Hoorah for Short Hair?

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I'm going to quote this poem and my reactions while reading this poem, just to see if anyone was on a similar wave-length.  Begining from line 33:

"Prophyria worshipped me; surprise

Made my heart swell, and still it grew..."

Aww.  The speaker's god complex is a little annoying, but they loooove each other.

"While I debated what to do.

That moment she was mine, mine, fair,

Perfectly pure and good..."

Well, he appreciates her.  How nice.

"I found

A thing to do...

He's going to buy her a gift? That'd be a thing to do.  Kind of lame, but there might be a metaphor there somewhere.   

"and all her hair

In one long yellow string I wound

Three times her little throat

And strangled her..."

Aw, how...wait...(rereads)  Holy unexpected violent tendencies, Batman!

Despite Roberts' claims to the contrary in the essay on pages 201-204, I didn't see much foreshadowing in this poem, at least the first time through.  The language at the begining, "The Rain set early in to-night/The sullen wind was soon awake..." etc.  just served as a a type of juxtaposition for the atmosphere when Porphyria entered the house.  That contrast did not strike me as odd, because how often in literature is love seen as the only bright spot in a dark world?

I truly think that in this poem the foreshadowing is interwoven so minutely into the poem that it needs to be examined on the second or third reading.  Once I knew what happened, I could go back and find foreshadowing, but I didn't immediately recognize the weather or prosody for what it was.  In this case, the subtle foreshadowing was clearly a good way to have that literal twist as the climax.

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6 Comments

Melissa Schwenk said:

Nice reference to Batman.

It's interesting that you found the opening lines to not be foreshadowing, whereas I immediately thought something bad was going to happen. I also found the opening part to be a little creepy probably because he goes into such detail about her entering and then the fact that "When no voice replied,/She put an arm about her waist," (15-16). I found this really strange that if he was waiting for her and talking about all of the details of her entering that he would respond in some way. He seems to act like she isn't even there except for the fact he's detailing her so much. I found this extremely odd.

Jessica Orlowski said:

Maybe he's not in love with her, but the idea of love?

Gladys Mares said:

Your title made me LOL and Yes! I was really thrown off half way through the poem. I think the fact that he sets us up to expect one thing, then totally takes the chair out from underneath us makes this poem really dramatic. I agree with Melissa, I thought he was creepy from the beginning but he really drives it in towards the end.

Josie Rush said:

Melissa- Yeah, now that I'm all clued in on what's going on, I feel a little foolish for missing the hints the first time around. As Karyssa and Diana pointed out in their presentations today, the descriptions of the weather and Poryphia's behavior suggest something bad is going to happen. I was truly just reading at first as though the weather was bad and the speaker was miserable, but, oh great, here comes his lover! Imagine my surprise.
Jessica- I honestly can't even guess, because as we talked about in class today, the speaker is clearly craaaazy. Maybe he was in love with her in his own deranged way?
Gladys- I'm glad I'm not the only person who was surprised here. lol. I was starting to worry. I totally agree, the poem was odd at the begining, but as I said, I was expecting it to be a "love makes everything better" poem. I should've known better, since it is Browning.

Josie, the first time I read it, I thought along the same lines as you. I was like "WHAT?!" when he killed her because she seemed like she was his little spot of sunshine. And she was... until he murdered her because of it.

Dianna Griffin said:

Josie, don't worry I totally missed it the first time I read it. When I chose to present this, I didn't even read it when I signed up. After reading it, I was like what the heck am I going to do. It took me at least an hour to see the foreshadowing, and even then I thought that it was a little bit of a stretch.

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Dianna Griffin on Hoorah for Short Hair?: Josie, don't worry I totally m
Karyssa Blair on Hoorah for Short Hair?: Josie, the first time I read i
Josie Rush on Hoorah for Short Hair?: Melissa- Yeah, now that I'm al
Gladys Mares on Hoorah for Short Hair?: Your title made me LOL and Yes
Jessica Orlowski on Hoorah for Short Hair?: Maybe he's not in love with he
Melissa Schwenk on Hoorah for Short Hair?: Nice reference to Batman. It