Author Information

Jessica Melendy


Audre Lorde’s, “Now that I Am Forever with Child”, and Sharon Olds’, “The Moment the Two Worlds Meet,” juxtapose the natural aspects of childbirth with late capital methods of consumption and reproduction. In “Now that I Am Forever with Child”, Audre Lorde describes her fetus as a budding flower but feels detached from it during and after delivery. Sharon Olds also uses the metaphor of an opening flower to demonstrate the climax of delivery in “The Moment the Two Worlds Meet.” In both poems, the birth of the child is anticlimactic and disappointing for the mother who feels like an empty vessel. This dehumanizing of self is evident in both poems. These poets share a non-traditional, perhaps radically distorted, view of motherhood. This transformation, in which mothers are cold machines, allows the poets to critique the capitalistic system which necessitated that transformation in the first place. The contrast between nature and industry, presented in these works, illustrates capitalism as a negative effect on society, as far as the value of human life is concerned.

Note on the Author

Jessica Melendy is senior graduating from BSU with a double major in Communication Studies and English. The research for this project was conducted under the mentorship of Professor John Mulrooney in his Recent American Poetry course.

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