Essay about The Promise By Sharon Olds

Essay about The Promise By Sharon Olds

Length: 1110 words (3.2 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Better Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

To think of pulling the plug on a loved one’s life can be without a doubt unthinkable. To be denied the right to end one’s own life or be granted to live longer creates a dilemma. By just reading the title “The Promise” you’d believe this poem would be about an ordinary promise made, yet this promise shares a scary depth to it. This poem is an intriguing poem for the words, ideas, and images that are not usually talked about by people can be appreciated by many. Its meanings layered upon each other to depict deep emotions people are discussing in today’s world. The hard choice to make of ending life when it has no meaning left would be daunting. In the poem “The Promise” by Sharon Olds, this is what is asked of her, and not only of her but she has asked for the same to be done for her in return. Sharon Olds uses imagery in her poem to make the claim that the love the couple share will give her the strength and power to do the task needed of her.
Sharon Olds shares with us the sense of a private intimate dinner at a restaurant while using connotative wording in the renewal of their promise to one another. She pens “With the second drink, at the restaurant/ holding hands on a bare table” (Olds 1-2), they have either finished the meal or are waiting on the meal to arrive. Holding hands, sharing an intimate image of the two. In line three Olds writes “we are at it again/ renewing our promise to kill each other” (3-4), meaning this is not their first time talking about this subject. The couple being “at it again” (3) has a connotative twist meaning a yearly sacramental vowel between the two lovers.
Therefore, the tone here expresses a grim scene and to kill each other seems like a drunken argument, since drinks are involved, the image...


... middle of paper ...


...d effect is genius. With the last line her love is embodied “If the ropes binding your soul are your own wrist I will cut them,” (33-34) as with her grandmother whose mind is trapped in her body. She will not by no means allow that to happen to him.
In using lots of imagery in her poem, Sharon Olds is able to prove her claim that the love the couple share will give her the strength and power to do the task needed of her. She defends her feelings and pleads her case to put her lover’s mind at ease. Shown in this poem is the deep love between two people to be able to talk about something so gloomy. Their promise to one another is very meaningful to them and they renew it yearly. The poem seems clear cut yet, everything is not what it seems. With great and powerful imagery flowing upon each words. The emotions through the words glide you along and tug at your feelings.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Essay about Sharon Olds' The Possessive

- The Possessive Teenage rebellion is typically portrayed in stories, films, and other genres as a testosterone-based phenomenon. There is an overplayed need for one to acknowledge a boy’s rebellion against his father, his life direction, the “system,” in an effort to become a man, or rather an adult. However, rarely is the female addressed in such a scenario. What happens when little girls grow up. Do they rebel. Do they, in a sudden overpowering rush of estrogen, deny what has been taught to them from birth and shed their former youthful façades....   [tags: Sharon Olds The Possessive Essays]

Better Essays
1266 words (3.6 pages)

Confusing Sexuality with Love in Sharon Olds’ “Sex Without Love” Essay

- Sharon Olds’ “Sex Without Love” is one of her many published poems. “Sex Without Love” was first published in 1984 through a collection of poems in her second book The Dead and the Living. Since then, even educational textbooks, all across the nation have featured Olds’ poems for student analysis. Reported in an essay, Literary Critic Ann D. Garbett states, Olds was born in San Francisco, California on November 19, 1942. Olds grew up in an unstable home, with her alcoholic father, mother, abusive grandparents, and sister....   [tags: Sharon Olds, Sex Without Love, poetry, argumentati]

Better Essays
1031 words (2.9 pages)

Sex Without Love by Sharon Olds Essay

- Sex Without Love by Sharon Olds 'Sex Without Love,' by Sharon Olds passionately described the author's disgust for casual sex in which she vividly animates the immorality of lustful sex through the variety of her language. The sarcasm used in this selection can easily be misunderstood and quite confusing if the words and lines are not analyzed with specific construction. Olds' clever use of imagery and frequent uses of similes, to make the reader imagine actual events, makes this poem come to life....   [tags: Papers Analysis Sharon Olds Sex Without Essays]

Better Essays
728 words (2.1 pages)

