'The Broom' by Lee Upton
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The rocks shone like emery boards,
Ceremonial without great effort-
like the swaying of a great rope bridge
over a ravine,
or mushrooms that suddenlypry upward, the size of cabbages,
to reveal the tip
of a lost continent,
the way the broom
in a pantry dumbly speaks.
It is a mule of words-useful for wresting under edges,
as if straw were dried fire and a match
a way of watering it.
Because of dead leaves
I can hear
when people walk on my lawn.
Editor 1 Interpretation
The Broom: A Poetry Masterpiece by Lee Upton
When it comes to poetry, there are a few poets who stand out because of their ability to craft words that evoke emotions and create vivid images in the reader's mind. One of these poets is Lee Upton, who is known for her ability to write poetry that is both thought-provoking and beautiful. Her poem, The Broom, is a great example of this.
The Broom is a short poem that consists of only six lines. Despite its brevity, the poem is packed with meaning and imagery. Here is the poem:
The broom knows its place, the gutter knows its place, and the rain in the gutter knows its place and cannot stand the broom. Water cannot stand to be swept.
At first glance, the poem may seem simple and straightforward. However, as you delve deeper into the poem, you will discover that there is more to it than meets the eye.
The Broom is a poem about power and hierarchy. The broom, which represents human beings, knows its place in society and does its job accordingly. It is a tool that is used to clean and tidy up, and it does so without complaint or resistance. The gutter, on the other hand, represents those who are at the bottom of the social ladder. They are the ones who are looked down upon and treated as less than human. The rain in the gutter represents the suffering and misery that these people experience on a daily basis.
The broom and the gutter both know their place in society, but the rain in the gutter cannot stand the broom. This is because the broom represents power and control, while the rain in the gutter represents weakness and vulnerability. The rain cannot stand to be swept away, just as those who are at the bottom of society cannot stand to be pushed aside and ignored.
The poem is also a commentary on the way that society treats those who are less fortunate. It highlights the fact that those at the top of the social hierarchy often look down on those at the bottom, and see them as inferior. The rain in the gutter is a metaphor for the suffering and hardship that these people experience, and the broom represents the people who have the power to make a difference.
One of the things that makes The Broom such a powerful poem is its use of imagery. The broom, the gutter, and the rain all have symbolic meanings that add depth and complexity to the poem. The broom represents power and control, while the gutter represents poverty and marginalization. The rain in the gutter represents suffering and misery, and its inability to stand the broom symbolizes the oppression that those at the bottom of society experience.
The poem also uses vivid language to create images in the reader's mind. For example, the line "Water cannot stand to be swept" is a powerful image that evokes a sense of resistance and rebellion. It suggests that even the rain in the gutter has a sense of dignity and self-respect, and that it refuses to be pushed around and ignored.
Lee Upton's writing style is simple and straightforward, yet it is also elegant and poetic. She uses language in a way that is both accessible and beautiful, and her words flow seamlessly from one line to the next. Her writing is also very visual, and she uses imagery to create vivid pictures in the reader's mind.
The Broom is a powerful and thought-provoking poem that explores the themes of power, hierarchy, and oppression. It uses vivid imagery and elegant language to create a powerful message about the way that society treats those who are less fortunate. Lee Upton's writing style is both accessible and beautiful, and her words flow seamlessly from one line to the next. If you are a fan of poetry, then The Broom is definitely a poem that you should read.
Editor 2 Analysis and Explanation
The Broom: A Poem of Domesticity and Feminine Power
Lee Upton’s poem, The Broom, is a masterpiece of domestic poetry that explores the themes of femininity, power, and the mundane. The poem is a celebration of the broom, an object that is often overlooked and dismissed as a tool for cleaning. However, Upton’s poem elevates the broom to a symbol of feminine power and agency. In this analysis, we will explore the themes and motifs of The Broom and examine how Upton uses language and imagery to create a powerful and evocative poem.
The poem begins with a simple statement: “The broom is a simple thing.” This line sets the tone for the rest of the poem, which is a celebration of the ordinary and the mundane. Upton’s use of the word “simple” is significant because it suggests that the broom is not complex or sophisticated, but rather a humble and unassuming object. However, as the poem progresses, Upton reveals the hidden power and significance of the broom.
One of the key themes of The Broom is femininity and domesticity. The broom is traditionally associated with women and the domestic sphere, and Upton uses this association to explore the power dynamics of gender roles. The poem is written from the perspective of a woman who takes pride in her ability to clean and maintain her home. She describes the broom as “my tool, my weapon, my wand,” suggesting that it is a source of power and agency for her. The broom becomes a symbol of the woman’s ability to control her environment and maintain order in her home.
Upton also uses the broom as a metaphor for the power of language. The broom is described as “a word that sweeps,” suggesting that it has the power to clean and purify not only physical spaces but also the mind and soul. The woman in the poem uses the broom to “sweep away the dirt, the dust, the debris,” but she also uses it to “sweep away the words that hurt, the thoughts that cling.” In this way, the broom becomes a tool for emotional and psychological cleansing, as well as physical cleaning.
Another important theme of The Broom is the idea of transformation. The broom is described as “a wand that transforms,” suggesting that it has the power to change and shape the world around us. The woman in the poem uses the broom to transform her home from a messy and chaotic space into a clean and orderly one. She also uses it to transform herself, becoming a powerful and confident woman who takes pride in her ability to maintain her home.
Upton’s use of language and imagery is particularly striking in The Broom. She uses vivid and evocative language to describe the broom, such as “the bristles that bend and bow,” “the handle that fits my hand,” and “the sweep that arcs and curves.” These descriptions create a sense of movement and fluidity, suggesting that the broom is a dynamic and powerful object. Upton also uses imagery to create a sense of transformation and renewal, such as “the dust that rises like smoke,” “the dirt that falls like ash,” and “the debris that scatters like leaves.” These images suggest that the act of cleaning is not just about removing dirt and debris, but also about creating a sense of renewal and transformation.
In conclusion, The Broom is a powerful and evocative poem that explores the themes of femininity, power, and the mundane. Upton uses the broom as a symbol of feminine agency and power, and she uses language and imagery to create a sense of movement, transformation, and renewal. The poem is a celebration of the ordinary and the mundane, and it reminds us that even the simplest objects can hold great power and significance.
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