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Snapshots Of A Daughter-In-Law

Adrienne Rich

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Added by: yo
this is not the whole poem??...why woudl you put up 2 stanzas of what is at least a 10 stanza gorgeous work?
Analyzing Adrienne Rich
Added by: Katie Loftus
I am doing a presentation on Adrienne Rich's poem "Snapshots of a daughter in law". I have no idea what this poem means and what its underlying meanings are. I am asking for help on how to analyze this poem and finding out what it really means. i would appreciate any help I can get. Thanks for your time.
Added by: chelsea
The poem, snapshots of a daughter-in-law is very disturbing. The first time i read it I thought that it would be a great song. Very beautifully written though.
Added by: Cassie
I was required to write an essay on this poem, and its beauty, depth, and truth struck me while I worked. I felt the need to have a copy, and thankfully, this site provided.

Such a lovely, sharp, graceful, powerful work. Wonderful.
We Can Do It!
Added by: Lisa G.
I have to agree with the other posters that this is a lovely and brilliant poem. The sections tie together beautifully. It reminds me somewhat of The Waste Land, which is of course the greatest poem ever written. For instance, the line "mon sembable, mon soeur" is an alteration of a quote in Baudelaire's Fleurs de Mal, which is also used in The Waste Land. ("Brother" is changed to "sister.")

Anyhow, I'm not as good at interpreting poetry as I would wish people to believe, but I think this poem is about the tragic belittlement women have endured since the beginning of humanity. Part of this poem seems to be telling the story of a woman who has abandoned her personal goals and dreams in order to devote herself to pleasing her husband. She unconsciously did this to comply with society's expectations of her rather than risk its indignation.

The poem also discusses how men have long suppressed women by denying the possibility that they might possess any exceptional talent or passion for anything other than housework.

Section 4 is obviously about Emily Dickinson and how her genius could not prevent her from being saddled with the housework like every other woman.

Lastly, I believe that the "she" in section 10 refers to womankind and how her state has gradually but steadily risen upward like a helicopter and will continue to rise. And so this very sad poem ends optimistically with Rich's belief that someday both men and women will learn to value woman as she deserves to be valued.

This poem says more than this, but I feel like maybe I've said too much already which might aid students who don't want to take the time to really study the poem. That thought kind of bugs me. So I'll just stop now.

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