Sunday, April 13, 2008

INTRODUCTION: "Cutting the Cake" by Virginia Hamilton Adair

1.) Adair, Virginia Hamilton. “Cutting the Cake.” The Norton Introduction to Poetry. Ed. J. Paul
Hunter, Allison Booth and Kelly J. Mays. 9th ed. New York: Norton, 2007. 299.

2.) This poem was written in 1996 about a wedding day and the ritual of the bride and groom cutting the cake. The poem's main rhythem is that it has no end-points; it just flows from stanza to stanza, like one long rushing breath. That is suitable for the poem because it adds to the anxiety that the poem paints for the male or the groom when the bride chops the cake. The chopping of the cake symbolizes his freedom being chopped and the little girl bitting the head off the manikin on top of the cake symbolizes the praying mantis-like effect some women have on men.

3.)This poem is enjoyable because it begins seemingly as just a sweet poem about a wedding but then you realize it is not a happy poem about a bride and groom it is a poem essentially about the bride and how the whole day revolves around her and the power trip she acheives from it. That power trip is even shown as passing down generations as the little girl bites the head of the toy groom when it topples off the cake. There is female power present in the poem which is humerous because that freaks men out.

4.)This poem is similar to other poems we read in class that focused some deal on feminism and gender analtsis and roles. Adair focuses on the woman empowerment and ownership of a special day. In a poem we read by Plath however the focus is on how the woman cannot bear a child and the downside of being a woman. Both deal with different ways woman might think of them selves and how that in turn effects directly how a man might think about them. Also in learning about gender roles it is interesting to read how in Adair's poem the man seems frightened but gives into the submissive role, letting the bride wear the pants so to speak.

Kelly Gore 298

No comments: