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One Flesh Analysis



Author: Poetry of Elizabeth Jennings Type: Poetry Views: 2151

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Lying apart now, each in a separate bed,He with a book, keeping the light on late,She like a girl dreaming of childhood,All men elsewhere - it is as if they waitSome new event: the book he holds unread,Her eyes fixed on the shadows overhead.Tossed up like flotsam from a former passion,How cool they lie. They hardly ever touch,Or if they do, it is like a confessionOf having little feeling - or too much.Chastity faces them, a destinationFor which their whole lives were a preparation.Strangely apart, yet strangely close together,Silence between them like a thread to holdAnd not wind in. And time itself's a featherTouching them gently. Do they know they're old,These two who are my father and my motherWhose fire from which I came, has now grown cold?





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

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barz ..I woke up this morning lus night.i thought of cereal you know the good kind ama cornflakes ama noodles you know the fresh stuff 1+1 2 no its window kikikik pwepwepwe

| Posted on 2016-01-26 | by a guest


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I think the message of this poem this that if they should just use Facebook and add each other.

| Posted on 2015-05-21 | by a guest


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Elizabeth Jennings is DIFFERENT from the personna, DON"T GET CONFUSED

| Posted on 2014-01-04 | by a guest


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i fink ths poem is aboot som fgts who wnt pussi, i fink it is no kool and tyrone wudnt lik ths

| Posted on 2013-12-17 | by a guest


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This poem i think is about a dilemma between what is going on. The fact that the child does not express any positive or negative feelings, reflects that the aim of the poem is not to criticize the situation but to reveal it. It comes across rather honest and direct which makes it easier to relate for the reader. All in all, the whole poem is about creating conflict between the tradition of distance between a couple who has been together for long Vs is this tradition should be that acceptable or is it abnormal and strange.

| Posted on 2012-09-10 | by a guest


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I think this poem is about a Russian Army General raping little women in order for them to feel that their karma is fulfilled. Jenning utilizes language features such as similes and onomatopoeia to portray the the frightened feelings of the children and also the theme of eternity forever.

| Posted on 2012-08-09 | by a guest


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I think this poem shows how a relationship has evolved and changed between 2 people.
the daughter of these two people is expressing her point of view on her mother and fathers current relationship status.
The poem implies that passion is now absent from the relationship.
Both the man and woman are trying to get out of reality as they can no longer face their relationship \"dreaming of childhood\" \"he with a book\"
The idea of them sleeping in \"seperate bed\" conflicts the idea of \"one flesh.\" One flesh provides a connotation of togetherness and unity
whereas sleeping in seperate beds suggests a rift between the two people.
In the last stanza, there is no rhyming couplet - all of a sudden the rhyme of the poem disappears - this is symbolic to how the love between the man and woman has also disappeared.

| Posted on 2012-05-23 | by a guest


.: :.

I think this poem shows how a relationship has evolved and changed between 2 people.
the daughter of these two people is expressing her point of view on her mother and fathers current relationship status.
The poem implies that passion is now absent from the relationship.
Both the man and woman are trying to get out of reality as they can no longer face their relationship \"dreaming of childhood\" \"he with a book\"
The idea of them sleeping in \"seperate bed\" conflicts the idea of \"one flesh.\" One flesh provides a connotation of togetherness and unity
whereas sleeping in seperate beds suggests a rift between the two people.
In the last stanza, there is no rhyming couplet - all of a sudden the rhyme of the poem disappears - this is symbolic to how the love between the man and woman has also disappeared.

| Posted on 2012-05-23 | by a guest


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I think this poem displays the eternal love between a couple who, having spent a life together, now lie with nothing more to say, but clearly needing nothing more to say because of the emotional bond they have developed through their experiences and past intimacy. Their bond is now on a more spiritual level, which Jenning writing as a child fails to observe because the 19th Century idealised version of passion and love is not apparent between her parents, and so she concludes that it is not there at all. However, the poem alludes to the reader that this \'fire\' will continue to softly burn after death; it cannot be put out, even though it is but the comforting embers that are left as opposed to the open flames of youth.

| Posted on 2012-04-12 | by a guest


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everyone on this page is refreshingly optimistic, however, i believe that this poem can be grouped with Auden\'s \'Lay Your Sleeping Head, My Love\' in that it explores the reality of (in this case marital) love as opposed to the idealized romanticisms of spiritual love that are so evident in poets such as Donne\'s work. Jennings is exploring the nature of the marriage, the way in which the passion has become silent, the couple have grown apart with age and in interests, their time is empty, light, like a \'feather\'. Whilst the mother is dreaming nostalgically of her youth, the father is waiting, pretending to be busy reading a book, \'keeping the light on late\' in order to avoid the awkward inevitable interchange before they go to sleep that emphasizes the reality that they are no longer intimate. Jennings is not criticizing, nor is she naive, she realizes that throughout a marriage so much passes that there is \'too much\' feeling, and that her parent\'s \'cold\' relationship makes it feel like a \'confession\', an admission of wrongdoing to feel at all. The question at the end demonstrates her youth and her pain in the knowledge that her parents \'fire\' no longer burns. However in the final stanza she also recognizes that the depth of their relationship, the history between them and the fact that they have a child, keeps them \'strangely close together\'. Jennings is also looking at gender roles in the first stanza, as she depicts her mother \'dreaming of childhood\' and thus yearning for youth and happiness, and her father, in contrast, like \'all men elsewhere\' is waiting for \'some new event\'. The implication is that, whilst women are reflective on the past, men wait for the future, but neither (in marriage) act on the present.
-Menie

| Posted on 2011-06-14 | by a guest


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Just becuase you put it up on the internet doesn\'t mean the original formatting of the poem isn\'t worth keeping.

