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Dona Stein's "Putting Mother By"

the poem is on Ploughshares, but i can't post the link.

I have to write an essay/commentary/analysis on the poem, and i was wondering if someone could check up on my first paragraph.
I know it's all one big metaphor, about kids "pickling" their mother. Or "preserving" her, because you pickle something so that it lasts longer. And when you put it like that, it's like they're trying to preserve the memory of their mother. But I need to know the theme of the poem (the author's message) and I need to know the style of writing. Thank you!


Dona Stein’s “Putting Mother By” is a free verse poem, told in the point of view of some children, "pickling" their mother. It is all one big metaphor, and it is as if the author is comparing “pickling” to trying to preserve the memory of the children’s mother. It tells how the children are “too tiny to sterilize the jar”, possibly comparing the jar to life, or their brains, being because they are too small, and not mature enough to handle such a major event, such as their mother passing away.

  • English -

    After reading the poem, it looks good to me, but I didn't have the context of the poem. Also this is not my area of expertise.

    I hope this helps. Thanks for asking.

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