Analysis of Even Tho by Grace Nichols

This article is an analysis of the poem Even Tho by Grace Nichols.

About the Even Tho Poem:

The poem is about the pleasure and sensuality experienced in a relationship. It has a very sparse structure the line lengths are very very short. And the lack of words suggests the relationship is mostly physical. So nothing much needs to be said between the lovers.

There's enjambment all the way through the poem and that reflects the freedom that the speaker desires not only within her relationship but also at the end of her relationship.

There's no rhyme scheme which suggests a laid-back in a relaxed tone.

Analysis of Even Tho:

Man I love
but won't let you devour
So the first line gives us an immediate sense that this is a very close relationship. Although we do then get the impression that it is a more passionate relationship lustful relationship rather than an emotional them.

'but won't let you devour' so this suggests that the speaker doesn't want to lose herself to her partner. She wants to keep her own personality.

The word 'devour' suggests that she won't let him have all of her at once. So she is in control from the very outset.

Now we have all of these exotic fruits so the star apple and the Plum, juicy soft fruit. So it's very sensual imagery and it suggests that the speaker is as delicious as an exotic fruit. But these also bruise easily so is she perhaps afraid of being hurt.

All of these fruits suggests taste and smell they are very much related to the senses. And that suggests that the speaker enjoys the physical pleasure of the relationship particularly in that final line there when you touch me.

The repetition of and in that third line increases the pace and drives the feeling of lust. Then we have a repetition of that line even though which suggests that the relationship could be coming to an end.

'Seamoss' is believed to be an aphrodisiac or linked to sexual desire so again we have that suggestion of lust. And then we have reference to 'jellyfish' these go where over the water takes them they have no brain say perhaps the speaker is suggesting that she has no control when she's overcome by pleasure. But jellyfish also sting so perhaps she's able to regain that control if she needs to.

Then we have the reference to the 'tongue' at the end of that stanza again linking back to lustful and sensual imagery.

Then we have this word 'come' which is imperative suggesting the speaker is dominating in very much in control still. The 'carnival' suggests pleasure vibrancy exciting atmosphere and it's somewhere which is full of energy just like their relationship.

Then we have these very clear phallic and Yannick images. So the banana is obviously a phallic image representing the man while the avocado is a much softer rounder fruit suggesting the woman.

So again these are relating to lust but the fact that there have such different fruits also suggests that these two people may have very different personalities. Then again we have that lustful romantic tone in the repetition of 'hug up, brace up, sweet one another up'. The repeated rhythm and words there increasing the pace and sense of tension and passion.

But then as that pace is increased it's suddenly now broken but then so there's a change in tone here.

even tho poem analysis

And the speaker says leh we break free yes, leh break free and the emphasis on those repeated phrases suggests a short-term non-serious relationship. So again it's just lustful and physical rather than emotional and that use of the word yes followed by the caesura creating that pause suggests that the speaker is the one still remaining in control.

And then we have those final two lines separated suggesting perhaps breaking off the relationship. And that word person/lity broken apart by the use of the oblique or the slash indicating the speaker's wish for them to be two separate people to go their own ways.


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