A BAKER'S DOZEN is a collection of 156 poems that satirize the structures of the world. Calling into question the different templates we see in the world in the pattern of 12, or a dozen, by adding in one extra for good measure, "a baker's dozen," the reader is able to learn how they can participate in society by finding their own unique niche.
The title refers to the specific structure of the poetry sections within: that there are 13 groups of 12 poems each. A total of 156. These groups can be viewed as themes, such as months, horoscopes, colours, numbers, and so on. Within each of these 13 groups, there are 12 poems written, such as January, February, March; or, black, grey, white.
By utilizing both 13 and 12 as forms of structure, one can see the difference between a rigid structure and how to participate in it fluidly (12 + 1 = 13).
The title also is a clever play on the fact that I am a baker who also loves poetry. I feel like so many things in life are an art form that we can just pour ourselves into—and I would say two of my favourite art forms are food and writing! They come together nicely in this symbology of life.
Food is probably one of the most important parts of our day. We engage with it multiple times, in different ways, and often celebrate it by taking meals with others. Writing is similar, in that although it is often done alone, reading is the connecting action between author and audience that makes it a communal activity as well.
Upon this recognition, we can use this fun rendition of structure to peel back the layers of conditioning and open ourselves to a more free form of living and understanding of life.
Some of the poems are free-form, while others follow certain poetic structures such as haiku, to also fit in with the overarching symbology of the text.