Friday, November 25, 2011
The Woman Who Eats Soil ---Jen G.
I've noticed I tend to go a little too in-depth in my posts, so I'll try to keep this one short. I was scrolling through the Green edition of The Fairy Tale Review when I came across the unusually-named poem, "The Woman Who Eats Soil" by Aimee Nezhukumatathil. It begins with the melancholy lines "What can the unfortunate insect do/if it is found wanting in weight?" (115) and follows the brief story of a woman named Hao Fenglas who, for the past seventy years, has been eating soil in secret. In all honestly, I have no idea what to make of this poem. Hao continues on with normal life, waving to kids as they walk to school, all while she eats soil. The poem ends with the lines "[the bugs] have an idea on how to grow bigger, too big/ for this purse. But it is forgotten with each bite" (115); I feel like there is some clue here, but I cannot for the life of me figure it out. Maybe I'm missing the big picture? Any suggestions/interpretations are welcome!