What is the relationship between form and content of this poem?
"Living in Sin" is written in a free-form style, following no set pattern of rhythm or rhyme. The content of the poem, however, clearly divides the unbroken flow of the poem's commentary into three separate parts.
The first part, the first seven lines of the poem, describe the romantic illusions which were held by the female through whose eyes the story's unfolding is seen at the beginning of the story. The images are soft, the verbs are pleasant, the picture presented is comfortable and comforting.
She thought...no dust upon the furniture of love...a piano with a Persian shawl...the picturesque amusing mouse
The second part of the poem, lines eight through fourteen, describe the distasteful reality with which she is faced. The images are harsh, verbs are strong expressions, others mentioned in the poem are not welcomed into her company.
each separate stair would write...delineate the scraps of last night's cheese...a pair of beetle-eyes
In the third section, the man's reaction to the situation is given. He is unsympathetic to her disillusionment and frustration and copes with the surroundings by leaving them, leaving the woman to deal with the dismal surroundings and the necessary tasks.
with a yawn...declared it out of tune...shrugged...rubbed at his beard, went out for cigarettes...she...pulled back the sheets...found a towel to dust...let the coffee-pot boil over
In the last four lines, the reader learns that the woman still loves the man when he returns "by evening", but isn't completely able to shut out and forget the inevitable return of the "relentless" conditions that will come back with the new day.
The language of the poem gives it a continuous form; the meaning of the language used emphasizes the content of the different perspectives on the situation.