HUM 3310 FFF 21
The River-Merchant’s Wife: A Letter
Ezra Pound wrote “The River-Merchant’s Wife: A Letter” in 1915. The poem was written by a house wife, whose husband has been gone for 5 months. The wife, who appears to be nameless in the poem, is expressing her feelings for her husband while he’s away. The writer Ezra Pound leaves us to believe that the speaker of this poem is going through some very dramatic feelings, and comparing the speaker’s early childhood days to the speaker’s present days. Using feelings to connect with readers by feelings of expression and calling on previous memories that others can relate too, gives much insight on what the speaker was expressing in this poem.
In the opening stanza lines 1-6, the speaker starts out by describing a haircut that you would picture a young girl having “cut straight across my forehead” while she played around the front gate expressing a time when the speaker was young. The speaker than goes on to describe in the same stanza about a boy (the speakers husband) “came by on stilts, playing horse” which describes the time in a child’s life where you play along the front yard with the neighborhood children. The world “play” was used multiple times in the first stanza, giving understanding that this stanza was written as a memory from the writer.
In lines 7-10 the speaker confirms her age of fourteen. The time in the speaker’s life when she got married to the merchant (the speakers husband). In line 7, the speaker refers to her husband as “My Lord” would could possibly mean the speaker was raised to be a submissive wife to her husband. My Lord could refer to the man of the house, being classified as the boss who the speaker is to show a line of respect too. “I never laughed, being bashful describes a shy girl at the age of fourteen who didn’t know how to show who she was in a marriage. The last two lines in the second stanza explained just how shy the speaker was. The speaker didn’t seem to have much confidence in herself, “I looked at the wall/ called to, a thousand times, I never looked back”. Shows this young woman didn’t have much confidence in herself or this is the way to be when you’re around your husband.
A year older at age fifteen the speaker has come out of her ways that she has stopped scowling in line 11. In line 13 the speaker expressing the feeling of being in a committed relationship when the speaker repeats...