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Analysis and comments on Living In Sin by Adrienne Rich

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Comment 7 of 87, added on December 5th, 2004 at 3:09 PM.

These two people are "Living in sin" because they are living together
without marriage. I believe that when they are in their apartment they are
out of the real world. She doesn't think about what needs to be done
around the house because she is caught up in their love. When the milk man
comes up the stairs it is bringing them back to reality!!

Melissa from United States
Comment 6 of 87, added on November 22nd, 2004 at 5:25 PM.

The poem is about a woman sruggling to maintain contentedness living the
life of a homemaker. We are given all the tedious details of her day, so
slow it goes that she can having a staring war with a beetle hiding among
the saucers. During the day she wonders why it is she is living this life
for a man that is not there. Instead of the beauty she thought her home
would have because of love, dirt still builds up and she finds herself
wondering what motivation she has to clean it. At night when he returns her
work is justified suddenly, and there is the love and beauty of life, but
it seems to be fading and beginning to fall into doubt. At night she feels
the daylight coming in, a representation of the true daytime when her doubt
is strongest and love does not seem to exist in her home.

Cheryl from United States
Comment 5 of 87, added on November 22nd, 2004 at 4:55 PM.

"Living in Sin" is a poem about the morning that comes after the dream of
'happily ever after'. The couple Rich introduces is characterized by the
objects in the apartment. The studio apartment symbolizes the hearts of the
lovers. It has become the taunting reminder of what happens to the fairy
tale when confronted with dirty dishes and grocery lists. The female
speaker rfers to the act of noticing the disarray of the place as, "Half
heresy". This is the feeling that to notice any flaw in the love is to
discredit it entirely. He, on the other hand seems much less consciously
aware of the predicament. Yet, certain actions of his tell his faded
affection for the idea of the love affair. The piano reference is
particularly poignant. "declared it out of tune, shrugged at teh mirror".
The piano's dischord is the song of the studio and their love. It is there
to be touched and known, but has none of the melody that love once
promised. The mirror symbolizes the self examination he wishes not to
attempt. He frowns because it is clear that things are not as they were.
But he walks off because it is easier. The poem ends with the woman
acknowledgeing that every night she is revived enough to keep on going as
they are. But, the beauty of this conclusion is that she is never brought
back to that love they had planned. The dream once faded cannot be
revisited. One is only able to just barely recall the shapes and colors and
something of the way it felt, but the daytime is so much at hand that it
smears and rubbs away the night's memory. She wakes up every morning able
to move through teh motions of their life but never able to catch sight of
what was supposed to have been. This poem is a sharp and visual portrait of
the realities of everyday as they replace the imagined romantics of fantasy
and youth.

erin from United States
Comment 4 of 87, added on October 24th, 2004 at 5:32 AM.

It's about economic instability in the African national of Zimbabwe
cleverly metaphorated in a prose unsurpassed by only Marcel Prouse's
rhetorical concerning the Chinese Pig Racing scandal of 1923.

Sam
Comment 3 of 87, added on October 11th, 2004 at 5:07 AM.

I would have thought this poem was about how life is an everyday thing,
with everyday chores and ups and downs, and no love, no matter how
all-consuming, is going to change that reality

Cormac Parle from Ireland
Comment 2 of 87, added on October 4th, 2004 at 12:14 AM.

Obviously, the relationship goes nowhere because he is a homosexual. It is
almost akin to the life of Cole Porter and his lovely (or delovely) wife.
The poem makes the same transition as she does in her own life. At first,
she is reminiscent about the furniture of love; however, she becomes
agitated when making the bed because of an unconsummated love, yet at the
end of the day, she realizes this is still her life partner. It is a
tragic tale at best of unrequited love (perhaps, one should address the
author's own life as a comparison) -Anne

Anne Rice from United States
Comment 1 of 87, added on September 5th, 2004 at 10:46 PM.

Beautifully depicted is this womans anguish with her lover and what he i
unable to give. In my opinion the title is referring to the lie she is
living by keeping him as her lover, as she makes it known to the reader he
cannot give her what she wants.

naomi

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Information about Living In Sin

Poet: Adrienne Rich
Poem: Living In Sin
Year: 1955
Added: Feb 20 2003
Viewed: 1436 times
Poem of the Day: Sep 3 2009


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