For the poem, "House of Changes," what is the meaning of the metaphor in the first stanza?Written by Jeni Couzyn.

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clairewait eNotes educator| Certified Educator

My Body is a wide house
A commune
Of bickering women, hearing
their own breathing
denying each other.

This entire poem is built on the bolded metaphor presented in the first stanza.  The speaker is comparing her body (and therefore herself) to a house full of "bickering women."  In other words, her personality is comprised of many different emotions, each strong enough at different times, that they could almost be considered individuals with minds of their own.  These personified emotions (Vulnerable, Mindful, Commendable, Equivocal, Harmful and Immanent) fight within her (internal conflict) but essentially govern different aspects of her life.  Because of each one, the speaker is able to survive as a whole person in different situations.