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Blessing the Boats - From The Terrible Stories (1996), "1994" Summary & Analysis

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From The Terrible Stories (1996), "1994" Summary

This is a reflective poem about getting older and facing breast cancer. The poet is almost turning fifty-nine when she hears the news that she might have cancer. She symbolizes it as a "thumb of ice/stamped itself near my heart." She apostrophizes an unnamed reader, enjoining empathy with the situation, because both the reader and the poet have known these troubling types of experiences. She realizes that she can have lied to herself about what could happen. She says it is dangerous to have breasts, to "wear dark skin." In this poem, she realizes, via the metaphor of a cold winter, that she is mortal. She has tried to be a good person but still faces this dreadful illness and ends the poem with a word to the reader, who already knows...

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This section contains 259 words
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