Dorraine Lath

Dorraine Lath’s poem “Girl in the Doorway” is written in free verse. Lath uses two examples of internal rhyme. She uses chews and shoes and also fall and call.Though there is little internal rhyme, there is definitely rhythm.   Throughout the poem, Lath uses repetition to create rhythm. She repeats the words “rise and fall.” Lath also uses consonance in lines 15-17 which seemed to make the poem flow.

The speaker of the poem is a mother watching her daughter change from an adolescent into a woman. The mother says, “the door to her room is closed.” The mother feels like their relationship is closing. Now that the girl is growing up she is shutting her mother out. She does not need her mother like she used to. The speaker also says, “the thin wall between us.” This thin wall represents a communication barrier between the mother and daughter as the daughter transforms. The daughter is not as open with the mother now that she has friends to talk to on the telephone.

The mother displays different emotions as her daughter is growing up. It is evident that she loves her daughter maybe even worships her since she refers to her as a goddess.   It seems that the mother is distraught over her daughter’s “new life.” It seems she would like to slow this process down if she could, but since she can not she needs to accept it.

Contrast is also used to represent this transformation. The mother paints the picture of a young girl who is irresponsible. She lets the dog chew up her new shoes. Then all of the sudden this young irresponsible girl goes through physical changes, “and the musk rises from the long crease in her bed.” It is possible that she is starting her cycle. Lath also uses contrast in this transformation through imagery.   In the beginning she uses the word “dim” but by the poem’s end it has changed to light since “the sun shimmies.” There may have been some challenges a long the way but she has transformed by poem’s end.

Lath uses symbolism throughout her...