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Symbol Analysis

Fewer things in life are more difficult than raising a child—just ask your parents. Of course, even more difficult is raising a whole bunch of them on little money and in cramped quarters. So introducing a dream into your life—something that needs attention and nurturing—might seem just as daunting as raising another child. Dreams aren't just going to feed themselves, you know. Here's how Brooks creates the metaphor to make the comparison in the third stanza:

  • Lines 8–10: On the surface, Brooks is talking about the dream (that's what the "it" refers to). But it's plain to see that this kind of care and attention is what you'd give to a child. A child needs shelter ("willing to let it in"), warmth, and to be kept clean and healthy. This metaphor is the spot in the poem where the two worlds—the practical, difficult, everyday one and the one where a dream might exist—collide. Judging by the way the poem ends, only the "real world" survives this crash. Too bad—that show's really starting to get to us.

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