The poems Homage to my hips by Lucille Clifton, Daystar by Rita Dove and Dream Deferred by Langston Hughes as deep psychological literary works can be analyzed by the different positions such as formalist, feminist or psychological approaches.
Lucille Clifton’s poem Homage to my hips has a deep philosophical aspect in it. Describing a woman’s hips, author begins each line with the repetition of a key phrase “these hips are”. We can notice that the poem is based on the use of a poetic technique of synecdoche as a form of figurative language.
In this case, the hips as a part of body mean a whole woman as a human being. This poem can be called mantra or manifesto of woman’s body power that can put smell on a man. The formalist analysis demonstrates us that the use of repetition emphasizes a sense of the woman’s independence.
The lines 4-5 show that the woman doesn’t want to be considered as a pretty body from the position of stereotypes. Lines 14-15 emphasize the desire of a man to get the whole body. Therefore, the feminist analysis can be appropriate for this poem. Everything we can get from this poem is not obvious. There is no description or explanation. The use of words reflects the author’s desire to express more feelings and emotions. Clifton’s idea goes against the social codes which dictate the way of behavior for a woman in order to look more beautiful.
The poem Daystar by Rita Dove tells about a woman exhausted by her daily work as a wife and a mother. The author uses words to present the sorrow and to express the sympathy to the character. The first and second quatrains refer to a woman who wants to have a rest from her daily duties.
The author emphasizes the desire of this woman to clean her mind as well as she cleans the rooms. She needs to escape in a peaceful place. The world of this woman is empty and meaningless. However, later we can see that she has a child Liza who appears on the stairs. Therefore, the protagonist of this poem is a woman who is not happily married keeping dreaming about her better life in the future.
She doesn’t get the attention from her husband and wants to escape from her busy daily life to the world of her dreams. The psychological analysis of this poem shows the depressive world of the woman who, perhaps, has the emotional problems. In this poem, Dove describes the world of a wife’s life day by day through the realism and expands.
The poem of Langston Hughes has two titles: Harlem and Dream Deferred. As the representative of the Harlem Renaissance, the author describes the life of Harlem community after the World War II and the Civil Rights Movement. The intolerance and disillusions are the main topic of the poem. The author asks what happens to his dreams as he wonders why they are postponed and left to dry up under the sun.
The last line is the answer to the question of this poem. Perhaps, these dreams explode. The formalist analysis of the work is based on the rhetorical question why people forget or neglect their dreams. The use of similes compares the dreams’ deferring with the meat rotting, sugary syrup and heavy loads. This imagery reflects our daily life activities. The main question is opened by other five rhetorical questions while the author offers only one possible answer.