Perceptions of Queer Women

(Carol, in the park, chewing on straws)

This poem was particularly striking to me because of the external dialogue that starts the poem and later returns in the second half. The quotes are about how Carol has taken a woman as a lover and how it’s seen as such a misfortune. These quotes also are some of the only forms of perfect rhyme within this poem (do, you, say, day). The rest of the poem details Carol’s day and the things she does in private as well as how she appears outwardly. There is an interesting play between hard and soft motifs within lines 5-9. During the day she smiles and pretends to be shy and meek. But then when she gets home she pounds her own nails, fixes her car and makes bets. But at the end of line 9 Carol does this all “with her friend”. To me I see this as societies denial of lesbian couples as passing them off as friends and invalidating their relationship.

Carol tries to stay as far away from men as possible. The poem doesn’t seem to elaborate on this further but it could be due to a previous bad experience with men. She often daydreams of being different things or animals. Within the imagery of the second half of the poem has lots of connotations with freedom and being light or airy.     The end of the poem is how she is full of this electricity and passion, which can be found in every woman. Even if it isn’t surface level.

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Biology major and Gender Studies Minor!