Plumb Lines

February 23, 2009

Naked Babes

Filed under: Uncategorized — Matthew Schmitz @ 11:16 am


For months this photo of one of the most befuddling ‘cake wrecks’ ever created has obsessed and troubled me. After an Indiana-Jones-style search for clues that has encompassed countless Google image searches and a combing of the western and eastern canons, I may have finally found the key to this mysterious image. Its inspiration comes, I now believe, from Macbeth:

And pity, like a naked new-born babe,
Striding the blast, or heaven’s cherubins, horsed
Upon the sightless couriers of the air . . .

Shakespeare’s figure of the mounted child  is, if anything, even more confounding than the design of this cake. Literary critic Cleanth Brooks devoted a chapter of The Well Wrought Urn to explaining the image. It seems that the creator of this classic cake has penetrated so far into Shakespeare’s poetry that he has seen the “sightless couriers.” They were, apparently, sugary carrots.

-Matthew Schmitz


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