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1370 words - 5 pages

When you first read it, Theodore Roethke's poem "Sale" seems like it is about a house that is empty and for sale. The metaphors, similes, connotation, and personification show the sadness of the house and the more important point. The poem is actually about the death of a grandfather and everything in the house seems to remind him of his grandfather and how his grandfather was an abusive man to him and the rest of his family. He is trying to let go lost memories. In the beginning of the poem Roethke writes, "-And an attic of horrors, a closet of fears." (1.4). This is where you start to feel that the poem is about something more. He uses metaphors to describe the house, or in this case, what may have happened in the house. Roethke starts by saying that this house is for sale and he describes it like a regular house, but then all of these thoughts just hit the reader. It is not exactly yet clear that it may have been a death or whose death it was. But you can see that something had to have happened to fill the attic with horrors and to fill the closet with fears. It gives the aroma or sense of a death but doesn't exactly say it. These things remind the author of bad things and bad memories. It just gives the poem an eerie connotation right there at the beginning of the poem. There is more that reveals what Roethke is trying to say. Roethke writes, "The summer house shaped like a village band stand/-And grandfather's sinister hovering hand." (2.3,2.4). Roethke starts again by describing the house and things in it. And once again the reader gets hit with these thoughts. He uses a simile to describe the house as a village bandstand. A house that is alone and one of those places you go to getaway. The more important thing is that he uses a metaphor to say "-And grandfather's sinister hovering hand." He remembers that about the house. This is where the reader gets the thought that his grandfather was an abusive man. Roethke remembers that sinister hovering hand right before he was physically hurt. Like he is looking at the house and he is seeing the hand, because he was scarred with these memories. Roethke describes his pain furthermore in the next stanza. Roethke writes "-And some watery eyes in a Copley head." (3.4). The reader can tell that someone was crying, most likely him. He witnessed something that was so horrible or so sad that all he could do was stand there and cry. It is just the connotation of the words that makes the stanza stand out. The reader feels the sadness of what he has experienced and they start to feel it too. It was his grandfather's abuse that most likely caused his watery eyes. The grandfather was just a horrible man that caused all this sadness.Later in the poem Roethke writes, "The dining room carpet dyed brighter than blood," (4.1). He uses personification to describe the carpet. He uses the word blood, which makes you think that there were things that went wrong there. It may have been that the...

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