• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Commentary on the poem "Owl Song"

Extracts from this document...


OWL SONG This poem was published in 1974 and is about a woman murdered by a man after being raped and mutilated. The main idea of this poem is that society has created an environment in which men are drawn to becoming killers of women because of their objectified and sexualized portrayal. I'll be analyzing it mostly in chronological order but I'll have to jump around from time to time. ?I am the heart of a murdered woman.? This is powerful, attention-grabbing. It gives the reader the expectation that the heart will be victimized. The heart has significance on several levels in this poem. In the first stanza there are four lines in a row which begin with the word ?who?. The word who has onomatopoeia and when spoken resembles the sound of an owl calling for something, or hooting. This is why the poem was titled OWL SONG. I'll come back to this point to further explain. ?She took the wrong way home.? Not she was attacked, not she was killed, she did something wrong. ...read more.


This places obvious blame on the woman. The chisel creates the imagery of the woman carving something; this means she is taking action and is influencing the situation. The mouth and hands can both be used as sexual devices. This again implies that the woman's death is a result of her own doing for drawing the killer to her. In the next stanza, the woman's heart is in the forest ?talking of death which is monotonous?. This again shows that the woman's plight is not one to be sympathized with. She explains that her dialogue is monotonous because ?though there are many ways of dying there is only on death song, the colour of mist: it says Why Why? there is no punctuation at the end of the stanza; the ?Why Why? gives the impression of one calling out for someone or something unknown. The change in meter uses the pattern of an owl calling through the woods. An owl's hooting is commonly considered to be an expression of loneliness; its meaning is however misunderstood. ...read more.


The man's heart is the heart of a murderer-to-be. He is still innocent and has never contemplated murder before. His lost heart knows that he will become a murderer, but the man himself does not. The next stanza is by far the shortest. This is for the effect of emphasis. This is the first mention of a male in the poem. In the final stanza, the man's heart is explaining how the rapist inside the man will grow. The significance of the final three stanzas is to explain that the woman was violated by a man. It also gives the first clues as to why; this poem has to be read more than once in order to properly be understood, as the stanzas have to be re-ordered to make sense. In conclusion, this poem is about womens' struggle for human dignity. It does so by making a comment on how society affects the portrayal of women to make them sexualized to men. As a result there are cases such as this, in which the woman is violated and killed by a man, and an innocent man becomes a rapist. The fact that iy happens at all is the problem and point of this poem. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our International Baccalaureate World Literature section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related International Baccalaureate World Literature essays

  1. William Goldings novel Pincher Martin considered to be one of his best novels which ...

    Even though, his thoughts are difficult to grasp and unconnected, they put forward his willingness to continue living. In order to develop the tragic intensity of Martin's situation on the rock and his aim at fighting against the nature's forces and death he is portrayed with the intent of giving a larger scope of the novel.

  2. Gwen Harwood Barn Owl Commentary

    / A horny fiend, I crept." These are a few of the techniques used in the text. Use of such literary tools strengthens the theme of the poem, thus creating a stronger attachment and a denser atmosphere. Throughout the passage, Harwood uses words to create her characters personality, with such word that will aid in the characterization of the characters.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work