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Ordinary Words Summary & Study Guide

This Study Guide consists of approximately 24 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Ordinary Words.
This section contains 295 words
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Stanza 1

Ruth Stone's "Ordinary Words" begins with the speaker describing an incident in which she calls someone a name. The speaker is commonly thought to be a version of Stone herself and the person she calls a name is commonly thought to be her deceased husband, Walter Stone. She uses the term "whatever" here to suggest that the name she used is not significant, but the fact that she committed the act is. The speaker says that her namecalling is no longer important because her husband is dead. She states this figuratively by saying, "your clothes have become / a bundle of rags." The statement "I paid with my life for that" means that she continues to regret the act because it stayed with her husband for a long time.

The eighth line signals a separation from the first part of the stanza, with the speaker suggesting that marriage...

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This section contains 295 words
(approx. 1 page at 400 words per page)
Buy the Ordinary Words Study Guide
Copyrights
Poetry for Students
Ordinary Words from Poetry for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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