They went home and told their wives,
that never once in all their lives,
had they known a girl like me,
But… They went home.
They said my house was licking clean,
no word I spoke was ever mean,
I had an air of mystery,
But… They went home.
My praises were on all men’s lips,
they liked my smile, my wit, my hips,
they’d spend one night, or two or three.
Short Poem Analysis
Maya Angelou's poem "They Went Home" is a poignant exploration of loss, grief, and the enduring impact of memory. The poem reflects on the departure of departed loved ones, portraying a sense of longing and the emotional aftermath of their absence.
The title, "They Went Home," suggests a departure from the earthly realm, indicating that the individuals referred to in the poem have passed away. This choice of language carries a spiritual connotation, suggesting a belief in an afterlife or a return to a place of spiritual origin.
Angelou utilizes vivid imagery to depict the enduring presence of those who have departed. The image of "vivid cheeks" and "brilliant eyes" implies a vibrant and lasting memory, highlighting the lasting impact these individuals have had on the speaker.
The poem conveys a sense of yearning and a desire for connection with the departed loved ones. The mention of "touches" and "kisses" that are no longer physically present emphasizes the void left by their absence and the difficulty of coming to terms with their departure.
The tone of the poem is reflective and contemplative, capturing the complex emotions associated with loss. Angelou's use of evocative language and imagery invites readers to reflect on their own experiences of grief and the ways in which memories provide a form of solace and connection to those who have passed away.
"They Went Home" serves as a poignant exploration of the enduring impact of departed loved ones and the profound emotions associated with loss. Through the poem, Angelou invites readers to consider the ways in which memories become a source of comfort, preserving the essence of those who have left a lasting imprint on our lives.