Sunday, January 23, 2011

Poem Analysis Nummer zwei!!!

A work of Artifice
By: Marge Piercy
poem number 263

The bonsai tree
in the attractive pot
could have grown eighty feet tall
on the side of a mountain
till split by lightning.
But a gardener
carefully pruned it.
It is nine inches high.
Every day as he
whittles back the branches
the gardener croons,
It is your nature
to be small and cozy,
domestic and weak;
how lucky, little tree,
to have a pot to grow in.
With living creatures
one must begin very early
to dwarf their growth:
the bound feet,
the crippled brain,
the hair in curlers,
the hands you
love to touch.

Structure of the poem
The structure and set up of the poem itself is very important to the meaning of the poem. all the lines have been kept short to represent the small limbs of the bonsai tree and, in turn, the oppression of women so become the best they can be. Also diction is important to the poem's meaning, Piercy is comparing women to the Bonsai tree and by saying that the bonsai tree grows in an "attractive pot" instead of just a regular pot shows the idea that women should be beautiful and attractive. Also the word choice for the tree "Domestic and weak" (14) shows that women have to stay home and not be strong, both physically and mentally.

Also the whole poem alludes to how women were viewed before they had equal rights. The Bonsai tree alludes to women and the gardener to men. It is a poem about how women were kept from growing to their full potential and how men made sure of that. Women were told that it was their job to be domestic and weak, and they were lucky to have a home to grow in. The bound feet alludes to women's inability to do anything they want to do, for example to have a job. "The crippled brain" (22) alludes to women not being able to go to school or get the same education. Also the "attractive pot" (2) and "hair in curlers" shows that women were supposed to be pretty trophy wives who stay home and clean and wait for their husbands to get home.


I did like this poem because I felt like it portrayed the unfairness that women were treated with, and it was not harshly blaming men for the inequality that women were treated with, not all men thought of women that way. Also  I noticed that towards the middle of the poem it started to become more obvious that Piercy was not just writing about a Bonsai tree and its Gardener, but was talking about women's rights. Towards the middle she started to write things like "domestic and weak" (14) and then she started to say things like "Bound feet", and "Crippled brain", when she switched from writing about a tree to writing about women's rights I could really feel the emotion and the struggle behind the words. I think that is what I liked most about this poem. It connected me with the past.

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