Essay about `` Rite Of Passage `` By Sharon Olds

- Loss of Innocence In “Rite of Passage,” The author, Sharon Olds, introduces the idea that “rites of passage” exist in all cultures. In addition to defining the milestones people celebrate, one’s culture dictates what rituals are used to celebrate these milestones. In the poem “Rite of Passage,” Sharon Olds addresses a boy’s loss of innocence through the use of imagery, similes and irony to suggest that the loss of innocence is necessary when transitioning from boyhood to manhood. The author uses the mother’s interpretation of her six-year-old son’s masculine identity to describe to her reader how his loss of boyhood innocence helps shape his adult identity....   [tags: Boy, Man, Men, Coming of age]

Better Essays
761 words (2.2 pages)

Analysis Of Sharon Olds ' The Pact ' Essay

- Those who commit the offense of having sex without love are solitary creatures - like lone runners, skaters, dancers - whose pleasure comes from a partner who is simply a “factor” (21), and share only in their own euphoria. Through use of simile, metaphor, and literal and figurative language, Sharon Olds reveals her disgust of those who make love without love, and also a somewhat aesthetic awe at the majesty of the act. Sharon Olds was born in San Francisco and grew up in Berkeley, CA. She was the child of a drunken, abusive father and a meek, depressed mother, both described eloquently in her poem “The Pact”: “like a stuck buffalo, baffled, stunned, dragging arrows in his side”, of her fat...   [tags: Human sexuality, Sexual intercourse, Orgasm]

Better Essays
1102 words (3.1 pages)

The Loss Of Innocence By Sharon Olds Essay

- Loss of Innocence The loss of innocence is necessary when transitioning from boyhood to manhood. In the poem, “Rite of Passage,” the author, Sharon Olds uses imagery, irony and similes when writing about a mother’s interpretation of her six year old son’s identity. Olds carefully uses literary devices as she conveys the message that a boys’ loss of his youthful innocence is an important part in the shaping of his adult identity and sense of self. The author uses words and phrases to create a mental image for her readers....   [tags: Man, Boy, Men, Coming of age]

Better Essays
777 words (2.2 pages)

Analysis of the Poem, 35/10, by Sharon Olds Essay

- In the poem, “35/10” by Sharon Olds, the speaker uses wistful and jealous tones to convey her feeling about her daughter’s coming of age. The speaker, a thirty-five year old woman, realizes that as the door to womanhood is opening for her ten year old daughter, it is starting to close for her. A wistful tone is used when the speaker calls herself, “the silver-haired servant” (4) behind her daughter, indicating that she wishes she was not the servant, but the served. Referring to herself as her daughter’s servant indicates a sense of self-awareness in the speaker....   [tags: Poetry Analysis]

Better Essays
582 words (1.7 pages)

Essay about Rite of Passage by Sharon Olds

- Rite of Passage by Sharon Olds Who is the birthday party a rite of passage for, the birthday boy or his mother. In the poem, "Rite of Passage," by Sharon Olds, the speaker, who is a mother, goes into detail about her son's birthday party celebration. Let us first begin by analyzing the title of the poem, "Rite of Passage," Encyclopedia Britannica describes a rite of passage as a ceremonial event, existing in all historically known societies, that marks the passage from one social or religious status to another....   [tags: Poetry Poem Analysis Poet]

Better Essays
1096 words (3.1 pages)

Go Back to May 1937 by Sharon Olds Essay

- No matter how bad the situations seem they all happen for a reason. Sharon Olds had to realize this through her own pain and suffering. She portrays herself as the speaker who goes back to May of 1937, and sees her parents. In “I Go Back to May 1937” she tells a story of when her parents were still just dating. They were just about to graduate and get married. Instead of feeling joyful or smiling at the sight of them she had a completely different reaction. She wanted to go up to them and stop them....   [tags: poem analysis]

Better Essays
696 words (2 pages)

Essay on "Sex Without Love:"by Sharon Olds

- Sharon Olds was born in 1942 in San Francisco. After graduating from Stanford she moved east to earn a Ph.D. in English from Columbia University. Olds describes the completion of her doctorate as a transitional moment in her life: standing on the steps of the library at Columbia University, she vowed to become a poet, even if it meant giving up everything she had learned. The vow she made--to write her own poetry, no matter how bad it might be--freed her to develop her own voice. Olds has published eight volumes of poetry, includes The Dead and the Living (1984), The Wellspring (1996), The Gold Cell, (1987) etc....   [tags: Poetry]

Better Essays
594 words (1.7 pages)