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"Courage" by Anne Sexton
Transcript of "Courage" by Anne Sexton
a prezi by Mandy Parks
Sexton uses simile in lines 3 and lines 31.
Line 3- as awesome as an earthquake
Line 31- then wringing it out like a sock
There is also extensive use of metaphor through the whole poem, lines 33-35 and lines 11-12 especially.
Lines 33-35- you gave it a back rub and then you covered it with a blanket and after it had slept a while
Lines 11-12- you drank their acid and concealed it.
There is also an example of personification in lines 36-37.
Lines 36-37- it woke with the wings of the roses and was transformed
Since the author struggled with mental problems, her poetry would often give readers a look at her troubled mind. This poem could be her way of describing how she goes on and that everyone must keep going.
This poem is unique because it offers a good look at the trials that life brings and that people must take those trials and learn from them. This poem shows that everything that happens can help us in one way or another, if we are willing to let it.
Anne Sexton was born in Newton, Massachusetts. By nineteen, she was married and soon had two daughters. Unfortunately, she suffered from postpartum depression and was sent to a psychiatric hospital to be treated. This would be the first of many visits. While at the hospital, a doctor encouraged her to pursue poetry. Anne began writing and her work caught the attention of many. She later earned a scholarship to Boston University to study with Robert Lowell. In 1967, she won the Pulitzer Prize.
One of the most significant lines comes at the end. Lines 45- 47 read, "when death opens the back door you'll put on your carpet slippers and stride out." The importance of this line comes from how the entire poem describes how people take life experiences and figure out those experiences can make them braver, so they will be prepared when something like death comes.
Structure of Poem
This poem essentially describes life. It mentions
all of the trials that people go through in life and the way that those events affect and change them.
There is no real structure to the poem, not even a rhyme scheme, so it is free verse. It uses the word "Later" in several lines, so this could be the speakers way of describing life, and how it is essentially one event to another.
Even though this poem mentions the rough experiences people go through, the overall tone is uplifting. This is because the poem mentions how the troubles of life made the person better, and how brave he or she is now.
This poem was written in the Post- War era, which was from 1945 to 1970. Another poet from this era was Sylvia Plath who, like Anne Sexton, suffered from mental problems throughout her life.
Because this poem is free verse, it does not feature any real kind of rhythm. There is, however, repetition of the word "Later" in lines 13, 26, and 38.
The overall theme of this poem is that everyone faces trials in his or her life. The most important thing was that he or she either let these trails bother them, or he or she learned from them, growing in the process.
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