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I Go Back to May 1937 Essay

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Metzger has a doctorate in English Renaissance literature. She teaches literature and drama at the University of New Mexico, where she is a lecturer in the English department and an adjunct professor in the university's honors program. In this essay, Metzger discusses the depiction of the mother character in Olds's poem and explores the influences of Olds's own admitted childhood Calvinist indoctrination on her poetry.

Olds's poems often focus on the parent-child relationship, especially the relationship between the poem's speaker and her father. A study of Olds's poems about the father reveals a cruel man who drank too much bourbon, terrorized his children and wife, and whose love, even in death, the speaker craves. Olds's poems expose the speaker's childhood, opening up a life filled with painful memories, where her abusive father dominates the landscape. The mother, when she appears, is cowed by the superior strength and meanness...

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This section contains 2,100 words
(approx. 6 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the I Go Back to May 1937 Study Guide
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Poetry for Students
I Go Back to May 1937 from Poetry for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.