Aubade

Aubade

Amber Flora Thomas

I know my leaving in the breakfast table mess.
Bowl spills into bowl: milk and bran, bread crust
crumbled. You push me back into bed.

More “honey” and “baby.”
Breath you tell my ear circles inside me,
curls a damp wind and runs the circuit
of my limbs. I interrogate the air,

smell Murphy’s Oil Soap, dog kibble.
No rose. No patchouli swelter. And your mouth—
sesame, olive. The nudge of your tongue
behind my top teeth.

To entirely finish is water entering water.
Which is the cup I take away?

More turning me. Less your arms reaching
around my back. You ask my ear
where I have been and my body answers,
all over kingdom come.

Literary Analysis

The poem “Aubade” is a morning song which lovers sing at dawn, after they spend a night together, and are now reluctant to get up. The theme of this poem is the fulfillment of love – a sort of love which makes the lovers seems invincible. The title of the poem “Aubade” implies a morning love song about lovers who separate at dawn.

There are two characters in this poem: one is the speaker herself, and other is her lover. The tone of the speaker is happy, peaceful, loving, and full of aspirations for the future. The scene of this poem is taking place at the abode of the speaker, where the speaker wakes up before the sunrise, and cannot get back to sleep. She unsettles the reader with surprising images, which are simple yet not to be overlooked.

She begins the poem by giving insight about her breakfast table, which she observes before trying to leave for the day: “I know my leaving in the breakfast table mess.” However, this outflow of emotions is broken by the lover, who takes her back into bed, and she expresses how his breath enters into her ears and turns into a “damp wind and runs the circuit / of my limbs.” The use of the metaphor of blood as a circuit highlights the passion and the intensity of love. “I interrogate the air,” she states, and smells her lover’s breath. The comparison of the smell of her lover’s breath with different odors such as “Murphy’s Oil Soap” and “dog kibblefurther enhances the sensual atmosphere in which the pair is lying. Her argument that the smell is neither like a rose nor like patchouli oil is highly enticing. Once more, she uses the imagery of touch and smell, while explaining the smell of his breath, saying, “And your mouth— / sesame, olive” and “The nudge of your tongue / behind my top teeth.” The penultimate stanza marks the climax of this ecstasy, when they finish making love. The speaker notes the bodily fluids mixed by referring to water entering water.”

In the final stanza, the lover turns towards her, whispers in her ear, and asks where she has been and her body responds. The circle of love started from hesitation and lovemaking completes with spiritual satisfaction of “my body answers.”

Structural Analysis

The poem is a romantic lyric poem that consists of five stanzas. Each stanza has an alternate number of lines. However, the second, third, and last stanzas contain four lines each, while the first stanza is comprised of three lines, and the fourth has only two lines.

The poem is written in the form of alternative trochaic and iambic meterI know my leaving in the breakfast table mess. / Bowl spills into bowl: milk and bran, bread crust.”

There is no internal rhyme, and the poem is written in free verse. Therefore, it has no end rhyme, as demonstrated here:

I know my leaving in the breakfast table mess.   A
Bowl spills into bowl: milk and bran, bread crust   B
crumbled. You push me back into bed.   C

The language of this poem is indirect and connotative. There is no use of assonance, and alliteration is used only at once with the “b” sound in the second line of the first stanza as bowl: milk and bran, bread crust”. End-stopped line is used several times either in the middle or at the end of the stanzas. Enjambment is employed in each stanza like, “curls a damp wind and runs the circuit / of my limbs. I interrogate the air.” 

Guidance for Usage of Quotes

This poem is a morning love song sung by lovers, who seek to cherish the romantic tradition of love. The poet explores the full action of love and displays her images of smell and touch to show the spontaneous expression of her own feelings, passion, love, and emotions. Likewise, lovers can quote lines to their beloveds by using smell and touch imagery in the way as given below:

“smell Murphy’s Oil Soap, dog kibble.
No rose. No patchouli swelter. And your mouth—   
sesame, olive. The nudge of your tongue
behind my top teeth.”

Also, the following lines can be used:

“You ask my ear
where I have been and my body answers,   
all over kingdom come.”

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