Living in Sin Poetry Essay

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The poem I chose was “Living in Sin” by Adrienne Rich. The title itself leads you to think that the poem is based on two lovers who are not yet “married under God” and are committing sin. Though in none of the lines does it say whether they are married or not, one is left with that impression by the title alone. Perhaps the author’s tone is meant to show you there is no “sweetest sin”. The woman in the poem speaks of her life as though it were a chore and the man, her lover, is but a bother. In “Living in Sin” the speaker expresses their tone in the opening line “She had thought the studio would keep itself; no dust upon the furniture of love.” The speaker thought that moving in would be a fairytale like story for her lover and herself if they moved in together. She never guessed that she would actually have to take care of their home. It also makes the reader think that perhaps the speaker came from a wealthy or well off family where the speaker didn’t have to do the usual household chores. “Half heresy, to wish the taps less vocal, the panes relieved of grime.” The speaker is not even up to cleaning windows on her own. The speaker uses the panes of glass a symbol, she might not want the bright light to shine through and shine upon the possible mistake she made. “Meanwhile, he, with a yawn, sounded a dozen notes upon the keyboard, declared it out of tune, shrugged at the mirror, rubbed at his beard, went out for cigarettes…” The lover shows up in this line of the poem during her inward panic attack showing the lover’s actions using an understatement to show the lack of their relationship. He takes everything in a laid back fashion somewhat like a joke—something easy—as she goes about cleaning up the room a bit still shaken from before. The speaker uses “…jeered by demons” to imply that she’s torn between her pros and cons of living where she does and with
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