| Posted on 2011-04-26 | by a guest


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SUCH A STUPID WEBSITE THIS IS YAR!!! WON\'T EVEN GET BIT OF INFORMATION FROM THIS STUPID , IDIOT WEBSITE!!! BETTER- TRY TO AVOID COMING TO THIS TYPE OF WEBSITES, AS THIS IS JUST A WASTE OF TIME.
GET SOME USEFUL SITE, RATHER THAN .

| Posted on 2011-01-06 | by a guest


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SUCH A STUPID WEBSITE THIS IS YAR!!! WON\'T EVEN GET BIT OF INFORMATION FROM THIS STUPID , IDIOT WEBSITE!!! BETTER- TRY TO AVOID COMING TO THIS TYPE OF WEBSITES, AS THIS IS JUST A WASTE OF TIME.
GET SOME USEFUL SITE, RATHER THAN .

| Posted on 2011-01-06 | by a guest


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The poem is about a young women (their daughter) reflecting back on her parets relationship. She thinks that they do not love each other anymore.However, they do, it\'s just that now they have different ways of showing it. For example they aren\'t as intimate as before and dont show much passion for each other. The daughter is ignoring the idea that her parents DO get intimate, she just chooses not to thik about it.

| Posted on 2010-09-21 | by a guest


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I disagree with just about every opinion here. This is a very loving and touching poem. The couple are old, the daughter (Elizabeth) is a mature woman. Marital love has entered the final stages for her parents, who lay apart now in separate beds, who attempt without much success, to read and day dream respectively, where once they would have laughed, touched, caressed and made love.
Those who reach old age die in stages.

| Posted on 2010-06-26 | by a guest


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rhyming couplets in 1st and 2nd stanza and not in 3rd may be to represent how physical love and passion fizzles out as time passes by in a marriage

| Posted on 2009-12-14 | by a guest


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Jenning describes her parents relationship very well as it includes a vast amount of similes

| Posted on 2009-11-27 | by a guest


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this poem shows the clearly crystallized adult world from a child's point of view; the point of the poem is to show a commentary on society as an era. the isolationism of american and european countries is reflected in the syntax; also, the childish viewpoint leaves the reader free to decide whether this is a sad but nostalgic commentary, or rather an emotionless observation.

| Posted on 2009-05-01 | by a guest


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its beautiful ,jenning is describing that how her mother is craving for some heat or sexual relationship but her father is not capable of this most probabaly.The childhood dreams can be symbol of that.

| Posted on 2009-05-01 | by a guest


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its about two married people's relatioship breaking down they had once had strong between them as they aged they bond and love deteriated and faded

| Posted on 2009-04-22 | by a guest


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This poem is about the poet and her parents. They seem to be closed but sometimes apart.

| Posted on 2008-08-12 | by a guest


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I don't think it's about spiritual bonds above the physical. I think this is the reality of marriage in which many face. When we were young, marriage is bliss, conceiving children and having sexual intercourses out of the "fire from which [the persona] came from". But now as years go by, they drift apart, grow sexually apart, and all that is left is the awkward silence

| Posted on 2008-08-10 | by a guest


.: Analysis :.

Although one flesh can be percieved as a daughter seeing her parents drift apart, the key to this poem is the fact that it is telling us the opinion of a daughter, maybe a teenage one. When she percieves this she is not seeing the true emotion to whats happening because she is not experienced with 'true' long lasting love they her parents are in . The poem tells us "they hardly ever touch" and that "chastity faces them" but this love she sees thats grown cold is only in the physical sense. The daughter cannot see the strong bond that the parents have through life and experiences together that cannot be broken.

| Posted on 2008-02-11 | by a guest


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i dont know whether to belive if this poem is saying that the fire has gone out of their marriage or if they are connected emotionally and the girl cannot see it. Whether this is another type of love or if their love has died. Whether they are in hospital beds or if they are simply 40 yrs old and verging on a divorce. Whether they have little feeling or too much?
This poem is very hard to interpret but these are different sides of the story.

| Posted on 2007-11-03 | by a guest


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Studying this poem for exams-

In My personal view Jennings uses a very cold and harsh way of naming the Couple. The use of personal pronouns actually makes the poem more business-like and formal giving the effect of separation, this poem lacks any warmth, "HE with a book, keeping the light on late, SHE like a girl dreaming of childhood".

| Posted on 2007-08-23 | by a guest


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Studying this poem for IGCSE tomorrow. What I think its about are Jennings' parents who are now old. In their younger years their relationship was more physical than it is now. Yet because they are old, their feelings towards each other have evolved and are now on a spiritual level rather than a physical one. This reminds me of another poem which I'm studying in IGCSE which is called "To His Coy Mistress" by Andrew Marvell. What Marvel tries to say in his poem is that beauty is very temporary, and that they [Marvell and his lover] will have all of eternity together. So why not have sex now and enjoy a physical relationship than to conserve it. Going off topic here, but I am going somewhere! I think what Marvell has said about spending eternity together is what Jennings' parents have decided to do, because their period of a more sensual and physical relationship has passed on and they are now spending eternity with one another.

Well, thats what I think.

| Posted on 2005-05-25 | by Approved Guest




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