A Line Of Promises Essay Research Paper

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A Line Of Promises Essay, Research Paper A Line of Promises Many times simple objects in people?s lives can come to represent a part of themselves. The object can become an integral part of a person?s identity. In ?Wedding-Ring? by Denise Levertov, the relationship between a woman and her old wedding ring is explored as a way to intertwine the woman?s life with the ring?s meaning. Through the ring, the woman identifies herself. The wedding ring is wishfully transformed from a complex symbol of promises to a simple gift of friendship. In the opening of ?Wedding-Ring?, Levertov sets the tone of the poem, by exemplifying the interaction between the speaker?s feelings and the wedding ring. ?My wedding ring lies in a basket / as if at the bottom of a well? (1,2). The first two

lines of the poem paints a picture of a lonely woman trying to depart with the last memory of her marriage, her wedding ring. The comparison between the basket and the bottom of the well accentuates the low point in the woman?s ending marriage. Having compared the shallow basket to the deep well, the poet implies to the reader that the speaker is feeling sorrow, and therefore her surroundings may also seem sad and empty. This displays the relationship of how the wedding ring and her feelings are connected. This image of the wedding ring?s location is further described as Levertov writes, ?It lies / among keys to abandoned houses / nails waiting to be needed and hammered? (5,6,7). Not only does the ring lie in the bottom of a well, it is along with other long forgotten objects.

The use of abandoned houses brings images of loneliness and emptiness. The speaker also uses violent nouns and verbs such as nails and hammered to describe the setting of her ring. Nails alone are just mere objects, but nails that are hammered and are forced to be used to hold things together hold a much higher value. Like the woman?s wedding ring, its true value is not seen until it is put on a finger. In reality the ring is not in a well with these objects but her connection with the ring is bringing out emotions that are creating these images. It is often easy to overlook the speaker?s intentions in the poem, but upon closer examination line breaks following the word lies can help emphasize the word. In this case, ?lies? can be interpreted by multiple denotations. The obvious

way to denote ?lies? is to continuously read through to the next line, and use the context of the poem to define the word. But the enjambment creates the possibility of lies defined as ill truth. A wedding ring is a symbol of a promise, and for it to hold ill-truth means the ring can no longer be called a wedding ring. It is now a mere piece of jewelry, which the woman attempts to forget. . The speaker has given much thought to remove the ring out of her life but each reason she gives justifies a reason for her not to. In the poem she writes, ?It can?t be given away / for fear of bringing ill-luck. / It can?t be sold for the marriage was good on its own? (11-13). The repetition of ?I can?t? sets a series of limitations around the woman. No matter what she tries to do, the wedding

ring will always be a part of her. The line break after the word ?own? gives the notion of belonging. It gives thought that she is one entity and the ring also has its own life. However, she is unable to escape the ring because she is fearful she will be violating its memory. The ring?s memory is also a part of her own memory. The reason the woman is drawing lines around herself with these restrictions is because the ring possesses some sort of power over her. The superstitious woman, on the other hand believes it can bring bad luck to whoever holds the ring after she has already worn it. The phrase ?for fear of bringing ill-luck? suggests that the woman is afraid that since her marriage ended, any new owners of the ring will have the same misfortune as she did. In order for the