Learn Languages through Poetry

In this website, what is strongly encouraged is to use reading poetry as a means to learn English. In this post, you will find a careful analysis of the poem The Changeling, written by Judith Cofer.

Learn Languages through PoetryThe speaker is an adult woman who reminisces her childhood and how she liked to dress in her brother`s rags and pretend to be a man to the amusement of her father. She did not, however, seek to amuse her father. What she really wanted was to escape her own reality of womanhood and what that role represented in the society she lived in. Perhaps, at a first glance, what we might interpret from her behavior is that she wished to be a man, but that is not the case with this particular poem. To obtain freedom is what she was after, freedom from a life bound to traditional household chores and child-breeding. The speaker sought to occupy a different role in society, very different from the one established by society archetypes, a role of power that women were not supposed to have.

The tone is victorious, grandiose as if she is relating her childhood adventures to someone in a rather proud manner: “my tales of battles and brotherhood”. She tells her story with a voice of authority, that of a woman who grew up to be a successful, awarded, well-respected writer and Literature professor. Also, there is a tone of reproach or suppress in her last stanza: “to braid my hair furiously with blind hands, and to return invisible, as myself, to the real world of her kitchen”

The structure is marked by stanzas that have different tones at different moments of the poem. The first stanza starts off almost as an innocent children`s game, and later they become more serious, more adult, like growing up, talking about battles and blood and brotherhood. The last stanza turns a bit bitter, dramatic and almost angry and resentful.