Anne Stevenson

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" I thought you were my victory /though you cut me like a knife" (Stevenson 1-2) The opening lines of Anne Stevenson's poem The Victory set a tone of conflict. This poem, at its surface, expresses a mother's thoughts on giving birth to a son. Stevenson describes the mixed feelings many mothers have upon the delivery of their first born. The final release from pregnancy and birthing pains, coupled with the excitement of bringing a live …

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…cheated in bearing a male child to the man who is indirectly responsible for her condition. Why does she have to love him? Does that sum up the plight of woman? Is it Eve's curse that woman shall embrace man, though in so doing she must suffer childbirth to bring forth more men? (Or daughters who shall suffer likewise.) Is that how he has won? The Victory asks us these questions. They cannot be answered.