In this poem “Hanging fire”, Audre Lorde, presented to her readers, the perspective of an adolescent that underwent the “developing into an adult phase,” while also having possibly felt neglectfully abandoned do to the lack of parental guidance. The structural form, in which this poem was written, could perhaps have been directly influenced by Lorde’s own personal time of development and indirectly portrayed through the feelings of this 14-year-old speaker. However, being aimed to get interconnections between author’s message and realities of modern American society, it is stated that analyzed text deeply related towards the relevant problem of parentless children in the USA.
Regularly conducted official estimates have showed out rather dreadful trend towards increasing number of parentless children last few years. Today, for about 4,5% deprived of parents’ care. This fact sounds extremely oppressive, as in 1980 the same stats was about 3,1% only. In 2010, a little more than 550,000 children served through the child welfare system. Previous facts make obvious that the problem of parentless children reached high-priority status last years in American society, what does not allow community to stay ignorant to it.
Aiming to get interrelations between announced problem and Lorde’s message, the concept of “Hanging fire” worth to be recognized suitable to interpret nature of appropriate social disaster. Descriptive imagery and informal diction through young individual intended to make more obvious that the tone of the poem predisposes to some dramatic mood. The way Lorde structured this literature work and used technique of informal diction stresses the image of lonely person, who has no support to deal with the troubles her mind is busy with. In order to all said above the nature of parentless children’s problem fully correspond the style of “Hanging fire”.
To draw the lines, the figures used in the poem are also convincible to accept that Lorde’s message can be related towards parentless children’s problem of modern American society. For example, the figure of “closed door” at the end of each paragraph in the poem was used to convey the sense of irreversibility. Also, it has to be considered that readers meet girl, who is disturbed with the problems, which are not peculiar for teenage mind. On the other hand, they are followed by absolutely natural troubles for fourteen years girl: “I have nothing to wear tomorrow, will I live long enough to grow up… how come my knees are always so ashy, what if I die before the morning comes” (Lorde). Seemingly, such combinations are useful to stress the emotional condition of child, who has to deal both with own and adult problems, due to the absence of parents care. At last, let’s pay attention to next words: “There is nothing I want to do and too much that has to be done” (Lorde). The feel of absolute loneliness is inherent for this part.
To sum up, it is absolutely clear that the message of Audre Lorde can be easily interpreted to nowadays problem of parentless children. To get appropriate interconnections, the general concept and some concrete figures from the poem are pretty helpful. Simple analysis has proved one more time the deathless meaning of poetry, especially, if we are talking about informal style of writing, as it is in dramatic “Hanging fire” by Audre Lorde.
Lorde, Andre. “Hanging fire”. American poems, n.d. Web 12 June 2011. http://www.americanpoems.com/poets/Audre-Lorde/9011