What are the last three lines of the poem Earthmoving Malediction saying?
Bulldoze the bed where we made love
bulldoze the goddamn room.
let rubble be our evidence
and wreck our home.
i cant give touching up
by inches, cant give beating up
by heart. so set the comforter
on fire, and turn the dirt.
to some advantage — places of pigweed,
treasuries of turd. the fist
will vidicate the hand,
and tooth and nail
refuse to burn, and i
must not look back, as Mrs. lot
was named for such a little —
something in a cementary
or a man. bulldoze the coupled
ploys away, the cute exclusives
in the social mall. we dwell
on earth, where beds
are brown, where swoops
are fell. Bulldoze
the pearly gates:
if paradise comes down
there is no hell..
I was wondering what the last three lines are saying…my teacher hinted that the use of an oxymoron and hyperbole are at work but I can’t quite figure it out.
thanks for any help!
Answer by Gigapie :-☭
The poem is by Heather McHugh, by the way. One of my favorite writers. Please give credit where it’s due, okay?
The speaker of the poem is apparently leaving her home; there’s been a divorce, probably. She doesn’t want to remember her previous happy life, so she’s metaphorically “bulldozing” her house where she had once been so happy.
She then alludes to the story of Lot’s wife (“Mrs. Lot”) in the Jewish scriptures, who looked back at her old home while it was being destroyed, and turned into a pillar of salt — a metaphor for McHugh’s claim that looking back at your old happy life can make you unhappy.
Then at the end she says that if you bulldoze “the pearly gates” (heaven), then there is no hell. In other words, if she can forget her old happy life, she won’t be unhappy or feel like she’s in “hell.”
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