Study Guide

Blessing the Boats - From New Poems (2000), "birthday 1999" Summary & Analysis

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From New Poems (2000), "birthday 1999" Summary

This is a very personal poem; the poet's revealing what it's like after a hysterectomy, the strange, repeating dreams that have followed the operation. The poem is written on or in honor of her birthday. In the dream, the poet knows a train is coming toward her or for her. She explains her experience of knowing it by mostly mixing senses: she hears with her fingers, her knees, and the void where there used to be her uterus. She is standing on a train platform waiting, surrounded by people she cannot see. The bright light of the train comes to her through the sense of hearing; however, she can almost reach out and touch, with the actual sense of touch, a "cracked seat" marked with her name.

She cannot stand this experience. She...

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This section contains 350 words
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Buy the Blessing the Boats Study Guide
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