“And I have fears that you will cease to be
Before your pen has glean’d your teeming brain
For you are not a suicide
But no-one calls this murder”
-To A Poet
This excerpt from “To A Poet” by Adrienne Rich show a turning point in the author’s attitude toward the subject of the poem by her use of personification and a metaphor. Rich personifies the pen in the second line by saying that the pen is what is absorbing the poetry from the subject’s brain. She does this to show the connection between a poet and her writing and how the subject poet is very talented at what she does. Rich fears that she has not yet reached her maximum potential with writing and her career. Rich uses the metaphor of the end of a poets career and compares it to suicide to emphasize how dearly the author cherishes poetry as well as how Rich transitions from worrisome to understanding about her subject, Anne Sexton’s, new life as a mother. The metaphor serves as an empathetic gesture that Rich knows that Sexton did not purposely end her career in a suicidal-type way, but she is engulfed in the joys of motherhood.