Flowers like a gangster's funeral;
She, who never wore
Lipstick or such a dress,
Never got taken out,Was scarcely looked at, much less
Wanted or talked about;
Who, gray as a mouse, crept
The dark halls at her mother'sOr snuggled, soft, and slept
Alone in the dim bedcovers.
Today at last she holds
All eyes and a place of honorTill the obscene red folds
Of satin close down on her.
Poulin, A. Jr., ed. Contemporary American Poetry. 4th ed. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1985. 483-4.
Though written in fairly plain, workaday words, this piece is full of jarring juxtapositions that contrast who the recently departed woman was in life versus who she has become in death. I think this piece has a lot to say about today's glamour culture, and they way women are treated as if they matter only if they conform to certain standards of beauty. The sweet innocence of her snuggled under bedcovers jars with the final image of a red-satin lined coffin. In attempting to glamorize the deceased, they've turned her virginal innocence into a whorish spectacle.
What lines or images stand out to you?