March 29, 2015

Homework Help: Literature

Posted by Sarah on Wednesday, January 12, 2011 at 4:21pm.

What are some of the poetic devices used in this poem by Gladys Cardiff?

Bending, I bow my head
And lay my hand upon
Her hair, combing, and think
How women do this for
Each other. My daughter's hair
Curls against the comb,
Wet and fragrant--orange
Parings. Her face downcast,
Is quiet for one so young.

I take her place. Beneath
My mother's hands I feel
The braids drawn up tight
As a piano wire and singing,
Vinegar-rinsed. Sitting
Before the oven I hear
The orange coils tick
The early hour before school.

She combed her grandmother Mathilda's hair using A comb made out of bone.
Mathilda rocked her oak-wood
Chair, her face downcast,
Intent on tearing rags
In strips to braid a cotton Rug from bits of orange
And brown. A simple act,

Preparing hair. Something
Women do for each other,
Plaiting the generations.

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