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The Wedding Ring Dance Analysis

Author: poem of Anne Sexton Type: poem Views: 10

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I dance in circles holding

the moth of the marriage,

thin, sticky, fluttering

its skirts, its webs.

The moth oozing a tear,

or is it a drop of urine?

The moth, grinning like a pear,

or is it teeth

clamping the iron maiden shut?

The moth,

who is my mother,

who is my father,

who was my lover,

floats airily out of my hands

and I dance slower,

pulling off the fat diamond engagement ring,

pulling off the elopement wedding ring,

and holding them, clicking them

in thumb and forefinger,

the indent of twenty-five years,

like a tiny rip of a tiny earthquake.

Underneath the soil lies the violence,

the shift, the crack of continents,

the anger,

and above only a cut,

a half-inch space to stick a pencil in.

The finger is scared

but it keeps its long numb place.

And I keep dancing,

a sort of waltz,

clicking the two rings,

all of a life at its last cough,

as I swim through the air of the kitchen,

and the same radio plays its songs

and I make a small path through them

with my bare finger and my funny feet,

doing the undoing dance,

on April 14th, 1973,

letting my history rip itself off me

and stepping into

something unknown

and transparent,

but all ten fingers stretched outward,

flesh extended as metal

waiting for a magnet.

Submitted by Emily


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

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She also represents a materialistic life she had, which is represented by her ring. This ring now masks all the sadness, violence, and anger within her marriage.

| Posted on 2012-01-11 | by a guest

.: :.

In this poem, her marriage is slowly falling apart, or in a sense, \"being eaten away\" as how a moth would eat away at clothing. The ring on her finger may represent her marriage, but the imprint of the ring does not show all the pain, suffering, violence, and anger she felt at certain points in her married life. Although all her pains are hidden behind that ring, she must put up a brave front and \"keep dancing\".

| Posted on 2012-01-11 | by a guest

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