Die Heuning Pot Literature Guide
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Analysis

Strong Images, Political Messages

This poem deals with big, beautiful images of an underwater dive. It spends a lot of time on the details, laying out the scene, showing us the fish and the weeds and the ruined cargo of the ship. The images come to us in short, sharp bursts, one line after another. It's easy for us to get lost in these images, and that feeling of almost being enchanted is important. At the same time though, it would be hard for us to ignore the other things going on in this poem. Especially when we get to the stuff about the mermaid and merman, and whenever we read about the "book of myths." Rich is a major feminist poet, and she may be using this story of a dive to ask questions about gender, history, and the importance of our own experiences.

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