Imagery in Sally Croft's "Home Baked Bread"
“Home Baked Bread”
The poem “Home-Baked Bread” is a play on words. The title sounds wholesome and gives the impression of a cozy environment with a homemade feel but as you read on it sounds like a woman that is weaving a web of sensual pleasures. The author puts together a play on words that strikes the imagination with vision, touch and smell. The words say one thing but mean another. This example is demonstrated when she writes “I have prepared a cunning triumph” (Line 4) this is describing some sort of victory that the preparer has set out to achieve. The question is what is the goal? If looked at a bit closely it can be perceived that the “cunning triumph” is to win her intent over with an old recipe passed on from her Great Aunt. “Spices and herbs sealed in a porcelain jar” (lines 5-6) sounds like some sort of love spell that she intends to cast. It gives the impression that it has begun to work on her intent when she goes on to write “Come, rest your feet. I’ll make you tea with honey and slices of warm bread spread with peach butter” (10-13) This makes one wonder if her intent is beginning to surrender and unable to resist the invitation of her affection. When reading this poem, descriptions of how the heat rises from the bread makes for a welcoming environment that declares something warm and toasty. She relays a message that not only does the sight of the warm bread look good but it smells delicious and it overwhelms her suitor. This poem screams pleasant all the way through it with descriptions of a garden with fresh fragrant peaches growing at arms reach. It goes on to describe an upstairs bedroom that later she invites her intent into. The bedroom is described with the overflow of sunlight that pours into the room and “lies like honey on the floor” (24) and an open window with the fragrance of peaches that flood through and envelopes with its fresh smell. This poem also gives clues that the woman wants a little bit more than someone to just taste test of her scrumptious bread. In fact, the whole poem seems to be alive and aimed for a sexual experience with her intent. She uses food to excite the senses of sex with peaches and honey. It signals of sexual pleasures and has a suggestion of love in mind. There is a saying that” the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach” and this poem makes it obvious this is the intention. The author Sally Croft uses food to proclaim that seduction can be accomplished through food delicately if done correctly. In this poem she composes a sense of beauty and sensuality by using the comforts of a home and comfort foods to suggest a tempting and amusing poem. After reading this poem, it softly suggests that her invite was only a suggestion. It is left unspoken that the invite was accepted and this is what makes this poem truly captivating.
Croft, Sally. “Home Baked Bread.” The Compact Bedford Introduction to Literature.
Ed. Michael Meyer. 8th Edition pp. 675
Cited: Croft, Sally. “Home Baked Bread.” The Compact Bedford Introduction to Literature. Ed. Michael Meyer. 8th Edition pp. 675