Analysis Of Theodore Roethke 's ' I Knew A Woman ' Essay

1561 Words Jan 12th, 2015 7 Pages
The speaker in Theodore Roethke’s poem “I knew a woman” is a passionate lover who experiences the different levels of deep love, joy, and pain that comes throughout his journey as a beloved love. In this poem, the woman is first described as an object which every man desire, but also as beautiful as a “shape a bright container can contain.”(5) From the title of the poem, the word “knew” which is a past tense, symbolizes that the woman is no more with him or she is alive. This poem provides well organized combination of poetic devices which include connotation, rhyme, paradox, simile, and consonance. With the use of literary and imaginary devices, Roethke was able to provide the readers with a true image of a woman who the man truly admires, and falls for her beauty which was invisible to all but him. Although this poem is self-expressive, it is necessary to analyze the poetic devices Roethke uses in order to critically interpret the deep meaning and beauty of the poem. First, the poet uses a comparison of connotative words to describe the woman’s image. He begins by describing her highly attractive, beautiful, and someone who is even kind towards nature. For example, when the speaker says “When small birds sighed, she would sigh back to them” (5), he shows that she was not only kind to humans, but also to birds as she would always reply back to birds as if they are talking to her. Another line in the poem that brightens up the beauty of the woman is when the poet says “I…

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