Ai's poem "Woman to Man" starts with a striking description of lightning, with darkness being symbolised by a "knife [...] deep in the walls". This might be taken as just scene-setting, but later in the poem we see more white/black contrasts: "you’re snow, I’m coal". I'm wondering if this might be referring to race: a white man with a black woman, perhaps in a context of racial segregation ("how afraid to be with me you are. We don’t mix"). Does this interpretation make sense, and if so, does it also connect with the light and darkness appearing at the start of the poem?

What is the significance of the lightning & darkness, and the snow & coal, featured in this poem?

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