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Woman to Child-Judith Wright
Transcript of Woman to Child-Judith Wright
Written in 1949
Written while pregnant. Exploration of the creation of a human through pregnancy.
Feminist reading- a sense of power of women as the ones who are necessary in the incubation of life.
connection to the universe and creation
reflects a transcendental understanding of the spriritual self. All wonder is within us
Influence of nature and connection to the spirit reflects Aboriginal sensability
You who were darkness warmed my flesh
where out of darkness rose the seed.
Then all the world I made in me;
all the worlds you hear and see
hung upon my dreaming blood
There moved the multitudinous stars
and coloured birds and fishes moved.
There swam the sliding continents
All time lay rolled in me,and sense
and love that knew not its beloved.
O node and focus of the world;
I hold you deep within that well
you shall escape and not escape
that mirrors still your sleeping shape
that nurtures still your crescent cell
I wither and you break from me;
yet though you dance in living light
I am earth,I the root.
I am the stem that fed the fruit,
the link that joins you to the night.
Contact: Narara Valley High School
"dreaming"-ephemeral but also link to Aboriginal creation language-connection to land .
Visual of the conveyance of the dreaming through noun "blood"
"seed" begins tree metaphor
Direct address to the growing child
"All the world I had in me"
Power she felt as a woman extended to being the unborn's eyes and ears. The power to shape not just the physical self but the emotional psychological self. The absence of the male in this poem is a statement about the ability to do it on her own
Rhyming couplet- "me" amd "see" emphasises it is her control and story in this stanza
repetition of "world" reinforces the sense of scope and expansive thought this experience has given her. Existential reading. Her context only allowed her access to this new understanding of herself and her power within it.
hyperbole in adjective of 'multitudinous' to link to creation of the universe plus cells dividing
Allusion to creation stories Told to explain existence. Primitive,simplistic descriptions to reflect the primitive yet ancient process going on inside her.
Emphatic and hyperbolic adjective "All " referring to "time" links her to generations of women and history.A part of nature and the world. An ancient experience
Universe again referenced . Continental drift.
The body has a knowledge and connection which is innate "sense and love that knew not its beloved" she has yet to form that knowledge herself
Lots of 's's throughout this stanza create a hushed tone- a sense of wonder and awe at the process she is now a part of
Apostrophe "O node" to show the feeling that it is a divine being. The centre of the world-precious l
metaphor of the well-links to centre of world Also symbolic of the womb deep and dark within her. "Hold" active and connotes at the mother's will and control
Contradiction in escape-physical but the separation is dawning on the mother
Mother is the mirror. Linked. Cannot escape reflection
Repeating "That" emphasises role. Needed.
Cresent cell. 'C' harsh tone. Cresent a visual image. e repeated C is also an image of the curled foetus in the womb. Cell repeats the metaphor of the womb as a cell and the mother as the captor.
Tree metaphor extended though umbilical chord and now the child is the active one. Physical disconnect negative verb-sapped of life. Given all to the growth of child. Sacrifice of women.
Child seeks the separation "break" and is liberated and able to "dance in living light". Alliteration of 'L' a positive long sound. Emphasises relishing freedom
"Yet" following the ";" ties the power of the mother back as a reminder to the child to not forget the sacrifice she has made in giving her life. Also through the repetition of "I" and the accumulation of her significance through the extended metaphor of tree and the child being the fruit is the way the child is bound and cannot escape.
POwerful statement about the role and significance of the mother as the giver of life.
This poem could be read a number of ways. Wrights personal context of trying to fathom the miracle of birth through a creation narrative with the structure of the stanzas tracing birth to conception. It could also be read as a feminist text,an affirmation of how she felt powerful as a woman, as a divine being and that she alone was able row and sustain life beyond the initial act of fertilisation.
Create a visual representation of her poem Woman to Man.
Create links to the ideas or concerns she is focused on in and through her poem