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Ordinary Words Summary
Ruth Stone

Everything you need to understand or teach Ordinary Words by Ruth Stone.

  • Ordinary Words Summary & Study Guide

Ordinary Words Summary

Introduction

Ruth Stone's poem "Ordinary Words" is the title poem of her 1999 collection Ordinary Words. A mere seventeen lines, the poem is broken into two stanzas of eleven and six free-verse lines respectively. The first stanza consists of the speaker's reminiscence of a time when she hurt another person with her words and a description of the pain and regret she continues to feel for that act, even though the person is now dead. The second stanza is a simile, comparing the music of an ancient reed (i.e., a flute) with the ability of a blind bird to recall its grief.

Stone uses common language in the poem. It is not full of literary allusions or references to high art. She is known for depicting in a direct manner the everyday experiences of joy and sorrow that all human beings experience. Stone's style makes the poem accessible to a...

(read more from the Study Guide)

Study Pack

The Ordinary Words Study Pack contains about 32 pages of study material in 2 products, including:

Ordinary Words Study Guide

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