Analyzing Howard Nemerov's Poem 'Vacuum'

460 Words2 Pages
The Vacuum- Howard Nemerov The house is quiet now [The vacuum cleaner is not being used anymore, so the house it quiet] The vacuum cleaner sulks in the corner closet [Sulks: to be in a mood. But in here it means that the vacuum is again not being used] Its bag limp, as a stopped lung, its mouth [Bag: the material bag that collects the dust. Limp: lacking rigidity. ‘The bag as a lung’ is a simile] Grinning into the floor, maybe at my [The bottom of the vacuum there is an opening that looks like a mouth. ‘Mouth grinning’ is a metaphor] Slovenly life, my dog-dead youth [Slovenly: Stinky and messy. His youth is as dead as a dog. In other words he is old] I’ve lived this was long enough [again old] But when my old woman died, her soul [Refers to his wife] Went into that vacuum cleaner, and I can’t bear…show more content…
He doesn’t wan to see the vacuum working.] And the woolen mice, and begin to howl [Woolen mice: Large dust balls. When the vacuum works it makes this loud noise like howling] Because there is old filth everywhere [The place is consumed with dirt] She used to crawl in the corner and under the stairs [Crawl: walking on hands, knees and toes In other words, she cleaned everything!] I know now how life is cheap as dirt [Is a simile for: life has no meaning now he lost his wife] And still the hungry, angry heart [Hungry cause he miss and long for her, and he’s angry at the loss. When you loose something often you are angry] Hangs on and howls, biting at air [His heart howling and biting, is a metaphor. When he says bites the air he’s thinking of the vacuum since it does that too] Tone: Anger Subject: The vacuum cleaner Theme His wife as a vacuum cleaner Poet: Howard Nemrov Speaker: The husband of the dead
Open Document