Poem 175 - "Gretel"

Discussion in 'Poetry' started by DrEdu, Jun 6, 2013.

  1. DrEdu

    DrEdu Editor
    Staff Member Verified Member

    Nov 24, 2010
    EdChat Karma:
    This poem uses a fairy tale to examine a female stereotype.

    Andrea Hollander Budy

    A woman is born to this:
    sift, measure, mix, roll thin.

    She learns the dough until
    it folds into her skin and there is

    no difference. Much later
    she tries to lose it. Makes bets

    with herself and wins enough
    to keep trying. One day she begins

    that long walk in unfamiliar woods.
    She means to lose everything

    she is. She empties her dark pockets,
    dropping enough crumbs

    to feed all the men who have ever
    touched her or wished.

    When she reaches the clearing
    she is almost transparent—

    so thin
    the old woman in the house seizes

    only the brother. You know the rest:
    She won’t escape that oven. She’ll eat

    the crumbs meant for him, remember
    something of his touch, reach

    for the sifter and the cup.

    from House Without a Dreamer, 1993
    Story Line Press, Ashland, OR

    Copyright 1993 by Andrea Hollander Budy.
    All rights reserved.
    Reproduced with permission (click for permissions information).

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