Our Side Summary & Study Guide

Carol Muske-Dukes
This Study Guide consists of approximately 30 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Our Side.
This section contains 2,060 words
(approx. 6 pages at 400 words per page)
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Stanza 1

“Our Side” begins with an attempt by the speaker to understand what it must be like to be dead. The speaker begins by describing the “newly dead” as “disoriented” because they have crossed over into unfamiliar territory. Their first reaction, according to the speaker, is “to turn back.” The speaker refers to the newly dead as having crossed “the great expanse of water.” This crossing may refer to the symbolic crossing of the river that is often mentioned in poems and myths about death. The crossing also may be a reference to a favorite place in which the speaker and her departed lover may have spent time—the ocean's edge, which is mentioned later in the poem.

The speaker relates the great expanse of water to another kind of distance, that which is “inside each of them,” that is, the newly dead. This distance, which the speaker...

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This section contains 2,060 words
(approx. 6 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Our Side Study Guide
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