Tuesday, June 13, 2006

SPC {Pop Art...Kind Of? - 2}


...Among some tribal people names change when character-evolving events take place. Members of an aborigine tribe take on a new name when they feel ready for one. They keep their birth name until five or six and then choose a name based on a talent or interest. They'll hold a party to declare their new name, which may be something like "Interested in Wood." A few years later they may hold another party and become "Boomerang Maker" and, eventually, "Number One Whizbang Boomerang Maker." They'll declare they've undergone a transformation and honor this with a name to help everyone see them in a new way.

"A name should be taken as an act of liberation, of celebration, of intention," writes Erica Jong in Fear of Fifty. "A name should be a magical invocation to the muse. A name should be a self-blessing."

Poetry can be about discovering and naming ourselves. And creating a name can be like writing a poem...

from Poemcrazy by Susan Goldsmith Wooldridge


Black Hawk circling the blue sky
My real name is buried,
here,
far below the heavy rocks,
the tender scars
Yesterday my name was hunger,
hunger and confusion,
a dog chasing after it's own tail
Tomorrow my name will be forgotten by many,
but somewhere I know
it is safely kept for eternity
In my dream my name was poet,
healer, warrior,
Radiant Butterfly Woman,
the wind in this present moment
And I, the mighty hawk,
continue to circle,
higher and higher into the blue
and all my names make up my wings
and all my names make up the sky

Now you try.... In the wonderful book Poemcrazy Wooldridge suggests you write your own name poem using the following prompt:

My real name is
yesterday my name was
tomorrow my name will be
in my dream my name was

I can't wait to see what you come up with...

27 Comments:

Blogger melba said...

I love this! I love holding a party to declare a new name. This gives me something to dream about...

8:44 PM  
Blogger a m y said...

this reminds me of the divine secrets of the ya-ya sisterhood when they all declare new names! i will definitely be posting my poem on my blog. thanks for a wonderful post!

9:54 PM  
Blogger Dana said...

Oh, this is an intriguing prompt.

10:09 PM  
Blogger Server Girl said...

i love the pic and love the poem idea...i will work on it and see what i can come up with :)

10:19 PM  
Blogger liz elayne said...

oh this poem is gorgeous (and so is the picture). i think of how you and this hawk are intertwined and it invites me to take a deep breath. so much strength in this image.
(i must get this book!)

11:41 PM  
Blogger Susannah said...

'Radiant Butterfly Woman' - yes, this is how i see you. a beautiful poem... and thank you for the prompt. think i'll give it a whirl for Poetry Thursday....
Sx

2:57 AM  
Blogger andrea said...

That was beautiful. I loved your "Radiant Butterfly Woman" too. You so are.
a.

5:37 AM  
Blogger Heather said...

I love that picture!! I love the way different cultures name their babies and change their names. One of my favorite books is "roots" and the father chooses a name for the baby and then whispers it into the babys ear moments after it is born before anyone else has heard it. I don't know why but I really love that, it's not just some generic name but almost like they are whispering an identity into the baby's soul.

8:08 AM  
Blogger Star said...

Your poem is wonderful, Michelle (I almost didn't know what to call you!) This book has been recommended to me by many; I am going to have to check it out.

Meanwhile, I'm with Susannah, I have been floundering with a topic for this week's Poetry Thursday and I think you've hit on the perfect thing.

Your newly chosen names seem to fit you well (as far as I can see from way over here in this little corner of blogland). Thanks for sharing your poem and inspiring each of us to join in with our own celebration.

8:21 AM  
Blogger baylor said...

Very cool and cute picture!

xoxo

8:41 AM  
Blogger The Whole Self said...

great pic michelle!

8:43 AM  
Anonymous Jennifer (she said) said...

I love this idea and I really appreciate the sharing of resources. Your poem is so beautiful. For the second time I find myself wanting to print a poem you've written and hold it in my heart. I want to remember it because it is beautiful but also because it is a good reminder to me to consider my own name, path, life.

9:23 AM  
Blogger madness rivera said...

Great post, Michelle. I do love the celebration of transformations and I love attaching symbolism to that: names, tattoos, jewelry, crowns, framed (fill in the blank), anything that helps you remember the transformation and keeps you moving to the next.

Love the coloring of the photo too.

9:24 AM  
Anonymous amystery said...

Absolutely gorgeous photo and I love that book! I haven't pulled it off my shelves in a few years, I think it is still to go take a look again. Radiant Butterfly Woman indeed!

9:32 AM  
Anonymous amystery said...

ugg, maybe I should wait to post a comment until I am fully awake :). I meant to say" I think I should go take a look again..." My name this morning would be Scrambled Morning Brain.

9:35 AM  
Blogger Deb R said...

Very cool photo, Michelle.

Is the poem above from the book or is it one you wrote based on the prompt from the book? Either way, I like it very much!

10:40 AM  
Anonymous fringes said...

Very nice, Michelle. I love the poem. This is kind of a generic, but genuine, comment. I couldn't leave without telling you, though.

11:10 AM  
Blogger Josephine said...

This is truly inspired. I love it.

Please check my blog, I'm going to use this post of yours as a prompt.

Thank you!!!

12:37 PM  
Blogger megg said...

This is an amazing post. I am so desperate to do this prompt, but it scares the life out of me. I'll have to think about it. I loved "Radiant Butterfly Woman" how inspiring!! Wow. You have really made me think!

1:58 PM  
Blogger M said...

I love all of this! The photo is magic and so are the words. Brilliant!!

3:37 PM  
Blogger dani said...

lovely shot of you!!!
and thanks for sharing some wisdom from our indigenous people - i never knew this about the name changing and i love it!!!

4:04 PM  
Blogger lisrobbe said...

Great poem, great post. I will take the challenge and use the prompt for this weeks poetry thursday challenge.

6:21 PM  
Blogger ArtsyMama said...

My real name is Karissa
yesterday my name was fragile, broken, bruised and confused
tomorrow my name will be anew, looking at life from a different perspective, for it can change in an instant
in my dream my name was woman who dances between stars

8:04 PM  
Anonymous Amy said...

Michelle,
You have been someone I have "come home to" these past few months as I transition out of a heartbreak and embark on single motherhood. Your honesty and ability to share has been a gift to me. I hope to start my own blog soon...you are part of the reason.
Here's to the power of women!
Thank you,
Amy

8:13 PM  
Blogger Mardougrrl said...

I loved this so much, Michelle...and I adore the idea of re-naming myself...but I find myself a little tongue-tied at the thought...it feels so BIG somehow, and right this very minute, I feel small.

Hmm...hmmm...

9:25 AM  
Blogger January said...

Great poem. And thanks for sharing the aborigine tribe info.

I have been struggling with a name poem in the spirit of Marilyn Chin's "How I Got My Name." Thank you for giving me something to think about.

10:39 AM  
Anonymous Marilyn said...

Oh, Michelle, love this post! And love the Aboriginal tradition of renaming oneself for different chapters in one's life. Wouldn't it be wonderful if we could all do that?!

7:02 PM  

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