The form of this text is a poem. The visual appearance of the text on the page indicates to us that it is a poem: it is positioned in the center of the page and it is made up of uniform sections, or stanzas. The form is more constrained than that of a novel, which runs freely across the page from left to right. The text also utilizes formal poetic features, such as: multiple stanzas containing equal numbers of lines; line breaks between stanzas; and a regular number of beats per line. The knowledge that Judith Wright is a well-known poet adds to the evidence that this is a poem.
This text has more than one intended audience. The primary audience is Judith Wright's husband. It is a well-known fact (in literary circles) that Wright addressed this poem to her husband when she was pregnant with one of their children. The intimate nature of this exchange between Wright and her husband is evident in her use of personal pronouns: "…you and I have known it well"; "…your arm…"; "…my breast…". The second intended audience is every woman and every man, as an expression of something from every woman to every man. The title Woman To Man makes the poem universal, more than just a poem from Judith Wright to her husband. There are no names given to the woman and the man within the world of the poem. The experience of 'the Woman' becomes the experience of 'every woman'. The third audience for this text is the literati – the world of literature. Judith Wright is a well-known Australian poet; this poem has been published many times; this poem obviously did not stay between Wright and her husband. The poem displays the poet's highly technical and sophisticated control over language: this skill has been analyse...
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The tone of "Woman To Man" is serious and moves from contentment to fear. To begin with, Wright calmly pours her emotions onto the page. She contemplates her unborn child, joyfully sharing her experience with her husband: "…yet you and I have known it well…". Her joy is shown in the beautiful images she uses to describe her child: "…the intricate and folded rose…". It is only in the final stanza that her joy and contentment turn to fear. She begins to imagine the intense pain of labour and she becomes frightened: "…the blaze of light along the blade / O hold me for I am afraid." The conclusion of the poem is dramatically appropriate. The shift in tone from peaceful contentment to fear is only natural, as the Woman (the poet) moves from the state of pregnancy, which she has known for nine months, into the early stages of labour, which frightens her.
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