In the poem "Beg a Rose," by Moira Lovell, in lines 5-8 discuss the lifestyle of the speaker as suggested.

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booboosmoosh | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Educator Emeritus

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In Moira Lovell's powerful, yet short poem, "Beg a Rose," we can assume that the woman speaking is very well-to-do, or rich. The line that is most revealing is:

…but I was already in the rose-shop

Choosing thin pinks for dinner-table décor…

First of all, the woman has walked not into a flower shop, but into a "rose" shop; roses are generally more expensive than most other flowers. They also suggest refinement, wealth and sophistication as they are not simply going to rest on the dining room table at dinner, but these "thin pink" flowers are specifically, carefully selected for the "dinner-table décor."

Another word is particularly well-placed in the phrase above: "but…" The speaker's "but I was already in the rose-shop" indicates that this woman is rushing around, and with the rest of the phrase, we get the sense that this woman is entertaining that evening. She is approached by the youngster, but she has hurried into the store to get her flowers. The stanza before notes ten cents "stuffed" into a parking meter, which conveys urgency; she is in and out quickly it would seem as the time on the meter is expired, as noted in the third stanza.

The phrase "…the tidbits of my purse…" might even denote a casual attitude about the money spent to pay for these "high-end" blooms. The woman thinks nothing of the money she spends to decorate her table (while the boy is starving).

As a side note, there is a great deal of figurative language (especially personification and onomatopoeia) used in this poem, and it all is used purposely to reflect images of hunger. The boy says he is hungry; "gob" refers to "mouth." The parking meter's "stomach hummed." The cash register is described as eating: "The cash-till shot out its shuddering jaw / And crammed in tidbits…"


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