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Oh, Oh, You Will Be Sorry Analysis

Author: poem of Edna St. Vincent Millay Type: poem Views: 10

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Oh, oh, you will be sorry for that word!
Give me back my book and take my kiss instead.
Was it my enemy or my friend I heard,
"What a big book for such a little head!"
Come, I will show you now my newest hat,
And you may watch me purse my mouth and prink!
Oh, I shall love you still, and all of that.
I never again shall tell you what I think.
I shall be sweet and crafty, soft and sly;
You will not catch me reading any more:
I shall be called a wife to pattern by;
And some day when you knock and push the door,
Some sane day, not too bright and not too stormy,
I shall be gone, and you may whistle for me.


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||| Analysis | Critique | Overview Below |||

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i believe thta in this she is talking to herself. She is called stupid by a man, possibly her husband, and says that she will one day leave and he will be whistling for her.

| Posted on 2015-09-05 | by a guest

.: :.

I believe she was in love, and the man did not treat her right. She wanted more like a marriage, and he refused. She made it clear that she would not tolerate his lack of commitment and language, and she would be gone, because of it.

| Posted on 2013-11-26 | by a guest

.: :.

All the top sites have the same error in this poem. I suppose you all copy off each other, but this is sloppy. The second line is \"Give back my book...\" The way you have it ruins the rhythm, and Edna would never do that.

| Posted on 2012-04-03 | by a guest

.: :.

"You can whistle for {whatever}" traditionally means "you can call for it, but it won't come." So Millay is saying that the imperious lover/husband (note that she was not married which this was written) can call for her till he's hoarse, but in vain.

| Posted on 2010-07-02 | by a guest

.: :.

"and you may whistle for me", I believe, is another way of saying "you can go to hell". It's an old expression, as in "you can go whistle".

| Posted on 2010-02-28 | by a guest

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I think that for Millay to object in such an outspoken and eyebrow-ingly raising manner to the degrading attitude women were faced with was extremely brave considering the time in which she lived. It was one of the many cobbles that laid the road for the growing idependance and equality that women have and now take for granted today. But surely Millay was not the only woman to react in this way to the treatent they received? The only difference of course being that Millay published her reaction? It makes you wonder...
...I'm sure the husband learnt his lesson though!

| Posted on 2009-01-26 | by a guest

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Millay takes the sonnet form, initially celebrated as a form to express love to the beloved (almost always a cupid-struck man to a one-dimensional beloved) and turns it on its head. She mocks the conventions of the sonnet while also mocking the conventions of a patriarchal society from a female subject position.
One of my all time favorites.
god bless Millay and the bra burners.

| Posted on 2009-01-26 | by a guest

.: :.

This is such a clever poem. She's not being contradictory, she's using her femine tactics to slip away, and she's saying when she does, she'll find amusement in his tendency to still treat her like a pet by whistling for her. I love it.

| Posted on 2009-01-16 | by a guest

.: society bashing :.

Edna St. Vincent Millay’s poem “Oh, Oh, You Will be Sorry for that Word” epresses society’s view on “the perfect woman/wife.” The poem also suggests Millay’s open distaste for society’s view, but also shows how Millay takes advantage of the narrow-minded view.
Society during Millay’s time believed that women should remain subservient to the men in their lives and learn domestic duties. In “Oh, Oh, You Will be Sorry for that Word,” Millay shows that she is not the typical woman. Millay reading the “book” in her poem suggests her interest in learning, learning more than typical domestic duties. However the man in the poem exclaims, “’What a big book for such a little head!’” This statement shows that men characteristically viewed women as their housekeeper and/or sexual conquests. Clearly, the stereotype of the uneducated woman angered Millay, as the reader can see in the title of this poem.
Cleverly, Millay found a way to manipulate the man in the poem. Millay pretends to be “a wife to pattern by,” one that the man will never catch her reading or hear her opinion. Then Millay states that she will “be gone,” leaving the man behind to search for her.
Millay showed her open-minded view on women. Not only can women do more than keep a house, women can also learn the same things as men and even act like men. Millay used the man in her poems to teach the man that she is not in any way less intelligent than he.

| Posted on 2008-05-01 | by a guest

.: analysis :.

This poem seems very contradictory to me... At first she's mad that she's a woman and can't be treated otherwise, but at the end, she talks about being whistled for, which is very demeaning. It's a good poem.

| Posted on 2008-02-03 | by a guest

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