I need help analyzing the poem!I can't really find any analysis about the poem "Bleeding" (probably because I'm in China and many sites were blocked.) I think the poem is probably about sexual...

I need help analyzing the poem!

I can't really find any analysis about the poem "Bleeding" (probably because I'm in China and many sites were blocked.) I think the poem is probably about sexual relationship between men and women. Is it what the author really attempt to show in her poem?

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aloha60 | High School Teacher | (Level 1) eNoter

Posted on

This poem is trying to express what it feels like to be psychicically wounded.  It is an ache so sharp, so acute, and in this poem felt by both the cutter and the one being cut. A talking metaphorical knife talks for the one inflicting the pain and the cut speaks for the other.

Swenson portrays the knife's annoyance, the knife's inability to be anything else than what it is, the annoyance turning sharper into a menacing threat, ("Stop or I will sink in farther said the knife".)  Then the knife transfers blame as a response to the manifestation of its damage to the cut.  ("If only you didn't bleed said the knife I wouldn't/ have to do this.")

Ultimately, there is recognition of a shared responsibility; that the knife somehow benefits from the damage it does.  The cutting, as messy as it is, ultimately leaves the knife feeling cleansed and ready to begin fresh. (clean and shiny again).

Neither the cutter nor the wounded understand the why of their actions, but each must do what it has to do to survive.  The wounded knows it must bleed (in spite of the punishment provoked), in order to feel.  The cutter knows it has to do as it does to stay alive.  The poem puts forth this truth by stating the process in literal terms.  Cuts must bleed and knife types must cooly cause damage.

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