© 2014 Shmoop University, Inc. All rights reserved.
Living in Sin

Living in Sin

by Adrienne Rich

Living in Sin Analysis

Symbols, Imagery, Wordplay

Form and Meter

In free verse, there is not a regular rhythm or rhyme scheme. Still, there are some interesting patterns and things to notice in this poem. For example, rhyming often makes lines sound melodio...

Speaker

The speaker of this poem is an omniscient narrator—a "voice" that seems to know all the thoughts and feelings of the main character, but who doesn't take on a separate role in the poem. Even thou...

Setting

The poem is set in a studio—a one-room apartment, where the living space, kitchen, and sleeping space are all in one room. A studio could be a nice, cozy space to live with your partner, and that...

Sound Check

Sometimes in poetry—like in jazz—it's important to listen to what's not there. And what's not included in this poem, sound-wise, is a whole lot of emphasis on sounds themselves. We don't have r...

What's Up With the Title?

Titles usually set our expectations for how to read the poem. But sometimes they can trick us, and when they do, that's usually the point. This poem has one of those tricky titles. "Living in sin"...

Calling Card

Rich is known as a major feminist poet. Her career and work were devoted to championing women's causes and reflecting the too-often-ignored experiences of women in the language of poetry. That's pr...

Tough-o-Meter

Once you know the studio is a metaphor for the couple's relationship, the poem isn't too difficult. There are a few confusing moments here and there—like what to think of the milkman—but it's n...

Trivia

In 1997, Adrienne Rich declined the National Medal of Arts because she felt the policies of President Clinton and his administration were at odds with the principles that guided her art. (Source.)...

Steaminess Rating

Yawn. Not a whole lot of sex here—the man barely looks at the woman in this poem! There is a possible allusion to a steamy evening when the poem states that the woman was back in love again in th...
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement