How does the use of repetition at the end of each stanza in "Hanging Fire" relate to the message of the poem?

In "Hanging Fire," the phrase "momma's in the bedroom / with the door closed" is repeated at the end of each paragraph. This emphasizes the fact that the speaker feels removed from and unconsidered by her mother. Her life passes her mother by.

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Audre Lorde's poem "Hanging Fire" is about the speaker's process of growing up and struggling with the many difficulties of being a teenager without having much assistance or attention from her mother. She evidently finds this hard, and the repetition at the end of each stanza underlines the fact that the speaker never stops thinking about her own position in relation to her mother. No matter what is going on in the speaker's life, "momma's in her bedroom / with the door closed."

The use of repetition is marked and clearly deliberate. In each stanza, something different happens to the speaker. She struggles with skin problems, boy problems, the difficulty of being expected to learn to dance; she struggles with having to wear braces and having better marks than a boy but not being put on Math Team as she feels she should have been. There is nobody to defend the speaker or stand in her corner. The absence of her mother is stark and clear.

Towards the end of the final stanza, the speaker makes it explicit that she feels she has nobody to rely on. She is worried that she will not "live long enough / to grow up." Her life feels as if it is a struggle she is facing alone, but her mother is completely unaware of this because she has been, throughout all these struggles her daughter has faced, shut up in her bedroom, unwilling to engage with her daughter or with the world. The "closed" door is a symbol that she is unapproachable, and her daughter is afraid to approach.

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