphasize the idea of the struggle that human beings continually experience when choosing between following their reason and their

More about D Habitude Poem Analysis

Open Document