Daystar By Rita Dove Summary

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Complexity and Entrapment “Daystar” by Rita Dove, is part of a collection of poems entitled “Thomas and Beulah” which all poems in the collection are based very loosely on Dove’s grandparents (Cavalieri 1995). In this poem, the author gives an account of a young mother’s daily life, and her yearning for peace and space to breathe. The author gives voice to the complexities and struggles of being a mother which leads to the speaker feeling confined. In “Daystar” imagery, diction, and mood showcase how a person can grow into a situation where they feel overwhelmed and trapped.
In “Daystar” the author builds a cramped, oppressive mood, with an undertone of quiet exhaustion throughout the piece. Mood is the feeling an author gives piece of work, and tends to be conveyed through word choice or viewpoint used throughout a literary work. The speaker keeps talking about needing space, “She wanted a little room for thinking:”(Dove 1) “She would open her eyes / and think of a place that was
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Imagery is the use of figurative language, such as metaphors, alliteration, allusions, and similes, to represent objects, actions, and ideals in a way that appeals to a reader’s physical senses. The image of “A doll slumped behind the door” (Dove 4) gives across a feeling of tiredness. Two telling pieces of imagery come from the third stanza: “the pinched armor of a vanished cricket / a floating maple leaf” (Dove 9-10). The dead cricket can be viewed as a metaphor for the speaker, the empty husk of its shell reflecting the hollowness she feels. The maple leaf, as well, brings to mind fall, the season that is associated with turning from the vibrant warmth of summer to the cold lifelessness of winter. This is symbolic of the speaker’s feeling that she has passed the end of the freedom of her youth and that she is coming upon a season of seemingly endless demands on her time and
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