Friday, May 29, 2015

"The Crane Wife"

My favorite work from the quarter was probably “The Crane Wife” poem especially for the ways in which it related mistreatment of animals to misogyny. The poem is narrated from the perspective of the crane wife as she struggles to address the pain of her situation and the fact that she tries to accept it. Though she as a woman and as an animal finds companionship with a man, as many woman and animals do in vastly different ways, this relationship is a cage, limiting and binding her. Throughout the piece she makes note of how she tells “[herself], there is no pain” and how she questions why she “shudder[s] with every bump and bang of the loom.” Even when she is free from the rope that binds her, she cannot help but follow the man, forgoing freedom. Not only does this poem comment on the similarities between the institutional oppression against women and the abuse against animals, it more specifically likens the physical and emotional abuse against women with the owning of animals. Like many woman in abusive relationships, the relationship is difficult to escape much like the crane’s unwillingness to fly to freedom despite the uncomfortable nature of her “marriage.” Both the ownership of a pet and the abuse of a partner seemingly stem from a place of love initially, though it is truly from a territorial place of cruelty that harms both animals and women respectively.

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