Study Guide

Women Common Sense

By Louise Bogan

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Common Sense

That kid from The Sixth Sense could see dead people, but in this poem women can't even see a bunch of cows munching in a field. What's up with that? The poem uses sensory imagery to show us a world that—apparently—escapes women's notice. There is a whole poetic realm out there that is just passing them by. Wake up and smell the cows, ladies.

  • Lines 3-4: In these lines, we have the senses of taste (mmm..."dusty bread") and even touch, or confinement ("tight hot cell"). In both cases, women are content to have a pretty sub-par sensory experience. Who's up for a yuck sandwich in a cramped sauna? Women are, according to our speaker.
  • Line 5: You know, we bet if we lived on a farm, cows would soon blend right into the scenery. But our speaker seems bothered by women's inability to notice this poetic image. Their sense of sight is lacking.
  • Lines 6-8: And it turns out they can't hear so well, either. Sure, the sound of snow water running through a ditch may not be in heavy rotation on your iTunes, but the speaker seems to be critiquing women's sense of hearing as a way to make a broader point about how they're not "tuned in" to the world around them.
  • Lines 17-18: Women should really get their hearing checked. At least, that seems to be the speaker's take on the matter. Once again, they mis-hear the world around them. And, once again, our speaker uses this to make a bigger point about how women are failing at life. To them, whispers turn into shouts. Now, ordinarily that would indicate some kind of super-hearing power, which would be cool. But taken in the context of the poem as a whole, this seems to be another example of how women miss the point and blow things out of proportion unnecessarily.

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