Woman To Man delves into various fundamental aspects of the human condition as interpreted by Wright, exploring these defining concepts and attitudes from a vividly emotive female perspective. It is clear that the poet has drawn on her own immensely personal experiences as part of an intimate relationship, thus realistically portraying the sheer emotional intensity shared by a man and woman in love. Wright also evidently perceives the sacred bond between a mother and her child, forged through the wondrous creation of new life, as an innate and inescapable facet of the human condition.
The ultimate act of consummation between a man and a woman is depicted by Wright as the deepest and most profound expression of pure love that can be mutually partaken in by two fellow human beings. Such an event involves truly uniting the opposite polarities of human existence, male and female, in a selfless act that plays a crucial role in Woman To Man’s underlying interpretation of the human condition. There is an almost animalistic and primal yearning ingrained in the human condition for physical union between a man and woman, as exemplified by the juxtaposed symbolism of the male “hunter” and his prize, the “chase”, that he seeks. Such an attitude towards the physical facets of sexual passion is reinforced by the polysyndeton of “the strength that your arm knows, / the arc of flesh that is my breast, / the precise crystals of our eyes”, highlighting the magnitude of the bodily pleasure derived from this unification. However, there are clearly deeper and more emotionally significant ramifications arising internally, with the combined amorous fervour between male and female capable of producing an even greater gift, that of new life. The result…
…has thus been explored in Woman To Man, with Wright identifying this purest of emotions as a universal and inescapable energy pertinent to the collective psyche of humanity.
Judith Wright’s Woman To Man is a vividly intimate, personal, and exhaustive portrayal of love’s position in the human condition as seen from the viewpoint of a mother-to-be. Any woman who has been in this situation will be able to recognise deeply potent love on two separate fronts – that of romance as she consummates her relationship with her partner, and that of nurturing and selfless protection to ensure the safety of her child. Both these species of love in their truest form are capable of seamlessly melding together a person’s physical and emotional existence, and while unique to the circumstances of motherhood are nevertheless an enduring and elemental component of the human condition.