The Heart of a Woman

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The Heart of a Woman

Georgia Johnson's poem The Heart of a Woman was published in 1918, and it explores the topics that are important to a woman in her life. The title of the poem establishes a womanhood tone, allowing the reader for an exploration of what stands out in the woman's heart.

The Persona of the Poem

The persona of the poem is a woman who longs for love and suffers from loneliness. She wishes to be loved, and the author describes a woman's heart as a "roaming figure that is strange to the world" (Johnson). Clearly, the heart finds a place in the "turrets and vales" of the woman's life. The heart gets disappointed, and Johnson presents it to be vulnerable to the aspects of love and the heartbreaking occurrences of the world. The heart of a woman is driven by the attraction of withdrawing from the unfriendly and maturing environment. The poem brings out the themes of loneliness, love and disillusionment along with oppression (Jean). Certainly, the poem is a reflection of the woman's frustrations that she undergoes in her roles of being a mother. The poem is intensively feminine and deeply human arousing sorrow into the reader.

Metaphor and Imagery

The poem explores the woman's heart through the use of metaphor and imagery. Clearly, the persona of the poem knows the oppression and pain that the conventional woman goes through in life. Indeed, the title metaphorically opens the revelations of the heart of a woman to being a "bird that wings forth with the dawn" over "life's turrets and values" (Johnson). The use of the words "alien cage" and "sheltering bars" in the initial stanzas along with others makes Johnson explicitly crystallize the mood of the poem in an iambic manner (Johnson). The line "O what to me the little room?" possibly eludes the woman's heart and the manner in which she inwardly accepts love for her to fill the spaces of her room. The line is a metaphor and simile to how the room is filled and makes an expression of passiveness when one is receiving love. Johnson also employs the linking verbs to imply that the idea of the mother was in the past. The linking verbs mean that the persona was raised in the homey environment and shows a sense of appreciation to the necessity the environment provided and also a detachment. In the third and forth stanzas, the lines make an emphasis "the woman as a viable substitute as an instrument to provide the same feeling of sanctuary" (Johnson). The metaphor and imagery help in the portraying to the reader the underlying intention of the poem and attracts the reader.

The Symbolism of Hair

The utilization of hair in the poem instead of any other part of the body stresses the capability of a woman to provide care. Hair is a powerful asset on the then body of a woman. The persona of the poem states how the hair can protect one from the bitter storms and thus used as a symbol of defense. The tone of the poem is sorrowful, depicting the pain that women go through. Johnson uses lyrical expressions to indicate the themes of sadness, oppression, and sorrow. The poem portrays the heart of a woman that dreams. The author also uses symbols and image to communicate the underlying idea of the poem. The caged bird symbolizes the bondage that a woman undergoes in a society that undermines the value of a woman. A woman is left with no otherwise but to stick to the ways of the society that define her.

Works Cited

Johnson Georgia Douglas . The Heart of a Woman. Accessed on May 7, 2017 from

Jean Valarie. George Douglas Johnson. May 14, 1990. Accessed on may 7, 2017 from

January 25, 2023



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