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The Black Lace Fan my Mother Gave me

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Introduction

Commentary on "The Black Lace Fan my Mother Gave me" by Eavan Bolland To: Mrs. Monty From: Harsh Kothari Word Count: 1082 The Black Lace Fan my Mother Gave me by Eavan Bolland reflects on the last of a love life of a couple during pre-war Paris using a symbol, a 'Black Lace Fan'. Bolland achieves this through the use of weather imagery, the changing of his tense from past to present, and using literary features such as simile, metaphor, personification and repetition. In the first stanza of the poem, Bolland disconcerts the reader by using the diction "it" twice, though representing different things. The first 'it' represents the lace and the second 'it' is used to substitute the climate of the setting. "It was stifling. /A starless drought made the nights stormy." This quotation starts building up the tension in the reader's mind because of the suffocated feeling the poet creates by mentioning the word "stifling" in a short sentence that creates a frustrated tone. ...read more.

Middle

The quotation, "She ordered more coffee. She stood up. / The streets were emptying" reflects on the emptiness of the woman's surrounding after her man left. It could also be interpreted as emptiness of the woman internally represented through the emptying streets of Paris. The poet maintains the tension by continuing, "The heat was killing. / She thought the distance smelled of rain and lightening." This quotation conveys the physical discomfort of the woman by using the metaphor, "The heat was killing" and follows it by introducing the approach of "rain and lightening" using weather imagery to indicate a dreadful event that is about to occur; which creates more discomfort in the reader's mind. This line also correlates to the last line of the first stanza to emphasise and maintain the tension. All three stanzas till now are written in the past tense in a third person's narrative voice, which helps the reader understand the plot and setting with ease. The first two lines of the fourth stanza describe the image of the lace in a detailed manner but also mention the diction "reticent" in the third line. ...read more.

Conclusion

The stanza continues with the quote, "A man running. / And no way now to know what happened then - / none at all - unless, of course, you improvise:" These three lines express that the man was lost and was unheard of, though what happens to the man next is left to the reader's imagination. The last stanza completely changes subject and describes the actions of a blackbird in a summer morning. The weather once again is a factor in this poem and the climatic conditions are described using the diction "sultry" and "heat". The last sentence, "Suddenly she puts out her wing - the whole flirtatious span of it" is a personification that is used to express the symbolism of the black lace fan. Finally, this poem reflects upon the story of a loving couple and the significance of the black lace, in the woman's life, who loses her man. The poem is expressed by the use of weather imagery, the changing of tenses from past to present, and also the use of literary features such as metaphors, simile, personification and repetition. ...read more.

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