Charlotte Mew’s poem, The Farmer’s Bride leaves this reader rather glad to be alive in this age rather than the oppressive time of the poor Farmer’s Bride, whose voicelessness is brilliantly captured through the insensitive narrative of the farmer. ( See my other blog entry)
I just noticed whilst looking over the poem again, the sly, delayed internal rhyme of ‘wed’ and ‘abed’ both in different stanzas, but irrevocably linked or should I say chained together. ( See Stanza One and Stanza Two). This link reveals the terrifying and lonely predicament of the unnamed Bride, whose forced marriage to some older Farmer( who may have initially masqueraded as a family friend perhaps) gives her no escape from the marriage/sexual/prison.
The sensitivity of the famer to nature does not extend to his bride whom he hunts down and returns to his ‘home’ ( not her home at all-distinctly ‘unhomely’ in fact) and we notice the rhyme between ‘last’ and ‘fast’ gives cloying weight to the meaning behind the locked door. The rhyme seals the poem in just as the key imprisons the bride within a house that is certainly not her home.
She is incarcerated within her life and within the poem by the famer whose interest in her is only sexual and who only sees her as an object. The poet ironically gives the farmer the voice in the poem to highlight the tragic plight of women locked into marriages they have no wish to be part of.
Go and read Armitage’s Harmonium to cheer yourself up!
How to write a good essay!
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