Sunday, December 14, 2008


Sex without Love -Sharon Olds

The language in “Sex without Love” is telling of the author’s feelings toward this subject. At first the syntax is controlled. The poem begins with a question “How do they do it, make love/ without love?” (line 1-2). In the line 2-3, the language portrays this beautiful imagery of two ice skaters. The tone changes with the word “hooked” which is abrupt. Then she begins to compare them to mixing of images of steak and wine in line 6. After that the syntax degenerates and she brings up God which shows that she is torn between the subjects of God and sex. She is obviously conflicted with the subject of religion. Then she reforms her syntax in the following lines and comes to the conclusion that maybe sex may exist without love and may actually be more moralistic. Her disjointed combinations lead the reader to question her actual views on sex without love.

A LIGHT IN THE MOON –Gertrude Stein
A light in the moon the only light is on Sunday. What was the sensible decision. The sensible decision was that notwithstanding many declarations and more music, not even notwithstanding the choice and a torch and a collection, notwithstanding the celebrating hat and a vacation and even more noise than cutting, notwithstanding Europe and Asia and being overbearing, not even notwithstanding an elephant and a strict occasion, not even withstanding more cultivation and some seasoning, not even with drowning and with the ocean being encircling, not even with more likeness and any cloud, not even with terrific sacrifice of pedestrianism and a special resolution, not even more likely to be pleasing. The care with which the rain is wrong and the green is wrong and the white is wrong, the care with which there is a chair and plenty of breathing. The care with which there is incredible justice and likeness, all this makes a magnificent asparagus, and also a fountain.

Gertrude Stein is famous for playing with and manipulating language. She doesn’t use correct punctuation which gives the poem more of a monotone “What was the sensible decision.” She repeats the combination of words “notwithstanding” this emphasizes that all of the subjects of this poem will not last forever. She also repeats the word “wrong.” Honestly, I don’t completely understand this poem, nor have I ever completely understood anything I’ve ever read by Gerty. However, I think that this poem dipicts the clash between nature and humans. She says the “rain is wrong and the green is wrong” but then “the care with which there is a chair and plenty of breathing.” Nature is wrong but people made this chair with “plenty of breathing” and therefore it is not wrong.

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