Please interpret Adrienne rich's poem "Necessities of Life."

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accessteacher | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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This famous poem by Adrienne Rich comments upon the theme of resurrection and re-engagement with life. The persona of the poem describes how "piece by piece" she re-enters the world that she had left before. If we examine the persona, we can see that this poem is centred around the central theme of struggle with the world in relation to role and identity. The persona is clearly confused and is now re-entering the world, having left it, with the desire to have a second chance at living.

One of the ways in which this theme is presented is through the structure of the poem, that, in places, mirror the development of the persona. Consider the way in which the only stanza in the poem that both initiates and concludes a sentence in the poem is the following line: "So much for those days." This indicates the way in which the persona is deliberately moving on from how she formerly considered her necessities of life, and has now changed her perspective and is ready to re-enter the world with a different mindset.

The poem therefore narrates one woman's courageous decision to reverse an earlier choice made in her life and to try and engage in the risky and hazardous enterprise of living in the world rather than sitting out in the game of life.



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