For this week’s blog I couldn’t think of anyone else to write about other than Mary Gilmore. Her poem Eve-Song stayed in my mind after learning about it last Friday. Personally, I love when a poem has an AABBCC rhyme scheme, it just flows so nicely and makes it so much more enjoyable. I also think the poem is good length in terms of telling a sound story, if it were shorter I don’t believe Gilmore would have got the same power that is present in this poem.
Now onto the content…my initial read of this poem immediately noticed the vile attitude she has towards men, and I know some readers would automatically jump to saying “Oh another feminist poem” however it is so important to look at why she had this attitude. In a patriarchal society where women were known for their housewife duties, it is no wonder so many women were fed up. It is sad to see that the talent so many of them had like Gilmore were forced to stay in the house and not pursue it. Poems like this one explore the suffering and frustration they felt and the almost oblivious nature men had towards all this.
One of my favourite aspects of the poem is how she implies a husband has cheated on his wife, a common act of adultery that was yet another thing a wife would be voiceless about. She addresses this in stanza 3, “He says he was true…” She later goes on to acknowledge that despite all these disrespectful things the man has done to wives across history, as wives “we held our arms, and gave him our breast.. for his head to rest.” This just shows just how much women lacked any sort of power, voice and stance over their husband’s actions, how they were treated and their overall place in society. It is a shock to see that women across the globe experienced this and some still do. It truly highlights just how lucky we are here in Australia. It is poems such as this that made trends like this known in society and gave women a voice to finally stand up against such disrespectful acts. Overall I have to say this week’s content has been one that has intrigued me most.