A Married State
A married state affords but little ease
The best of husbands are so hard to please.
This in wives’ careful faces you may spell
Though they dissemble their misfortunes well.
A virgin state is crowned with much content; It’s always happy as it’s innocent.
No blustering husbands to create your fears;
No pangs of childbirth to extort your tears;
Few worldly crosses to distract your prayers:
Thus are you freed from all the cares that do
Attend on matrimony and a husband too.
Therefore Madam, be advised by me
Turn, turn apostate to love’s levity,
Suppress wild nature if she dare rebel,
There’s no such things as leading apes in hell.
Before I read the poem, I took a look at the title to get a little hint of what the poem might be about. I instantly thought that it was about everyone being married in a particular state. But, then I said to myself, Maya Angelou would not write about something like that. So, then I thought that by state, she meant like the state of mind. And I was on track to better understanding the poem.
After I finished reading the poem, I realized that Katherine Philips used figurative language to come across her audience and transmit her point, which is to advice women to think twice before getting married or even thinking about getting married.
First of all, she used was personification. She says," A virgin state is crowned with much content; It's always happy as it's innocent. In the poem, a virgin state is only an idea. Katherine gives this idea the human quality to be crowned and to be content. One's feelings are not content; It is we that have the ability to be content.
Next, Katherine uses parallelism. She says," No blustering husbands to create your fears; No pangs of childbirth to extort your tears." In these phrases, there is a similarity in their sentence structure. It is this similarity that makes these phrases an example of parallelism. Parallelism adds organization and makes an easy transition from one idea to the next.
To conclude, Katherine Philips wrote this poem to advice women of the dangers that may await them if they marry. She tells these women that even the most kindest of men are hard to please. She also says that single women are the happiest and that they do not have any worries about someone frightening them or the pains of giving birth.
I believe that what Katherine Philips says is true to some extent. Yes, most men are hard to please. But, I believe that there are men that are good and treat their women with love and respect. Marriage is not as bad as Katherine paints it, but it all depends on the couple and how they get along.