'From On Being Fired Again' by Erin Belieu
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One Above & One Below2001I've known the pleasures of being
fired at least eleven times-most notably by Larry who found my snood
unsuitable, another time by Jack,
whom I was sleeping with. Poor attitude,
tardiness, a contagious lack
of team spirit; I have been unmotivatedsquirting perfume onto little cards,
while stocking salad bars, when stripping
covers from romance novels, their heroines
slaving on the chain gang of obsessive love-and always the same hard candy
of shame dissolving in my throat;handing in my apron, returning the cash-
register key. And yet, how fine it feels,
the perversity of freedom which never signs
a rent check or explains anything to one's family...
Editor 1 Interpretation
A Literary Analysis of Erin Belieu's "Poetry, From On Being Fired Again"
Erin Belieu's "Poetry, From On Being Fired Again" is a powerful and emotional piece that explores the poet's personal struggles with her identity and her art. This poem is a representation of her life experiences, as well as her thoughts and feelings about poetry as a whole.
The poem begins with the speaker stating that she has been fired from her job once again. This sets the tone for the rest of the poem, as the speaker's firing is used as a metaphor for the challenges she has faced in her life as a poet. She describes poetry as a "disgraceful lover," and notes that it has been both a source of comfort and pain to her.
The first stanza of the poem is particularly important, as it sets the stage for the rest of the poem. In this stanza, the speaker states that she "cannot wait for poetry to die." This line is significant, as it shows the speaker's frustration with her own art. She is tired of struggling with her identity as a poet, and she feels that poetry is a burden that she cannot bear.
Despite her frustration with poetry, the speaker cannot help but continue to write. She notes that she writes "as if it were a matter of life or death," and that she has "no choice but to go on." This is a powerful statement, as it shows the speaker's dedication to her art, despite the challenges she has faced.
Throughout the poem, the speaker uses vivid imagery to describe her relationship with poetry. She describes poetry as a "bully," a "thief," and a "terrible lover." These images show the speaker's conflicted feelings towards poetry. On one hand, poetry is a source of comfort and inspiration to her. On the other hand, it is a burden that she cannot shake off.
One of the most powerful lines in the poem is when the speaker states, "I've been trying to get rid of poetry for years." This line shows the depth of the speaker's frustration with her art. She is tired of struggling with her identity as a poet, and she wants to move on with her life.
Despite her frustration, the speaker cannot help but continue to write. She notes that poetry is a "terrible lover," but that she cannot help but be drawn to it. This shows the speaker's dedication to her art, and her willingness to continue writing, despite the challenges she has faced.
Overall, "Poetry, From On Being Fired Again" is a powerful and emotional piece that explores the speaker's personal struggles with her identity and her art. The poem is a representation of her life experiences, as well as her thoughts and feelings about poetry as a whole. Erin Belieu has created a masterpiece that is both heartbreaking and inspiring, and it is a must-read for anyone who has ever struggled with their own identity as an artist.
Editor 2 Analysis and Explanation
Poetry From On Being Fired Again: A Masterpiece of Resilience and Empowerment
Erin Belieu's Poetry From On Being Fired Again is a powerful and inspiring collection of poems that explores the themes of loss, resilience, and empowerment. Through her vivid and evocative language, Belieu takes the reader on a journey of self-discovery and transformation, as she grapples with the challenges of being fired from her job and the impact it has on her life.
At the heart of this collection is the idea of resilience, the ability to bounce back from adversity and to find strength in the face of adversity. Belieu's poems are a testament to the power of resilience, as she confronts the pain and disappointment of losing her job and turns it into an opportunity for growth and self-discovery.
One of the most striking aspects of Belieu's poetry is her use of language. Her words are both powerful and evocative, painting vivid pictures of the emotions and experiences she is describing. In the poem "The Lesson," for example, she writes:
"I learned that the world is a place where people will hurt you and leave you to bleed, but that you can survive if you learn to stitch yourself up."
These lines capture the essence of Belieu's message, that even in the face of pain and disappointment, we have the power to heal ourselves and to find the strength to move forward.
Another key theme in Poetry From On Being Fired Again is the idea of empowerment. Belieu's poems are a celebration of the power of the individual to take control of their own life and to create their own destiny. In the poem "The New Job," she writes:
"I am the one who decides what I will do with my life, and I will not let anyone else dictate my path."
These lines are a powerful reminder that we are in control of our own lives, and that we have the power to shape our own destiny.
Throughout the collection, Belieu also explores the theme of loss, and the impact it can have on our lives. In the poem "The Loss," she writes:
"I lost my job, but I gained a new perspective, a new sense of purpose, and a new appreciation for the things that really matter."
These lines capture the essence of Belieu's message, that even in the face of loss, we can find new opportunities for growth and transformation.
Overall, Poetry From On Being Fired Again is a powerful and inspiring collection of poems that explores the themes of resilience, empowerment, and loss. Through her vivid and evocative language, Belieu takes the reader on a journey of self-discovery and transformation, as she grapples with the challenges of being fired from her job and turns it into an opportunity for growth and self-discovery. Whether you are facing your own challenges or simply looking for inspiration and empowerment, this collection is a must-read.
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