Claudia Emerson's Late Wife

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Claudia Emerson was an exemplary late-blooming writer. At age 57, Emerson published an expressive collection of poems, which describes the aspects of the past in relation to the present. In Late Wife, her Pulitzer Prize winning collection, she exudes her raw emotions from her personal life in the form of letters. In Emerson’s poems, “Natural History Exhibits” “Artifact,” and “Eight Ball,” she elucidates the aftermaths of divorce and death. Upon getting a divorce, Claudia Emerson initially grieves the memories of her first marriage. She then goes on to express her unforeseen sense of happiness during her emotional recuperation. Finally, she composes a sequence of sonnets to her new spouse, whose wife had passed away from lung cancer. Through…show more content…
Emerson’s inspiration, as expressed in the poem “Artifact,” was seeing objects from her first marriage, to Jesse Andrews, a carpenter, and from her second, to Harry Kent Ippolito, a technical designer and musician. “When someone is missing, their possessions take on meaning,” she told PBS.” (Martin)
IV. “Eight Ball”
Literally, this poem captures two people playing an uneasy game of pool.
Symbolically, the game of pool shows the struggles within the Emerson’s relationship. The relationship is illustrated as a lost cause and dragged on, when the narrator is exhausted, yet still continues to stay in the relationship. She fears that one day her partner will leave her.
The purpose of the poem is to show that even doing everyday activities, such as a simple game of pool, can bring out a person’s deepest, darkest emotions.
This poem inspires the reader to leave toxic relationships. Relationships should be a two way street and a couple should treat each other right. This poem supports the thesis by depicting the emotional recuperation of the narrator, while she is feeling uneasy in her relationship and through her soon to be divorce.
Key line - “It was always possible for you to run the table, leave me nothing. But I recall
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