Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Feminist Poetry Bonanza

Dear Feminist Googlers,

Don't think we don't see all of your searching for "feminist poems." We know what you want. And today, on this last day of poetry month, we're ready to give it to you. Yeah - a feminist poetry bonanza. Hold on to your hats, we're gonna take you places.

Perhaps my all-time favorite feminist poet is Neko Case. You read it right, the singer. She's also the song-writer who wrote the haunting lyrics of the song "Pretty Girls." Seriously beautiful poetry, that. Here is just a pair of verses, to give you an idea:
But there's millions to count you and keep you
And lovers that don't understand
Don't let them tell you you're nothing
'Cause you'll change the world, pretty girls.

Come chain yourself from my ankle
You'll see the world like a bird
Diving down low, flying up high
Through all of these saccharine gutters we'll ride and I

Won't say that I told you so...
Also brilliant is Alfonsina Storni's Hombre pequeñito. Not afraid to admit that women have fleeting desires too, she ends the poem with the line "...te amé media hora/ no me pidas más" - "I loved you for half an hour/ don't ask more of me."

The best, however, we've saved for last. Maya Angelou's Phenomenal Woman is an ode to empowerment and unabashed sexuality like no other. It will leave you breathless, its that good. I can't resist posting the last stanza:
Now you understand
Just why my head's not bowed.
I don't shout or jump about
Or have to talk real loud.
When you see me passing
It ought to make you proud.
I say,
It's in the click of my heels,
The bend of my hair,
the palm of my hand,
The need of my care,
'Cause I'm a woman
Phenomenal woman,
That's me.
Go read it all - it will make you feel little tingles all over.

What, still wanting more? Here is a long list of feminist poets. Then there is some more feminist poetry that we've posted here, here, and here.


Casmall said...

hurrah for Neko

La Pobre Habladora said...

I think it is easier to appreciate the poetry of song lyrics because we hear them spoken/sung out loud - and poetry is meant to be shared that way.

That's why I was so excited to hear the winner of the 2008 Poetry Out Loud Competition, Shawntay Henry of the U.S. Virgin Islands, recite the poem "Frederick Douglass" by Robert E. Hayden on NPR yesterday (hear here here). It was breathtaking. Really, go listen.

La Pobre Habladora said...

ummm... hear her here is what that should say. ooops.