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Row Poem Annotated

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“Row” Analysis Essay
The poem presents the experience of quarreling through the use of imagery, with giving personification to a noun to help the reader understand the feelings of a row. ‘the room swayed and sank down on its knees’, this shows the feelings that are occurring within the room itself, not the actual room.
The use of the personification creates the idea of how the air or atmosphere in the room is, the air ‘swayed’ as being unstable, changing, attempting to stay normal but fighting to be upright. The ‘sank down on its knees’ (when one is weak, has given up or is in defeat) shows the part of giving up, but did not sink all the way down, this could present that the feelings are still trying to fight back without giving up completely. …show more content…
Transitioning to the second stanza, Duffy created the effect that feelings were becoming more aggressive. With ‘trees wept’ this may show that one in the situation was upset, crying, ‘threw away their leaves’, attempted to throw away what they thought mattered in desperation. The aggression is increased by the use of ‘ripped the hours’ and ‘shredded themselves’, things are being destroyed and the belligerence of how the hours are lost, this conveys the rowing is forceful and not wanted, yet is occurring.
Repetition in the second line of the third stanza, of ‘no kiss, no kiss, no kiss,’ could be a form of begging or desperation. The lack of kiss shows that the fighting is most likely among a couple that usually are in good terms, that the quarreling had caused an opposite of what was really wanted. Repetition gives it a sorrowful approach, as the negative point was made more than …show more content…
The ‘your face blanked like a page of erased words’, means the speaker is directly referencing a certain person by the use of ‘your’. A page that was erased once had words on it, the words could be a reference to happiness or personality, this shows that quarreling can cause one to lose themselves and who they are, or the feelings they used to have. ‘my hands squeezed themselves,’ the tightness and stress is exaggerated, hyperbole used to give reader the understanding of how hard the hands were squeezing. The hurt is expressed by ‘burned like verbs’, that being burned is very painful, and ‘verbs’ is an action. This shows that the physical pain from squeezing the hands was just as painful as the actions of the situation.
In the last sentence, it is the finale to effect of rowing or quarreling. ‘love turned, and ran, and cowered in our heads’, this suggests that fighting caused the couple to lose their love, that they wanted to love but the mixture of aggression, dejection, and belligerence of the two caused them to fear to love the other; this is known by the word ‘cowered’. The love is there, but too afraid or not brave enough to come out as the victor in the situation. The writer effectively showed the effects of quarreling by combining all the feelings that go on throughout, expressing these feelings through imagery,

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