Janice Mirikitani's Recipe

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Janice Mirikitani’s “Recipe” is a free-verse poem providing a set of instructions for attaining round eyes. The poem reviews the necessary ingredients and provides in-depth steps about the process of applying makeup to the face in order to achieve a round eye look. Through the stylistic choice of a free-verse poem, the piece is revealed to be a satire exposing society 's false view on beauty, therefore displaying the speaker’s mock-serious attitude towards the topic. Initially, Mirikitani implements the free-verse format in order to create irony within the text. The poem is arranged in the structure of a recipe, with “Round Eyes” as the subtitle. The stanzas are evenly spaced and the text is presented in simple steps. The instructions within the recipe provide very detailed and thorough directions such as “cut magic tape 1/16” wide, ¾” - ½” long.” Because of the precise…show more content…
Next, Mirikitani composes this piece as a free-verse poem in order to expose the faults in the process of superficial beauty. The format of a recipe allows for the audience to view the entire procedure before performing the task. With the use of second-person point of view, the author creates an instructive speech act towards the audience of women. Through this, the clear fault in the recipe can be seen in the last stanza “Do not cry.” The inclusion of this step implies that the person who follows through with the process will experience pain. Moreover, the poem is stating that it is not a matter of if the user will cry, but when the user will cry. Whether the pain is a physical cause from the process of applying eye makeup, or mental from the psychological strain that beauty expectations place on women, the process does not sound desirable either way. Now, the speaker 's attitude extends beyond the beliefs of society, to the women who follow through with this process. The speaker is exhibiting how foolish it is to place oneself through suffering in order to achieve artificial
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