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Last Reviewed on June 19, 2019, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 138

"Bitch" by Caroline Kizer is a poem about a woman in the aftermath of an abusive relationship. Her anger is represented as a dog, at first snarling and angry. The narrator begins by showing her initial reaction upon seeing this man: hatred. The bitch within her growls and falls into the defensive. Despite her feelings, the narrator is polite and asks the man about his wife and children. As she spends more time conversing with this man, she finds herself missing him. The "dog," which represents her anger, begins to whimper and wishes to snuggle with the man, at which the narrator threatened the "animal" with punishment. This causes the narrator to reflect on the manipulative relationship, all the while continuing their polite conversation. This poem has many themes, such as forgiveness and the effects of harboring anger.

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Themes