Perceptions – Bird Bridge

Typically, I cannot understand poems well because they always have major hidden meanings, but this is how I read this story.

In the Poem “The Ballad of the Bird Bride” by Rosamund Marriot Watson, I am assuming the “bird” is just a way of expressing this man’s wife before he met her. She was a free soul passing by with her friends/family and was possibly taken by this man? The man gives her love, respect, shelter, and a family but to me it doesn’t seem like the woman ever asked for any of this. It seemed to me that she was following along with what the man wanted and this man was offering just about everything a person could need. Clearly this man had fallen hard for this woman and he shows that well. I think they had very different perceptions and feelings about their marriage. The woman leaves the man proving to me that her feelings weren’t the same. I do think that she cared for this man however, I think she needed to leave and get out of there it just took a little bit of time for her to finally do it.

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2 Responses to Perceptions – Bird Bridge

  1. alblanken says:

    I agree with you that it seemed as though the woman did not enjoy her life with the man. Although she was being provided with affection and having her needs met, it appeared as though she was unhappy. It was interesting to talk about this poem in class because initially I pictured this man as being forceful and insensitive to what the woman wanted, what she wanted for her life. However, after our class discussion, I realized that maybe the man was just a complete airhead, kind of like how I imagined Northwest Smith in a previous reading. Maybe the man thought that he was doing what he thought was right by caring for this woman, and maybe he was unaware that this is not what she desired in life.

  2. She fits perfectly to the bizarre Victorian ideal of the “perfect woman”. She’s beautiful, fecund, apparently submissive and loyal. But as soon as she sees a way out she escapes. I see it as a metaphor for what the author thought most women felt like at the time-desperate for escape, but trapped within a system that claimed to place women on a high pedestal, but really trapping them in a gilded cage. The man is representative of the system, he takes her by force and then seems to think that as long as he “treats her well” that she will be happy, never knowing that freedom is all she truly wants.

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