“Eggs” by Susan Wood
“Eggs” by Susan Woods is a short poem about a young women growing up and how her relationship with her father and how her bitterness for him shaped her own relationship with her own child as she grew up and became a mother.
The poem is dramatic and cleverly written in the voice of the woman herself. Her tone is serious and it is filled with antipathy. Diction is the foundation of this poem, and Susan Wood’s choice of words such as “hated” and “furious” emphasize the anger that brews within this young woman.
Susan Wood’s uses the analogy of an egg to represent the fragile and somewhat hateful relationship between this father and daughter as well as her resentment of him. However, I believe that the young woman feels a bit guilty for hating her father: “And I hated my father, the one cock in the henhouse, who laid the plate on the table and made me eat, who told me not to get up until I was done, every bite. And I hated how I gagged and cried, day after day…” (lines -6-13). She realizes the father works hard to put food on the table, and she should be grateful for that, but she just can’t let go of her the anger she carries within her “shell” for her father. She was angry that she was forced to eat the eggs that she didn’t like and if she didn’t eat them, she went to school hungry: “…I’d go off to school like that, again, hungry.” (lines 14-15).
We soon realize that the young woman is carrying a secret of her own. She is pregnant, and is angry at herself and her unborn child: “I hated myself, hated the egg growing in secret deep inside my body, the secret about to be spilled to the world, and maybe I did.” (lines 19-22). We clearly see that when the young woman becomes a mother she finds herself treating her own child with the same anger and coldness that she received from her father.