The Vessel Bend The Water Poem Analysis

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There is much depth to all forms of art, including poetry; poems offer a plethora of emotions and experiences at face value, but once more knowledge is provided, the entire perspective can change and create a deeper understanding for the reader. Katie Ford’s engaging and thoughtful poem, “The Vessel Bends the Water,” is a perfect example of this experience. The first couple of times I read the poem, I believed it to be about lost love through hardship. After briefly researching the author and her collections of poetry, it became clear that Hurricane Katrina and the events that followed heavily influenced the poem. In her statement for the New American Poetry of Engagement, Ford states that “Living in New Orleans before and just after Hurricane Katrina made the American government and its failure to protect and aid its citizens an overwhelming and inescapable fact pressing on my mind” (216). This impactful event clearly seeps into her poem, bringing a new point of view to an already thought-provoking subject. Before I fully understood the background and influences of Katie Ford, it seemed that the poem was about “forbidden” love, or love that is not supposed to exist because of certain circumstances. The poem opens with “The body begs for a system that will not break,” a very poignant line about how …show more content…
It’s a poem that seems to be about a past lover, but it makes applicable to a city that is still in ruins because of Ford’s background with Hurricane Katrina. She even says that, “Writing about life in [New Orleans] was inherently political, even if the poem was simply about water, wards, tainted fish or walks through the streets” (Ford 216). This poem becomes political because of the anger and the sadness that she feels due to the American government’s lack of help for the city in its time of need. It causes Ford to place distrust in America’s ability to protect its citizens from such disasters as

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