Eavan Boland "Anorexic"
1.) Boland, Eavan, The Norton Introduction to Poetry. J. Paul Hunter, Alison Booth, and Kelly J. Mays. 9th edition. New York: Norton, 2007. 335-336.
You can find this poem online by going to this website: http://www.poemhunter.com/best-poems/eavan-boland/anorexic/
2.) I think that this poem is about ones insecurities with their looks. The narrator of the poem is uncomfortable with their body calling it a "witch". The narrator begins talking about "torching" her curves, and ruining her once womanly figure. It seems that the speaker is doing this for someone else. She says that
"How she meshed my head
in the half truths
of her fevers till I renounced
milk and honey
and the taste of lunch."
The speaker says that now whoever this other person may be, is burning, and that because she is now starved and curveless, she has learned her lesson. But, I feel that the speaker may also be talking about herself. She may be talking about the woman inside her who thought she needed to starve herself to seem attractive, or more comfortable in her skin, and now because she is starving, she is suffering the consequecnes.
Overall, I believe this poem is talking about ones insecurities with themselves, and the struggle they've had with this disease.
3.) I thought this was a pretty descriptive poem of what it is like to struggle with anorexia. You can feel the confusion and anger that the speaker feels. I liked that from just reading the poem, you can feel how much this person hates their appearance. I also have never read any poems about something like an eating disorder, and I think that people who have, or who have struggled with one, could read this and see that they were not the only one.
4.) I can honestly say this poem does not remind me of any poems I have read. If anyone knows of any please comment and let me know!!
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I went online to look up the poem and found a comment by a reader who questioned the speaker of this poem. This reader thought that the speaker was not the anorexic girl, but the actual body. This interpretation made sense to me as it explained lines such as, "I vomited her hungers./Now the bitch is burning" and "she has learned her lesson". With this interpretation, the girl's body has a hateful relationship with the girl.
However, while I think this interpretation is insightful and creative, I don't know as it is the only one. I think, in fact, the speaker of the poem could possibly switch throughout the poem.
This poem represents a lot of the emotions, thoughts, and feelings that people suffering from anorexia endure. The fact she does refer to herself as "witch" suggests she not only hates herself, but others hate her as well.
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