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Poem at Thirty-Nine Summary & Analysis
by Alice Walker

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Alice Walker wrote "Poem at Thirty-Nine" to capture the profound transition from young adulthood to middle age. The speaker reflects on her childhood and the relationship she had with her father in order to gain a deeper understanding of the woman she is today. The various fragments of the speaker's memory come together to create a portrait of a woman who was empowered and emboldened by her father's positive influence, which allowed her to become a successful writer and rise above her humble origins. The poem was first published in a 1983 issue of Ms. Magazine, and later included in Walker's collection titled "Horses Make a Landscape Look More Beautiful."

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