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Notes For The Legend Of Salad Woman

Michael Ondaatje

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Added by: Lisa G.
I have trouble making sense of anything by this poet, and this poem is no exception, but I did feel like it portrayed women negatively. The color green represents not only plants and growth but also of course(American) money. The woman in the poem (whom I presume to be Eve) gobbles up all the green foliage she can find, making it seem like she is instinctively attracted to the color of money before it is even invented.

I feel like the author is trying to make some kind of joke about women in general being gold-diggers and more interested in money than love (which is not the truth, by the way). Or maybe I'm reading too much into this.
Added by: d
The Michael Ondaatje was most likely the most different of all the poems
we read this week. I liked how he compared his wife’s diet of salads to
the Garden of Eden and Eve. It seems as though he views his wife as
almost above this biblical story and with no concern as she eats the
entire garden. The stanza however was very puzzling. Ondaaje says his
wife “nibbled the leaves at her breasts and crotch” (line 21). This
seemed to follow the idea of unconcern with the symbols of the garden.
She doesn’t think twice and eats the symbols that Eve used as the loss of
innocence after eating the fruit. I really don’t understand Ondaaje’s
meaning of “the chlorophyll kiss” (line 24). Chlorophyll is the chemical
that makes plants green so because of her diet of salads and greens her
kiss is chlorophyll?

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