Summary Of Surprise By Jane Kenyon

Decent Essays

Relationships can be like a pack of wolves. There is an alpha and an omega, always a type of power structure. Jane Kenyon explores about this in her poem with the different roles the male and female take within in their relationship. She reveals how a power shift come about and the way in which each person in the relationship acts to accommodate it. “Surprise” In her poem “Surprise”, Jane Kenyon uses yonic and phallic symbols, regression, and the double to reveal the power dynamics within the relationship.
Kenyon uses yonic and phallic symbols to describe how something is changing in the relationship. Kenyon uses a female symbol when she writes, “Tender ferns unfurl/ in the ditches” (Kenyon 6-4) The ditch represents a yonic symbol. The yonic symbol is female imagery so it must indicate something about the woman in the relationship. Kenyon describes the ferns that uncurling, and expanding as tender so this could indicate a new side to the woman. A softer side that she really has not showed to anyone. This part of her was maybe just under the surface and now as the “ferns unfurl” this new, not submissive side of her is being discovered. On the other hand, Kenyon also uses phallic symbols. She writes using phallic symbols when she says, “Budding leaves/ push past last year’s spectral leaves from the tips/ of the twigs” (Kenyon 7-9) The twigs indicate male imagery and, therefore, this line could be about the man in the relationship. Just like the female this could be about a

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