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‘Girl Powdering Her Neck’, Poem by Cathy Song and Painting by Kitagawa Utamaro

Introduction

Every poem expresses a certain idea presented by the poet. It could be a personal thought or a story. Sometimes a poem describes a certain scene with certain events. In this case, the poet draws an image. Many poems have paintings to describe their events. The painting helps the reader to imagine the events and ideas of the poem, and the poem helps the reader to understand the details of the painting. The poem, ‘Girl Powdering Her Neck’, by Cathy Song is an example of that. This poem has a painting called ‘Girl Powdering Her Neck’ by Kitagawa Utamaro. This essay explains how this painting enhances the understanding of the poem and how this poem adds meaning to the painting.

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The Painting, ‘Girl Powdering Her Neck’, By Kitagawa Utamaro

Girl Powdering Her Neck

How Can This Painting Enhance the Reader’s Understanding of the Poem?

The painting helps the reader to see the events of the poem with his eyes. The painting is a translation of the poem. In verses 12-15, Cathy Song describes the girl’s hair. The description could be a little bit confusing because the poet says that the girl has a black hair and it has some “hints of red” and “the color of seaweed” (lines 12-15). The painting helps the reader to see how the girl’s hair looks like.

The painting helps the reader to understand what the girl is doing in the verses 16-23. She is spreading powder on her nick. The painting shows that the girl is enjoying what she is doing (19-21). The painting also provides a good explanation of what the poet means by saying that the girl gets pleasure from “the pressure of three fingertips” (20).

The painting shows every detail described in the verses 24-36. Cathy Song describes every little detail of the “kimono” that the girl wears (24-25). And then she starts to describe how the kimono looks on her body. The girl also looks in a mirror (24-36). Cathy Song makes a connection between the details of the girl’s looking and nature. For example, the poet says the girl’s shoulder is “like the slope of a hill” (31). The painting makes the verses 24-36 understandable and clear.

How Does the Poem Add Meaning to the Painting?

The poem describes the surrounding environment in the verses 1-4. The painting cannot show what the girl is doing and at the same time show that “the light is the inside” (1). The painting can’t tell the reader that the bath has “rice-paper doors” (7).

The poem describes other actions done by the girl. These actions cannot be shown in the painting. The painting focuses on the upper half of the girl’s body and doesn’t show whether the girl is standing or sitting. The poem tells the reader that the girl is doing what she is doing with “her legs folded beneath her” (10).

The painting shows a freezing picture. But the poem describes the whole scene and shows a moving picture of what the girl is doing. The painting doesn’t say clearly what the girl is exactly doing. The poem says that the girl is going to “paint herself” (40). The poem makes the painting meaningful.

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Conclusion

The painting pictures the events of the poem and provides the reader with better understanding. Viewing the painting is not enough for understanding the main ideas. The painting shows only one moment but the poem shows every moment of the scene. The reader needs to read the poem to be able to imagine a live scene. The poem and the painting of ‘Girl powdering her nick’ support each other and give the readers complete understanding of the events.

References

Utamaro, K. Girl Powdering Her Neck. [Online] 2009. Web.

Song, C. Girl Powdering Her Neck. 2009. Web.

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StudyCorgi. (2021, November 23). ‘Girl Powdering Her Neck’, Poem by Cathy Song and Painting by Kitagawa Utamaro. Retrieved from https://studycorgi.com/girl-powdering-her-neck-poem-by-cathy-song-and-painting-by-kitagawa-utamaro/

Reference

StudyCorgi. (2021, November 23). ‘Girl Powdering Her Neck’, Poem by Cathy Song and Painting by Kitagawa Utamaro. https://studycorgi.com/girl-powdering-her-neck-poem-by-cathy-song-and-painting-by-kitagawa-utamaro/

Work Cited

"‘Girl Powdering Her Neck’, Poem by Cathy Song and Painting by Kitagawa Utamaro." StudyCorgi, 23 Nov. 2021, studycorgi.com/girl-powdering-her-neck-poem-by-cathy-song-and-painting-by-kitagawa-utamaro/.

1. StudyCorgi. "‘Girl Powdering Her Neck’, Poem by Cathy Song and Painting by Kitagawa Utamaro." November 23, 2021. https://studycorgi.com/girl-powdering-her-neck-poem-by-cathy-song-and-painting-by-kitagawa-utamaro/.


Bibliography


StudyCorgi. "‘Girl Powdering Her Neck’, Poem by Cathy Song and Painting by Kitagawa Utamaro." November 23, 2021. https://studycorgi.com/girl-powdering-her-neck-poem-by-cathy-song-and-painting-by-kitagawa-utamaro/.

References

StudyCorgi. 2021. "‘Girl Powdering Her Neck’, Poem by Cathy Song and Painting by Kitagawa Utamaro." November 23, 2021. https://studycorgi.com/girl-powdering-her-neck-poem-by-cathy-song-and-painting-by-kitagawa-utamaro/.

References

StudyCorgi. (2021) '‘Girl Powdering Her Neck’, Poem by Cathy Song and Painting by Kitagawa Utamaro'. 23 November.

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