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Written by Eavan Boland Presented by Michael Scaccia.

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1 Written by Eavan Boland Presented by Michael Scaccia

2 Ode: a poem meant to be sung Suburbia: a collective area of suburbs which are an area outside a city Gape: to stare with a wide open mouth in wonder Varicose: abnormally or unusually large Cot: a bed like sleeping apparatus Sinews: source of power or strength Encroach: deviate from usual power, make new roads, trespass Spinster: a woman unmarried beyond normal age

3 Man vs. Fate Power Tone

4 Six O’clock: the kitchen bulbs which blister Your Dark, your housewives starting to nose Out each other’s day, the claustrophobia Of your back gardens varicose With shrubs make an ugly sister Of you suburbia

5 How long ago did the glass in your windows subtly Silver into mirrors which again And again show the same woman Shriek at a child, which multiply A dish, a brush, ash, The gape of a fish

6 In the kitchen, the gape of a child in the cot? You swelled so that when you tried The silver slipper on your foot It pinched your instep and the common Hurt which touched you made You Human

7 No creatures of your streets will feel the touch Of a wand turning the wet sinews Of fruit suddenly to a coach, While this rat without leather reins Or a whip or britches continues Slimming your drains

8 No magic here. Yet you encroach me until The shy countryside, fooled By your plainness falls, then rises From your bed changed, schooled Forever by your skill, Your comprises.

9 Midnight and your metamorphosis Is now complete, although the mind Which spinstered now might still miss Your mystery now, might still fail To see your powers defined By this detail:

10 By this creature drowsing now in every house, The same lion who tore stripes Once off zebras, who now sleeps Small beside the coals and may On a red letter day Catch a mouse.

11 Suburbia refers to the communities and more often than not the housewives that inhabit there (main character) Housewives are represented in this way due to how they are enveloped in this environment and are therefore “shaped” by it Midnight is often referred to the magical hours of night in poem The narrator receives her imaginary powers during this time Most likely can refer to any period of time as suburbia's still exist today and there are still housewives

12 Context: It is similar to most of her poems as each stanza is comprised of 4 lines each and a similar syllable count effective in each stanza This poem comprises of 7 stanzas with 6 lines each Syllable count varies with each individual stanza Meaning of the poem The poem takes place between the times of 6 a.m. and midnight This time involves a transformation from an urban mom to an individual with freedom beyond imagination The audience of the his poem would mostly comprise of housewives A female (who is the persona of the speaker) narrates her lifestyle as she is a victim of her environment and limited lifestyle Such constraints are her children and commitments She dreams to break away from this

13 Claim: This poem presents two contrasting ideals of the narrator’s world One is real and the other is imaginary This imaginary world is often mocked compared to being unrealistic This is compared to a lion eating a mouse The real world is hated and dull Represented by the “claustrophobia” and “ugly sister” Gape of a child should also be noted as the constant attention to children is never ending

14 Man vs. Fate The denial of present stance in the world of the narrator Fate will bring her back to reality the next day There is no perfect world Power Is a necessity to be obtained Provides the ability for independence Breaks free from traditional perspective of life Tone Full of despair in the beginning Infinitely tied to child and home Aspiration in the end Even a little freedom is asked for

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