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Red Roses Analysis



Author: poem of Anne Sexton Type: poem Views: 8

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Tommy is three and when he's bad

his mother dances with him.

She puts on the record,

"Red Roses for a Blue Lady"

and throws him across the room.

Mind you,

she never laid a hand on him.

He gets red roses in different places,

the head, that time he was as sleepy as a river,

the back, that time he was a broken scarecrow,

the arm like a diamond had bitten it,

the leg, twisted like a licorice stick,

all the dance they did together,

Blue Lady and Tommy.

You fell, she said, just remember you fell.

I fell, is all he told the doctors

in the big hospital.  A nice lady came

and asked him questions but because

he didn't want to be sent away he said, I fell.

He never said anything else although he could talk fine.

He never told about the music

or how she'd sing and shout

holding him up and throwing him.



He pretends he is her ball.

He tries to fold up and bounce

but he squashes like fruit.

For he loves Blue Lady and the spots

of red roses he gives her





Submitted by A.W.






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

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This whole poem is a child's interpretation of his mother's abusive behaviors. While it uses nice language and metaphors instead of direct wording of the abuse, it gives the whole poem a child innocence. Though it is in third person, it still conveys a childhood protective state of mind. Showing how Tommy avoids blaming or confronting his mother, saying that they're dancing and he is making her happy by giving her his red roses (bruises and cuts). Playing out the event as a game, dancing, fun, distancing himself off from the reality that he knows inside is wrong but fears losing his connection with his mother. All of this results in a abusive situation of the three year old boy, in a third person, child perspective.

| Posted on 2013-11-05 | by a guest




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