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Word Count: 1,427
Awareness of poetic techniques add to a readers understanding and responsiveness to a poems meaning purpose effects and implications This is certainly true of Your Cake by Eleanor Brown The poem discusses the act of making a cake for a relatives wedding Brown splits the cake into its component parts and discusses the etymological roots of the ingredients of the cake commenting on the development of language as a whole Furthermore references to marriage reproduction femininity and the merging of different substances are made The speech situation is made clear by stanzas one and ten Mother is drunk on tradition her competent hand 1 Forgive me I wanted to write you a sacred song such as maiden sang for their sisters weddings 69-70 The speaker is the sister of a woman who is going to be married to whom the poem is directed Mother is present and she is the one making and baking the cake This poem would not be spoken directly to the sister the tone is too learned In fact the tone differs in certain places In stanza four This is a giggle shows that the speaker is enjoying what she is doing therefore the tone is relaxed ad tranquil Afterwards the speaker moves on to describe the etymological roots of words giving a learned but also slightly pompous tone for example she talks greatly about butter as Latin butyrm Old English butere 5 and sugar as Arabic sukkar sweet and crystalline 7 Readers also gain a slight sarcastic tone The speaker is envious of her sister marrying This tone emerges most strongly in stanza ten I am glad you are marrying Forgive me I wanted to write you a sacred song such as maidens sang for their sisters weddings - io hymen hymen io- but I made a cake of it 68-72 The speaker is hiding her true feelings and one wonders if her
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