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I, being born a woman. . .

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by

Sarah Flettrich

on 5 April 2013

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Transcript of I, being born a woman. . .

I,Being Born A Woman and Distressed
written by Edna St.Vincent Millay I, being a woman and distressed
By all the needs and notions of my kind,
Am urged by your propinquity to find
Your person fair, and feel a certain zest
To bear your body's weight upon my breast:
So subtly is the fume of life designed,
To clarify the pulse and cloud the mind,
And leave me once again undone,possessed
Think not for this,however,the poor treason
Of my stout blood against my staggering brain,
I shall remember you with love,or season
My scorn with pity,--let me make it plain:
I find this frenzy insufficient reason
For conversion where we meet again. Lines 6-8 by Sarah Flettrich I,Being Born A Woman. . . Background Information Take it Off. . . An Analysis This sonnet was written in 1923, just three years after the nineteenth amendment which gave women the right to vote. Millay was a progressive and known for being sexually promiscuous with both men and women. She was involved in an open marriage and often used her poetry to comment on the social expectations of women. I,being born a woman and distressed
By all the needs and notions of my kind,
Am urged by your propinquity to find
Your person fair,and feel a certain zest
To bear your body's weight upon my breast: Millay states the she is a woman that holds anxiety towards her womanly duties in society. she reveals that this persons proximity causes her to desire relations. She states she is urged, biologically driven, to feel this sexual desire. At this time this line is a bold statement because women were not suppose to tell of their sexual appetite. So subtly is the fume of life designed,
To clarify the pulse and cloud the mind,
And leave me once again undone,possessed. Millay uses the word "fume" or breath to describe the natural feeling of sexual desire (the breath of life). Both this sexual activity physically involves the heart pumping and the confusion of the mind. At this point in the sonnet, Millay links the rational mind to the body. she states that she feels "undone" both mentally and physically by these hormones as a women she produces. Lines 9 & 10 Think not for this,however,the poor treason
Of my stout blood against my staggering brain, The Volta or "turning point" of the sonnet lies between lines 8 and 9 as a traditional sonnet should. Millay addresses the audience now in order to explain her reaction to these desires. Her use of the word "treason" shows she believes her body has betrayed her mind. Her body is brave (stout blood)
but her mind is unstable (staggering). Lines 11 -14 I shall remember you with love, or season
My scorn with pity--let me make it plain:
I find this frenzy insufficient reason
For conversation when we meet again. Millay starts to conclude her sonnet when she states that she will remember this man with love or "season" her anger with tears. Contrarily, she then states "let me make this plain" as opposed to seasoned. Millay uses the word "frenzy" in order to explain that this desire is an instinct to her. . . something her body biologically is drawn to. Lastly, unlike an emotional,needy woman of her time Millay claims she feels no need to talk to her lover when they meet again. A Summary Millay, a distressed women,plainly states that she only wishes to have sexual relations with this man, not because she loves him, but instead because her genetic make-up draws her to it. Millay uses a strict rhyme scheme as a part of the traditional Petrarchan sonnet in order to appear restrained. The structure of the sonnet is restrained, but what makes up the poem, inside of the structure, is not. Hanky Panky Madonna Background Information Madonna - Sex symbol In the 1980's Madonna became the start of the sexual revolution. Her racy songs and wardrobe were worshiped by billions of young women around the world. Madonna evoked a "bad girl" image never before seen and her reputation spread quickly as a result of media expansion at the time. Music videos were made and her wardrobe was copied by many; for the first time a woman was expressing her sexual desires by song. analysis Analysis Like hanky panky
Nothing like a good spanky
Don't take out your handkerchiefs
I don't want to cry, I just want a hanky panky guy Analysis Similiarties between the song and the Sonnet Both Millay's sonnet and Madonna's song express a desire to be intimate with another without having a romantic connection. Both women chose to be the "rough, bad girls" instead of the emotional good girls of their time. They claim to have been born this way;it is how they are biologically suppose to act. They do not wish to be thanked or hold a conversation with their lovers they obsessed with the zest or a certain fetish that separates the mind from the body. Differences between the Song and the Sonnet Unlike Millay, Madonna does not sing about how the sexual relations with a man confuses her mind. Instead Madonna's song focuses on what type of man she wants and her fetish of spanking. Unlike Madonna, Millay does not express a child-like fetish. Millay stands her ground as a strong women capable of having a one night stand and coping with the consequences. Madonna does not speak of her feelings, only her desires as a bad girl. Some girls,they like candy,and others, they like to grind, I'll settle for the back of your hand somewhere on my behind.
Treat me like I'm a bad girl,even when I'm being good to you, I don't want you to thank me, you can just spank me. Madonna blankly says all she want from this man is sex. She claims there are two different types of girls and then declares herself as a bad girl with a spanking fetish. Madonna does not want to be thanked for the deed; she simply has to have the deed occur. Madonna claims there is no comparison to a good sexual experience. She, opposite from other girls, does not want to cry about it. This further establishes the argument that there are two types of woman. A woman can either be kinky and rough or extremely emotional. Please don't call the doctor, 'cause there's nothing wrong with me, I just like things a little rough and you better not disagree. Cause I don't like a big softie, I llike someone mean and bossy
Let me speak to you frankly. . . The singer claims nothing is wrong with her mentally and that her excuse for this action is that she just like things "rough'". She's bossy and sure of what she wants and is drawn to a guy who resembles those same characteristics. My bottom hurts just thinking about it

That's the way I came into this world, The doctor said, "Lady, she's a beautiful girl" He gave me a spanky and the doctor smiled The thought of her fetish becoming real teases her. The singer claims she has this fetish and this need because that is just the way she was born.There is no pother reason. Analysis Conclusion Millay wrote this poem in the 1920's and Madonna performed this song in the 1990's. Women's desire to express their sexual appetite slowly developed to eventually be accepted, like it is in today's society. Bibliography "Hanky Panky." By Tommy James & the Shondells Songfacts. Song Facts, n.d. Web. 21 Mar. 2013. "Madonna: Icon of Postmodernity, by Jock McGregor." Madonna:
Icon of Postmodernity, by Jock McGregor. Facing the
Challenge, 1997. Web. 21 Mar. 2013. Madonna recorded this song in the 1990's where it quickly became popular because of it's racy language and imagery. Madonna starred as the criminal, Breathless Mahony, in the 1990's film titled "Dick Tracy" and performed this song. The term "hanky panky" comes from a song written in the 1960's by Jeff Barry and Ellie Greenwich who then passed it on to Tommy James and the Shondells.
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