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His Speed and Strength Summary
Alicia Ostriker

Everything you need to understand or teach His Speed and Strength by Alicia Ostriker.

  • His Speed and Strength Summary & Study Guide

His Speed and Strength Summary

Introduction

"His Speed and Strength," published in Alicia Ostriker's 1980 collection The Mother/Child Papers, is a mother's meditation on both her son's maturation and the human race's survival. The poem's setting, its references to popular culture, and its conversational diction all belong to contemporary America. The speaker's allusions to mythical goddesses and poet Walt Whitman, however, signal the timeless relevance of the mother's thoughts. In her book of essays, Writing Like a Woman, Ostriker says of the period in which she wrote this poem: "It was impossible [in the 1970s] to avoid meditating on the meaning of having a boy child in time of war, or to avoid knowing that 'time of war' means all of human history." In the poem, the mother watches her son display "speed and strength" on his bicycle and at the town pool. She fancies herself a modern version of the ancient goddesses Niké...

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Study Pack

The His Speed and Strength Study Pack contains about 42 pages of study material in 2 products, including:

His Speed and Strength Study Guide

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