After Raphael Themes

Lucie Brock-Broido
This Study Guide consists of approximately 14 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of After Raphael.
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The speaker begins the poem apprehensive about discussing her grief openly when she states, “Perhaps it isn’t possible to say these things / Out loud without the noir / Of ardor and its plain-spoken elegance.” She feels that being open about her private pain might be emotionally dangerous, reveal her vulnerability, and force her to confront truths she may be unprepared to face. Still, the next three sentences state plainly what her pain is: “First, my father died. Then my mother / Did. My father died again.” The speaker has lost her parents, and with no mention of siblings or other members of the family in the poem, the reader can assume that the speaker is an only child who now feels alone and perhaps abandoned.

She introduces an image of an apple tree after the “strange storm” of the first pangs of...

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This section contains 837 words
(approx. 3 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the After Raphael Study Guide
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