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Analysis and comments on The Portrait by Stanley Kunitz

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Comment 3 of 7, added on March 2nd, 2007 at 3:04 PM.

The portrait was a good poem. I enjoyed it. The firsst thing that came to
mind was Edger Allan Poe. I thing that Kunitz has a great ability to write

abbie from United States
Comment 2 of 7, added on November 28th, 2005 at 4:13 PM.

your story reminded me of my great grandma. She died three years ago. I'm
doing a projectat school and i'm writing about her. if you have any
suggestions go on my email

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Comment 1 of 7, added on November 14th, 2005 at 10:14 AM.

As the author penns a biographical sketch of his identity, he paints his
own portrait. He clearly capsulizes an irreversible event that has obsessed
him from the womb. He and his mother are stranded and tormented by their
past, unable to heal because of unforgiveness, holding them both captive.
The premeditated event of his father's suicide left an oozing wound of
rejection for him and shamed his mother before he took life's first breath.
The burning slap hurled on his face by his mother was intended for his
father, validating his rejection simply because he, the son, exists as a
living memorial of the love she had long ago encrypted on her heart when
she softly captured his father's essence on paper. His mother had made a
decision on that traumatic spring day that she would never be caught
unaware again...she was left with the violation of her lifelong dreams and
an embedded shame she could not or would not release, yet alone discuss.
She was unable to separate her grief and guilt from shame and dishonor? By
her willful and unrelenting inability to forgive his father, she kept him
alive by holding him accountable in her calloused heart that now
overshadowed the portrait she once held. But, she was caught unaware again
by her son's discovery in the attic. Her silent, but controlled rage
accomplished the finality of the death of her unrequieted love. The breath
of life now breathed in by her son was his mother's lifelong bitterness
that paints his own portrait as he picks up the shredded and only evidence
of his father's life. He appears trapped as he rehearses his static life,
unable to claim the yet untasted freedom of his birth.

Linda Fulton Fritchlee from United States

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Information about The Portrait

Poet: Stanley Kunitz
Poem: The Portrait
Added: Feb 20 2003
Viewed: 17189 times

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