Thursday, March 13, 2008
For someone who doesn't know the true identities of the pen-name Michael Field, the poem "A Girl" would most likely assume this is simply a poem about a man admiring a woman's beauty. But knowing that these are actually two lesbian poets makes it possible to notice homosexual and pro-woman tendencies in the poem. First of all, the girl is described as "lucent of all lovely mysteries." I took this to mean she was clear and free of mystery, which would suggest it is two women, and since they are both women, there are no "mysteries" and they fully understand each other. Also, the imagery of the poem seems to focus on nature ("a face flowered," "faint forest trees," "aspen-leaflets"). Nature has always been tied to ideas of fertility and, therefore, women, so by using nature images, Field again praises women. Also, the use of the words "heaven's conception" in the second-to-last line reminded me of the account of Mary's Immaculate Conception in the Bible (a conception without a man), which would also go along with this theme. Even though the "conception" here doesn't necessarily refer to the conception of a child, the connotations are still strong for me.