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Living in Sin

Living in Sin

by Adrienne Rich

The Piano

Symbol Analysis

Pianos can be really lovely. They look beautiful; they sound beautiful. But when they are out of tune, they can sound pretty terrible. The piano in this poem plays both roles.

  • Line 5: Here, the piano is part of a picturesque image of the perfect and beautifully decorated studio that the woman imagined. A piece of the "furniture of love," it shows what the woman thought her studio (and, metaphorically, her relationship) would look like.
  • Lines 15-17: These lines show that the beautiful piano the woman imagined is actually "out of tune," metaphorically suggesting that her relationship is also in need of some work. Her partner is the one who declares it out of tune, but notice that he doesn't seem to care about it; instead he just shrugs and walks out the door. Way to go, guy.
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