The Constrast

‘off somewhere tinkering with his motorcycle, leaves you / locked in your iron birdhouse, / listen to your fridge, the old / armless weeping willow of the kitchen.’

Is this a poem of a superiority of male? It seems that there is no respect in the first stanza of this poem. Woman is not a bird in an iron birdhouse. Woman is not an old armless willow of the kitchen, even if it is just a metaphor of a fridge. Never.

Historically for a long time, man has been considered as an existence of the sun, daytime, fire, outside, positive. On the other hand, woman is – the moon, night, water, inside, negative, like the first stanza in this poem.

‘muddily gathers itself in pools to drop things in / and fish things from, / the goodwill mission in the city of dreadful night.’

The poem shows its respect for woman in the second stanza. Woman works its way – it contributes dropping things in and fishing things from, just like a fridge or a river. Even she is in a ‘dreadful’ environment, still she carries out her ‘goodwill mission’.

The first stanza and the second stanza is a contrast of disrespect and respect for woman. The disrespect for woman in the first stanza is kind of an irony, which is for the treatments and common (and usually negative) images toward woman. It emphasises the respect for and virtue of woman. The dark emphasises light. Vice emphasises virtue. And in this poem, disrespect for woman emphasises the greatness of woman and the rightness, showing us its own wrongness.

- Fridge Nocturne, Don Mckay

Created By
Wakana Asano


Created with images by emilianohorcada - "Black and White" • Slideshow Bruce - "lock" • Hans - "pair lovers togetherness" • Adam Arthur - "Quiet Thinking"

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