Young by Anne Sexton - Analysis

Young by Anne Sexton: The poem "Young" is told in the first person. It is told in one sentence in order to capture a moment in time. This lyric is told by an older woman who is reflecting back on her life as a lonely girl.

"In my brand new body, which was not a woman's yet," signifies that the girl is between the ages 9-12. This poem takes place many years ago as stated in the first line, "A thousand doors ago." It is evident that the family is quite wealthy as supported by the line, "A big house with four garages and it was summer." This poem takes place during the end of summer break, therefore, we sense the transitional aspects that occur during the season change to autumn. "A million leaves sailed on their strange stalks."

The parents of the lonely child are fighting, therefore, making the child feel unsafe or possibly even feelings of depression and the horrid feeling of being invisible. "My mother's window a funnel of yellow heat running out, my father's window, half shut." The description of the mother's window signifies tension as heat is related to an argument that has gotten out of hand.

Young by Anne Sexton

The father's window which is half shut represents closure and isolation; whether it is from his wife or his daughter that is laying on the lawn outside.

This poem explores the emotions of the little girl along withdrawing in the targeted audience which is teenagers. "Young" is targeted towards teenagers as it makes reference to a girl who is developing into a young woman; although uncertain of the many emotions she may be feeling about this drastic change that is occurring in her life.

The poem "Young" is in the form of a lyric. The purpose of this lyric poem is to portray the internal emotions of a young girl who is going through a hardship in her life. The words selected for this poem all work together to give it a calm and soothing feeling. "The boards of the house were smooth and white as wax." Another example of this soothing mood is near the end of the poem in the line, "elbows, knees, dreams, goodnight."

Experience is also evoked during this poem. It is evident that the girl feels isolated and lonely throughout this poem. "I, in my brand new body, which was not a woman's yet, told the stars my questions and thought God could really see the heat and the painted light."

People often go to God as an outlet when they are feeling stress or anxiety; two emotions that the little girl felt during this lyric. "I lay on the lawn at night clover wrinkling under me." This descriptive section of words suggests that the girl is lonely and should be in bed, although she is not. "A thousand doors ago when I was a lonely kid in a big house with four garages..." The author made it seem like the little girl's self-confidence is very low and she is only a small, lonely, human being living in a big world.

The feeling of isolation comes into play when the poem describes a scene where the father's window is half shut, thus concluding that there is happiness on one side of the window and a different, more joyful, world on the other side.

As for the title, "Young," the purpose of this poem was to recall a significant moment in a young girl's life. This poem has achieved to draw a connection between two unique worlds; the one that the little girl is living in and the one that everyone else is living in. 

Lyric poetry is a form of poetry that expresses personal feelings an emotions and is usually told in first person.

Lyric poems are quite emotional and the poem "Young" definitely falls under this category. There were many poetic and rhetorical devices present in this poem that helped achieve the purpose. First of all, this lyric is portraying the emotions of a young girl because of the line "A thousand doors ago, when I was a lonely kid."

The first part of this line is a metaphor as it was not actually a thousand doors ago. This metaphor allows the reader to understand that she is reflecting on her life in the past.

The reader can be certain that the young child is a girl as supported by the line, "I, in my brand new body, which was not a woman's yet." Secondly, it is evident that the girl is going through a hardship in her life as supported by the line "my mother's window a funnel of yellow heat running out, my father's window, half shut. The description of the mother's window is also a metaphor.

There is tension in the girl's life and she is outside lying on the ground reflecting on her life. "I lay on the ground at night, clover wrinkling under me." This line is an example of the poetic device of imagery as it creates a vivid image in the reader's head.

The line "Told my stars my questions and thought God could really see the heat and painted light," has great significance in this poem. As I already stated, people often go to God as a last resort in which the young girl did in this poem while she pondered about her life.

Finally, the last line of the poem, "Elbows, knees, dreams, goodnight," is an example of assonance that supports the purpose statement. Since the young girl is going through a hardship in her life, she finally decides to head to bed as she is caught up in all of her emotions.

This line is also a euphony as it sounds pleasing to the ear and it ends the poem in a soothing and silencing way.  
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