Unformatted text preview: The speaker mourns that she is a voiceless entity caged in flesh, an unwilling sacrifice to mortality. Terrified at a soul-withering desk job, she pleads with the self-imposed bars to "open, open!" Unlike the zoo animals, she acknowledges the measure of her life and chafes at the pageant of the capital city, where "the world" passes by her desk without alleviating despair and loneliness. Starved for passion, she visualizes a man-shape in the vulture, a gallant, red-helmeted figure who has "shadowed" her like approaching death, which the poet glimpses in fly-blown meat torn by buzzards. Ending this scary eye-to-eye experience, the plaint in the last three lines is one of Jarrell's most compassionate cries, rising to an imperative: "You know what I was. / You see what I am: / change me, change me!" A lament for the unfulfilled 1960s woman, "Next Day," from Sad Heart at the Supermarket: Essays...
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- Fall '08
- bubbly optimistic names, unfulfilled 1960s woman, scary eyetoeye experience, female persona studies, grocery soap aisle, typically suburban conveyance