Friday, November 14, 2014

The True Meaning of Dispensed in Sarah Duffy's "Human Dispenser"

I connected quickly with the chosen poem; with part of my past that I don't like to relive. Sarah Duffy created a beautiful poem called "Human Dispenser," where she describes someone who pretended to come into her life to be her Savior and gave her more than she wanted, which swallowed her whole, metaphorically.

"You, my human savior, sent to justify my morals and this world
with yours. And why
You? As if you were a type of savior.
As if you actually wanted to."

This symbolism is important to Mormon culture. Our beliefs talk about an existence before this life, where a spirit offered to go down to Earth and die for mankind. He would willingly be our Savior. He "actually wanted to." This first part makes the reader think that the rest of the poem could maybe be about many Mormon aspects, but then cuts that thought short with the next line.

"I thought you did.
                                           That's what I get for thinking."

It was very interesting to me how quickly this poem turned from a glorified savior figure to a devil figure. Sarah talked about how it was all in the cards. The savior was actually the devil. She the fool. The third fortune card was a heart stabbed with swords. Swords that I think were words. The cards show that what we perceive is not always reality.

"I wanted both: ignorance and enlightenment. And you
Graciously dispensed them.

You, some kind of dispenser of knowledge."

There was irony provided in the want of both ignorance and enlightenment. It is almost impossible to have both. Yet somehow, she was graciously given them.

My favorite part of this whole poem was the line about the dispenser of knowledge. I had someone that came into my life, thinking that I needed to be saved. He was going to be my savior. At the time, I didn't know I was just a goal that needed to be reached. I gave my life to him, everything revolved around him and the knowledge he had. He had to establish a rank in our lives, he higher than me because he threw false knowledge at me that made me confused and "stupid." He "dispensed" knowledge at me that made me lose who I was supposed to be.

After a long, hard year, he used the second meaning of the word dispense, and he got rid of me like the scum he thought I was. I was left with only the swords of words he stabbed into my heart, and like Sarah, I was swallowed whole by his contents.

The title of this poem is called 'Human Dispenser." I don't think that this is the title because it was mentioned once in the poem as a person who dispensed knowledge. But because she was a human dispenser, one that was easily led off, used, and dispensed of.

(482 words, "Fire in the Pasture" page 149.)

1 comment:

  1. I really like the title of this poem, and the way you dressed it. A 'Human Dispenser' could be a human that dispenses things, or someone that dispenses of humans. From your analysis, this double meaning is clearly illustrated. This figure was a fake, claiming to be the first kind of 'Human Dispenser' while proving to be the second kind.