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What are the themes in "Patterns" by Amy Lowell?

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Amy Lowell's poem "Patterns" has several themes, namely those of female independence, war and loss of a loved one. These themes arise when a woman dreams of overcoming societal boundaries imposed on her in the 19th century. Her dream of freedom from these boundaries is dashed when the lover who was to free her suddenly dies in combat.

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"Patterns" was first published in 1915, and was a demonstration of Lowell's innovative feminism. She used the poem to describe an elaborate dress that traps its wearer. She bravely expressed the lustful feelings a woman in love may have through descriptions of this dress, and the garden its wearer walks through. This passion translates into sorrow and frustration due to the horror of war, and the way in which it has effected the woman's life.

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