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Childhood Memories In Adrienne Rich's Poem, Miracle Ice Cream

593 words - 3 pages

Adrienne Rich's poem entitled "Miracle Ice Cream" is a short, yet thoughtfully penned poem that gives reference to playful and memorable experiences during childhood. The author follows to allude to deeper meaning with a stronger final stanza. Rich's beautiful use of language and brilliant placement of meter adds to the power behind this poem intended to elicit a response from the reader which would help relieve stress from everyday life.

Given that the title of the poem is called "Miracle Ice Cream," one could easily assume that the opening line, "Miracle's truck comes down the little avenue" (line 1), is in reference to an ice cream truck driving along a residential street with the traditional jingle playing all the way. A reader is instantly drawn to visualizing small children joyfully dancing behind, ...view middle of the document...

However, the use of Dactyls and Trochees in these first lines of the poem gives an abnormal, almost abrasive feel to the beginning. The second stanza compounds this feeling by the use of Spondees to forcefully counsel, "Take what's still given: in a room's rich shadow..." (line 5), as if to say relish whichever pleasures you can grasp-while you can.

The author follows to describe a woman's figure bending over; and "the dusk dissolves" (line 7), painting an image of the sun setting, and nighttime falling upon you. She uses these images, and those that would typically be seen on an edition of the local news, to precede the final line of the poem referring to "the rest of your heart" (line 10), as the everyday experiences that may, or may not, bring us down. This final line ties back to the beginning, where Rich said "and, yes, you can feel happy/with one piece of your heart" (lines 3-4).

This happiness that remains a part of your heart can be described, individually, by nearly everyone. My fond memories from childhood are primarily tied to one of the houses that I grew up in. There was a large peach tree in the front yard. Anytime we were unhappy, we would climb in the tree for an almost perfect hideaway. In the summer, we would stay for hours, feasting upon the dulcet fruit that grew from its branches. Occasionally, when life seems too strenuous I'll think back on these experiences as an escape from daily life.

Rich allows the reader to think of these types of moments while reading the poem. And, although there seems to be a relatively ominous tone, I feel that the author did not intend it to be depressive. She speaks of the everyday mundane tasks of life, but seems more to be giving the reader an avenue with which to find happiness. It is possible that Rich intended this free counseling session to be simply that-a way to find out how to relax by using our own experiences and memories.

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