Understanding A Woman In Rita Dove’s ‘day Star’ Essays Example
Rita Dove’s “Day Star” is an expressive poem that depicts the life of a typical woman who feels trapped in a seemingly endless cycle of performing her duties as wife and a mother who can only find peace and happiness in an hour of silence or ‘me-time’ to be able to think or just do nothing.
The poem’s tone is very depressing as Dove uses words that resonates dreariness towards the readers, making them feel remorseful of the situation. The negative words used like slumped, lugged, and lurched show that she’s desperate for a change however the only thing she can do is take a chair outside when her children are napping and daydream of an alternative life where she can do the other things aside from performing her role.
The line wherein “Liza appeared pouting from the top of the stairs” is related to how mothers selflessly put their children first to their priorities and care what the children are thinking about them. It gives the readers a notion that mothers feel pressure or guilt when not performing their tasks.
The most revealing part of the poem is when her husband “rolled over and lurched into her” and all she could think about was that one hour where she was free. This illustrates how some women are deprived of sexual pleasure in their marriage as if used only as vessels to cater to the husband’s satisfaction.
Although the poem doesn’t reveal the character’s identity, we can derive from the names mentioned that the poem is based on Dove’s famous work, Thomas and Beulah (1986), a collection of poems based on the lives of her grandparents. Beulah being the one referred to as “she” in the poem.
If we look closely during her grandparent’s time, the time before women’s suffrage, women were oppressed, meek and devoid the power to speak their minds. This poem speaks to the majority of the women back then whose lives were socially confined only to the role as a mother and a wife, devoid of rights to choose or decide.
According to Kevin Stein’s “Lives in Motion: Multiple Perspectives in Rita Dove's Poetry”, the Day Star “animates Beulah's yearning to break free of her circumscribed roles of wife and mother”.
But even if the poem dates back to the experiences of the past and we now have equal rights, the remnants of this depressing situation of women is still in existence. Many women all over the world in all cultures still experience the same situation. Woman of all ages, race, or sexual orientation can simply relate to the poem because the female’s genetic disposition characterizes them to nurture and care
Stein also holds this view as he explains that the poem is important not only to women in general, but it also gives a word of advice to men. This is an eye opener for men to consider just how hard is to be a wife and a mother and how it consumes her mind that even an hour of ‘me-time’ is important to take the stress off.
Stein, Kevin. “Lives in Motion: Multiple Perspectives in Rita Dove's Poetry.”Mississippi Review
23.2 (1995): 51-79.JSTOR.Web. 27 July 2011.