Understanding Dame Mary Gilmore’s poem “Eve song”

        “Eve Song” is a poem that described the remarkable characteristics that are inherent to an Australian woman. She portrayed the Australian female as strong, affectionate and hard working. She used the name “Eve” to depict a woman full of beauty, compassion and character.

However, no matter how valuable women were, they still felt left alone, taken for granted and not given enough importance in their family. The society was male dominated. Indeed, there existed gender inequality even way back then. This was something Mary Gilmore despised being a promoter of woman’s right. She expressed her disappointments and frustrations towards men, by criticizing their behaviour, challenging their strength and demeaning their integrity.

         I sense a love and hate connection between man and the woman in the poem. The woman expresses her frustrations and disappointments towards men, yet giving also their arms as comforting pillows for their man to rest. There was a conflict between the woman’s emotion and their actions which was apparently described in the last two stanzas of the poem. Women’s emotions can sometimes be subtle to man. Their forgiving and sensible nature could often be misunderstood as their weakness. Playing the role of a wife and a mother, woman carries a significant portion of raising a family. The unending obligations and daily challenges can be emotionally and physically draining. It takes away a lot of a woman’s freedom as well. However, the loving nature of a woman can be veiled. Women often set aside their own personal frustrations and sentiments for the sake of their love ones. They often choose to reconcile, forgive and continue to love even more.

Photo taken from Pinterest; Pin by Ali Stanfield

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