Speaker #2: Hanging Fire by Audre Lorde on p. 872-873 of the Norton
Lorde chose the speaker of this poem to be a fourteen year old teenage girl facing all of the problems through high school. The effect of this choice is reflected in my initial emotional reaction to the poem. After reading it, I found that I wanted to write about it because I could sympathize with the speaker. True, I did not go through everything the speaker is touching on, but I know I can relate to many of the incidents. In choosing to have the poem written from a teenager's point of view, the reader is able to dig past to her own past and connect with what is being talked about in the poem.
If Lorde had chosen to write this poem as an adult, I don't think I would've had the same reaction to it. Since the speaker is talking about things that are actually going through her mind in the moment, more meaning and emotion are added to the words. This is almost a confession or journal entry by this teenager, expressing all of her anger and confusion in the moment. The constant repetition of "and momma's in the bedroom with the door closed" is like a recurring thought in the speaker's mind. It nags him/her to the point that all she can think about is that her mother is never around. All that the speaker seems to long for his acceptance or attention from her mother and somehow cannot gain it.
The emphasis on physical features in the poem displays the speakers feelings about herself as well. Since she seems to be very focused on the negative aspects of her appearance, she probably doesn't have anyone to tell her that she is beautiful. Her confusion seems to be rooted from the lack of attention of her mother. I can gather all of this simply from the repetition about her mother and the vivid adjectives she chooses when describing her appearance. The overall meaning of the poem is enhanced by Lorde's choice to choose a teenage girl as the speaker of this poem. It adds depth and emotion to the words, leaving a great impact on the reader.
Shape--> "My Body"
8 years ago