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Sharon Old Last Night Poem

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In Sharon Old 's poem "Last Night " an erotic encounter between a man and women takes the reader through a rollercoaster of emotions in only a matter of seconds. Initially, the assumption could be made that this poem is a love poem, which it may be. But it is also a poem about an encounter with nature, graced with a feminine tone as it is being told through the women’s’ point of view. Olds uses descriptive metaphors and symbolic points drawn from nature, while also applying violent imagery and grammar throughout the poem; this allows the audience to feel a connection between submissive and aggressive feelings, and at the same time bringing to the surface what sex and love have to do with each other, if anything at all. A feminist point of view mixed with the harsh and aggressive imagery and symbolic notions, creates the question in the readers mind: Is the woman really in love or is the novelty of this experience what she mistakes for love? Different assumptions could be made because the truth of what the lovers relationship is, never gets explained. Instead, Old’s forces her audience to come to their own resolution after digesting the real emotions this poem brings to the surface.
One of the themes of this poem is love in association with sex. Through the authors careful use of word choice an erotic tone is carried throughout the poem. Through this and the violent actions the reader is able to recognize the women is going through am unfamiliar sexual experience- what sex is when not accompanied by love. “Did I know you? No kiss/ no tenderness–more like killing, death-grip/ holding to life, genitals, like violent hands clasped tight.” One may instantly read this line and think of a forced sexual act on the males part. However, ...

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...death- or in a sense how she fears death and love in the same way. There is a point to be made by the author that the act of sex and falling in love do not go hand in hand- one is not an outcome of the other.
Falling in love can be frightening, even terrifying, when it is new to someone. This could be the authors’ way of describing love in all its brutality and the moment she shares with us is being completely lost in a moment. Maybe it’s a one-night stand, or maybe it’s all about falling in love for the first time. Love is truly undefined and kindles different emotions in every human being. Either way she arrives at one final conclusion: she loves the love she feels for him in the end. Her aftermath of merely being in love in that moment erases all of the bad emotions that took her to that point. For some this is truth, for others the universe is not kind.
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