A Toast was one of the later poems written in the collection. It was written as a way of trying to clarify the husband’s character more and explain what he is trying to achieve. He is not just a nice guy, he is not interested in being ‘sensitive’ or ‘in touch with his feminine side’. He is interested in building a masculine identity which is non-hierarchical.
In my research for Anatomy, I came to the conclusion that the Bible and modern sociology converge on the idea that masculine hierarchies are a constant in society and that this hurts everyone. I set about with the Husband’s character and the essay ‘The to A’ trying to explore how a man could live without relying on or supporting a hierarchical masculinity.
You’ll have to read the book to get a full picture, but this poem points to how identity needs to be forged in relationship rather than formed by objects. The husband is not simply rejecting the things which traditionally and stereotypically represent masculinity, he is also rejecting the things that spring up in their place. The only identity we hear of the narrator is as a husband and he can only be a husband in relationship with his wife.
As a side note, if you listen to the end of the track, the fire sound effects were taken from a neighbour’s bonfire in the summer and mixed together.