“A Cut Flower” is a poem of twenty-seven lines divided into three nine-line stanzas with no apparent rhyme scheme. Most of the lines fall into regular iambic pentameter, which means that each line has ten syllables, with five stresses, or accents, and the stress is on the second syllable in each metrical unit of two syllables. This meter is considered to mirror the natural rhythms of English speech most closely, and it contributes to the illusion that the poem is spoken testimony. Several of the lines deviate from this strict meter, which prevents the pattern from becoming monotonous and obtrusive.
From the first word, “I,” it is clear that the poem is written in the first person, and by the second line it is apparent that it is not the poet speaking, but the flower itself. At the beginning of the poem the flower is growing in the ground. The first four lines speak of the freshness and beauty of the flower, qualities that attract bees who “sack my throat for kisses and suck love.” The remainder of the first stanza hints that all is not well. The wind causes the flower to bend, because it is sick from lack of water and longs for rain.
The second stanza begins with a description of the creature who takes care of the flower, posed in the form of a question. The reader knows that it is a woman, and she seems to inspire love and awe with her tender acts of loosening the soil and touching the flower. The flower speculates on the origins...
(The entire section is 474 words.)