Thursday, April 13, 2006

Poetry Thursday -Giving Voice to Women's Lives


One of the things I look forward to the most on Poetry Thursdays is not only being introduced to new poets and new poems but the opportunity to discover new books of poetry. I'm all about the books and will take any suggestions offered in order to build my little one woman library. Tonight I'd like to share a poem from one of my favorite poetry collections, Cries of the Spirit. What I love about this collection is that every poem and exert contained within its pages is written by women. It includes writings by Maya Angelou, Anne Sexton, Margaret Atwood, Erica Jong, Denise Levertov, Audre Lorde, Mary Oliver, Alice Walker, Julia Alvarez, May Sarton, and Nikki Giovanni, just to name a few. It is a collection of poems that gives voice and value to women's lives. It celebrates and honors the life events that only women can experience, things such as giving birth, miscarriage, menopause, abortion, menstruation. It beautifully and heart breakingly portrays the roles that women fulfill throughout their lives--daughter, lover, mother, wife, care giver, sister, goddess, warrior, priestess, advocate, mentor, friend. It pays tribute to the unique perspective of women's existence. It is a volume that prides itself on letting women speak for themselves--boldly, honestly, emotionally, and without apology. I love it because when I flip through the pages, reading a poem here and a poem there, I feel proud to belong to a sisterhood that is striving to be seen and heard, acknowledged and valued. I love it because when I loose myself between the covers I am reminded that I'm not alone--there are other women out there struggle, there are other women out there succeeding, there are other women out there shining.

Myth
Muriel Rukeyser

Long afterward, Oedipus, old and blinded, walked the roads.
He smelled a familiar smell.
It was the Sphinx.
Oedipus said, "I want to ask one question. Why didn't I recognize my mother?"
"You gave the wrong answer," said the Sphinx.
"But that was what made everything possible," said Oedipus.
"No," she said. "When I asked, What walks on four legs in the morning, two at noon, and three in the evening, you answered, Man.
You didn't say anything about woman."
" When you say Man," said Oedipus, "you include women too. Everyone knows that."
She said, "That's what you think."

14 Comments:

Blogger liz elayne said...

this books sounds incredible. the way poetry can bring us together.

and this poem. oh yes. fantastic.

9:45 PM  
Blogger Lee said...

Love the poem but, more, I loved the wisdom in your words.

12:46 AM  
Blogger Susannah said...

i must buy this book! thank you for sharing, and thank too for sharing the Sweet Life with us - i've been reading your words for a while now, and wanted to uncloak myself and say hello :-) good luck with the party!
Sx

3:56 AM  
Blogger gkgirl said...

that book sounds like a
keeper...
and you picked a very
interesting choice from it...
i like it
:)

5:44 AM  
Blogger Left-handed Trees... said...

This poem is amazing...I love Muriel Rukeyser--she is such a powerful voice for women's experiences. This book sounds like one worth looking into--thank you for sharing it!

5:54 AM  
Blogger snowsparkle said...

thank you michelle, your words of tribute to women are wise and the poem is powerful. (hope all goes well for britton's birthday party this weekend.)

6:16 AM  
Blogger Joe said...

Droped by to wish you a Blessed Good Friday and Easter girl. Good poem and point!

6:54 AM  
Anonymous beansprout said...

I love this poem. Have a wonderful Easter and birthdy weekend. No need to overextend...just ENJOY!!

7:06 AM  
Blogger Deb R said...

Whoooa...cool poem!

Love the photo too.

8:16 AM  
Anonymous Jeanne said...

I have this book and love it too! I've often used it to find inspirational words/poetry to share with people at different/important stages of their lives.

10:05 AM  
Blogger Yummyteece said...

OOOOOOOooh, I like that one!
*grin*

6:33 PM  
Anonymous Mary Jane said...

Love your thoughts today and do agree it is a beautiful life...

7:39 PM  
Blogger Cherie Burbach said...

Thanks for sharing this poem and your thoughts on it!

10:03 PM  
Anonymous Shannon (Sentimental) said...

What a cool take on the Oedipus Rex complex. Love that myth and love this poem along with it.

7:12 AM  

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