Poem Report on "The Bean Eaters"

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The themes of “The Bean Eaters” are poverty and old age. This poem is about an old couple who is barely getting by. They no not own expensive things and luxuries and, in fact, do not even own their room that they live in. All that they truly have are their memories and regrets of the past. The items that they do own are simple such as “plain chip ware” and “tin flatware.” This couple has already lived their good days and the couple is simply existing, but not living. Each day is routine for them and they spend their time by “keep putting on their clothes and putting things away.” The poem is presented as dreary. It does not necessarily try to make you feel bad for this couple, but it does not present a happy and joyful outlook on the lives of the couple. “The Bean Eaters” provides lots of imagery. The image that it gives is of an old couple with not much to their names who get their happiness from thinking of the past. The beans are the most important symbol in this poem as it is in the title of the poem. The beans represent that that couple does not eat lavish meals together as beans are the food of the poor. The beans are like today’s Ramen Noodles and represent everything that the couple is lacking financially and socially. This poem lists lots of items to help better produce an image of their lives. The stacks of things represent their empty, isolated life. Alliteration is used in the third stanza when the poem reads “twinkling and twinges.” The twinkling and tinges also represent of deeper meaning which shows that the couple’s memories come and go, and they can often be painful for the couple to remember. The style of this poem is free verse, or contemporary style. The stanzas have rhyme but no formal structure. The rhyme in the first stanza is AABA, the second stanza has a BCDC rhyme, and the third stanza has a EFF

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