History... She woke up old at last, alone, bones in a bed, not a tooth in her head, half dead, shuffled and limped downstairs in the rag of her nightdress, smelling of pee. Mentioning of time, a measurement of time and change. - suggest discrimination of women Theme- Alienation and dislocation Relief MONOSYLLABIC Emphasising loneliness CAESURA Commas speeds up pace VERB Shuffled, limped Use of verbs emphasises her weak state: - Lazy and slow verbs - Meaningless INTERNAL RHYME Represents the cycle of life
History... Slurped tea, stared At her hand – twigs, stained gloves- Wheezed and coughed, pulled on The coat that hung from a hook On the door, lay on the sofa, dozed, snored. Theme- Alienation and dislocation Emphasises weak state. Societies weak perception of women. Old imagery- supports the elderly female image- ideas of females being around for the same time as men- however have less equality. Old imagery, reinforces ideas of elderliness and her weak state. ‘coughed’ wheezed’ ‘gloves’ and ‘coat’- winter- dark, cold, harsh- representation of hardship of female life? Use of SIBILANCE – repeated ‘s’ sounds infer lazily doing actions. Sibilance slows down pace. Use of sluggish VERBS emphasis her weak state – lazy and slow – meaninglessness. Again emphasising elderliness. ‘Stained’ suggest the marks of life – all her past experience ‘stained’ on her skin - Link to ‘Map Woman’
History... She was History. She'd seen them ease him down from the Cross, his mother gasping for breath, as though his death Was a difficult birth, the soldiers spitting, spears in the earth; Ideas of females living through time but not being physically noticed. An onlooker to history instead of a valued participant. METAPHOR : ‘She was history’ (important quote) -connotations of death (Past tense) – lived through time seen history still lack of female voice. Experience what men went through- WWII etc etc. Birth of modern society. Perhaps relating to the ‘birth’ or new coming of female acceptance in a patriarchal society. Refering to one of the femisim waves? Theme- Alienation and dislocation
History... been there when the fisherman swore he was back from the dead; seen the basilicas rise in Jerusalem, Constantinople, Sicily; watched for a hundred years as the air of Rome turned into stone; Theme- Alienation and dislocation cities where religion spread 12 disciples associated with men (lack of female presence.) Biblical reference to Mary, portraying ideas of female importance. (Jesus and stuff). His importance in the growth of society effectively over rules others participation in Bible. Links to the Virgins Memo Repetition of ideas linking to females watching history and not being noticed as much compared to men.
History... witnessed the wars, the bloody crusades, knew them by date and by name, Bannockburn, Passchendaele, Babi Yar, Vietnam. She'd heard the last words of the martyrs burnt at the stake, the murderers hung by the neck, Theme- Alienation and dislocation Repetition of ideas linking to females watching history and not being noticed as much compared to men. *Note- as the poem progresses, so does time. Progression of time. Notes on constant female presence that remains un noticed in history.
History... seen up-close how the saint whistled and spat in the flames, how the dictator strutting and stuttering film blew out his brains, how the children waved their little hands from the trains. She woke again, cold, in the dark, Theme- Alienation and dislocation Reference to Hitler?- misses the part of his wife’s death. Progression of time through the stanza’s. *Note- annotate by hand. Say some stuff. Dark- alone, scared? Other connotations of darkness. The use of ‘in’ could suggest confusion. Still not actively there, just an onlooker to history- despite evident participation
History... in the empty house. Bricks through the window now, thieves in the night. When they rang on her bell there was nobody there; fresh graffiti sprayed on her door, shit wrapped in a newspaper posted onto the floor. Theme- Alienation and dislocation ‘empty house’- discrimination of women slowly faded idea of old ways being destroyed women may of gained importance over time. Perhaps not appreciated till she’s gone? ‘fresh graffiti’- disrespect- women not appreciated or given the respect they deserve. Feels out of place in modern society (perhaps still hasn’t found her place) generations have lost respect (reinforced by the quote ‘shit wrapped in newspaper posted onto the floor’) Follows the idea of generations loosing respect for history or perhaps the ideas of the constant disregard and disrespect towards females throughout the ages.