The Silken Tent
Today, our class discussed The Silken Tent by Robert Frost. I thought of a couple more things after class and figured I would blog about them! In general, we saw the silken tent as a simile to a woman and the bondage and/or freedom she faces. (And I just looked up some other interpretations of the poem and they all seem to suggest that the poem is referring to women’s roles in society and their bondage to men ….but I’m sticking with my interpretation for right now :) …). My favorite part of this poem was the picture it paints. I think the images above help illustrate what I imagine when I read the poem. Because Frost chose silk, I envisioned a strong, graceful, and beautiful fabric billowing in the wind. She is alone, stoic and has a sense of peaceful freedom, while still being grounded by ‘love and thought’. There is also a nice juxtaposition (I hope I’m using the right term….) between the breezy and dainty diction of “sunny summer breeze”, “dew”, “slightest”, etc. compared to the stronger words like “supporting central cedar pole”, “held”, “bound” – which in one sense could be seen as restrictive, but I thought it gave the tent/woman a sense of integrity. This comparison in diction shows the complexity of the subject.
I just discovered that caterpillars have their own form of a silk tent. They lay their larvae in these webbing-tent-like-things. Whenever I think of caterpillars, I think of their transformation into a butterfly. Butterflies symbolize rebirth and – I believe – freedom. They are grounded little caterpillars…then they grow wings and can fly away. This can relate to a woman and either shedding her restrictive bonds (society’s, loved one’s,..) or perhaps love transforming her into a new and even more beautiful creature. Thoughts :)?