On “Gloves” by Kaveh Akbar

Click here to read the poem.

Revenge is a dish best served cold, and this poem illustrates that perfectly. From the obvious quotes in the poem, to the not so obvious litte meanings in the poem, revenge is shown throughout. “The sky. I can make.A whole family.Disappear. I know.”has a dark meaning. Making a whole family disappear, what runs through your head when you think of that. Death, despair, ruin, all of these come to mind when you think of what has happened. The lingering smell of revenge in this poem is uncanny.

An example of revenge that is show in this poem is, “So many people.Have been awful to you.I’ve given each one.A number. When you’re ready.I will ask you to draw me.Their hands.”has an even darker meaning. What comes to mind when you think of giving someone a number. A sort of hunger games feel? I feel that this has a lottery, an unlucky lottery for the winner. Being drawn would mean disappear, die, rust, and varnish from reality. This poem show the story of a bullied person, who has a defender at all times now. The person can relate to anyone who has been bullied before, and had someone stick up for them. This poem also has a hint of revenge on the tongue. Drawing hands, making people disappear just for someone who has been bullied. This can mean anything depending on how you look at it. Drawing hands, could mean picking the person who the victim wants to have revenge on. In the poem eventually all of the people who hurt the victim will have revenge upon them soon enough.

Another example of revenge is the Azalea vines. “Azalea quivering.On its vine. Its ripening” . The azalea vines quivering. The azalea vines may be the victim’s spirit, clinging to its last breath, ready to ripen, ready to fight back. Some vines may be considered weeds, and would be cut down, and thrown away. This man is considered a weed, but someone found the amazing flower within him. As the flower is blooming the seeping revenge smell is a stench so wide everyone can smell it. This might be a metaphor, the man has found his gardener to take care of him, to nurture him, to watch him bloom. A vine will always come back harsher. Seeming to take revenge on whatever cut it, and overgrow where it was cut.

The last and final example I am showing you today is, “How long can you speak.Without inhaling. How long.Can you inhale without.Bursting apart” This has a feeling the person will not speak of the hurting, will just let it continue. They will eventually burst apart and whoever the victim is, does not know what to do. This poem’s main point is that it’s time for the victim to take revenge. Revenge is the main idea of this entire poem. The fact that there has been a victim, and some sort of godly force is ready to take whoever hurt the victim accountable for their actions.


The main way I have gained the information on this poem is thinking, and researching vines. Some vines once they are cut grow back stronger and worse. Vines are weeds, and should not be allowed in. Some vines have beautiful flowers when they bloom, but are cut away because the owner thinks they are weeds. The way I thought that this poem is about revenge is because of the language the writer used. The made it seem like there was a victim, and the victim is going to get revenge on the perpetrator. It seemed very easy to say there was a victim, but have no evidence. I found the evidence when I went fully into the poem. The conclusion I came to I believe works very well with the poem.

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