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Poem 11 - For Anne Gregory

This article will help you to learn about the summary, characters and literary devices and themes in the poem “For Anne Gregory”.


In this poem, the poet describes a conversation between himself and Lady Gregory’s grand-daughter named Anne Gregory. He tells Anne that her yellow hair is beautiful and that is why all young men who claim to be in love with her, love her. In other words, all men love her for her external appearance and not for her inner beauty. Anne then replies to the poet saying that she can easily dye her hair black or brown or orange, and then she would look ugly. Perhaps then some man would look beyond her appearance and see her for who she really is from within. However, the poet quickly tells her that nothing will happen. It is a universal truth that men always judge women on their physical appearance alone. Also, even if Anne wants to look ugly, she cannot because she is a beautiful person from within.

Character List 

The poet and Anne Gregory are the only two people in the poem.

Literary/ Poetic Devices used 

Rhyme scheme: If we divide this poem of 18 lines into 3 units of 6 lines each, then each of these units will be found to follow the rhyme scheme ABCBDB.

Apostrophe: In this poem, the poet follows the device of the apostrophe as he is addressing himself to Anne Gregory, but we the readers never see her at any point in the poem.

Metaphor: In this poem, the poet uses the device of metaphor on the 4th line when he compares Anne Gregory’s hair with the ramparts of a castle. Like the ramparts, her hair also protects her face from being seen fully.

Metonymy: In this poem, the poet uses the device of metonymy in the 9th line when he uses the word “carrot” to mean the colour orange while making suggestions about what colour she can dye her hair in.


Conventional ideas of beauty: The idea of “beauty” is a cultural conception or one that has been created by human beings themselves. That is why this idea is very one-dimensional and unchanging. It is believed that women with lighter hair (and lighter skin, though that is not the issue here) are beautiful, whereas women with darker hair are ugly. This idea is so pervasive that everyone takes it for granted and believes in it blindly. Even Anne Gregory thinks the same way about beauty. She believes that if she dyes her hair black or brown or red, then she will look ugly.

Men judge only by outer appearance: Throughout the poem, the poet has made a critique of men. By repeatedly telling Anne that men love her only for her yellow hair, he has made it clear that men judge women only by their physical appearance. They never look beyond women’s appearance and try to get to know women for their personality or their inner beauty.

To find Anne Gregory Class 10 answers, and for Anne Gregory NCERT Solutions, refer to Solutions PDF.

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