Please discuss the poem "Anger Lay by Me" by Elizabeth Daryush.

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Elizabeth Daryush's poem "Anger Lay By Me" depicts the speaker's relationship with her anger. In the poem, the speaker's anger is described as person (anger is personified). Anger is repeatedly referred to as "He," which may lead some readers to think Anger is actually a person, a male figure who is angry with the speaker. I think, though, that the personal pronouns are meant figuratively and that what we see in the poem is the speaker's internal conflict.

In the first stanza, the speaker introduces Anger and his relationship to her:

Anger lay by me all night long,
His breath was hot upon my brow,
He told me of my burning wrong,
All night he talked and would not go.

Not only does Anger stay by her side all night, he/it is actively breathing on her "brow." The speaker's anger is very close to her at all times and has a physical effect upon her. She then describes Anger as speaking to her about her "burning wrong." This might indicate two things: either the speaker feels wronged by something (and that has caused her anger), or she is angry with herself for some wrong she has committed. The stanza ends with the persistence of Anger, as he/it stays "All night . . . and would not go."

In the next stanza, the speaker describes Anger's effect on her in the day:

He stood by me all through the day,
Struck from my hand the book, the pen;
He said: ‘Hear first what I’ve to say,
And sing, if you’ve the heart to, then.’

As the speaker's internal anger continues to accompany her throughout her day, she finds it distracting. Anger "Struck from [her] hand the, the pen," which implies that Anger keeps her from working, from writing. Anger insists that she "'Hear first what I've to say, / And sing, if you've the heart to, then.'" Anger is rather confident that once the speaker dwells on her feelings, she won't want to or won't be able to write.

Finally, the speaker ends this figurative meditation on anger in the following stanza:


And can I cast him from my couch?

(The entire section contains 2 answers and 728 words.)

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