'Saying Goodbye: Elegiac Subjectivity In Mercurochrome'

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Another example regarding Coleman’s use of feminine imagery to represent the struggles women of color face is found in her poem “95” in Mercurochrome. The poem illustrates the desperation women experience when they want to utilize and express their talents but are held back by social stigmas, such as motherhood. Schimdt argues that within the lines “I write about urban bleeders and breeders, but am troubled because their tragedies echo mine.” (Mer, 100) Coleman confesses her connection and empathy to “urban breeders” a metaphor for women of color who are mothers and “bleeders” a term that solidifies Coleman’s reference to women who also experience menstrual cycles. (Schmidt, 132) One could argue that Coleman’s confession is a testimony regarding people of color,…show more content…
Jennifer Ryan Bryant, author of “Saying Goodbye: Elegiac Subjectivity in Wanda Coleman’s The World Falls Away” analyzes Coleman’s last collection of poems before her sudden death in 2013. Bryant points out that even within the subtitles of The World Falls Away, which follows as “Visitations and Sightings,” “Channelings,” “Bleatings,” and “Throbs.” are all sequenced to lead up to the physical reaction Coleman experienced. In addition, the poems in this collection emphasized the pain Coleman experienced during her lifetime as well. One can see in Coleman’s “Sassafras & Morphine” that she took advantage of her pain from losing her son to AIDS to express the exhausting hopelessness that transpired afterwards, as Bryant identifies in her article. For example, in the lines “visits to the hospital then the hospice/ I clean up vomit, pick sheet music up off the floor/ at yet another crossroad. No mercy now.” Coleman narrates the progression of her subject’s illness from critical to fatal, using vivid imagery and testimony of her duties as a mother

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