Friday, January 23, 2015

Feminine (Where I Take A Villenelle and Not Only Break It, But Crush It Underfoot)

what does it mean
to be feminine
is the value only that which is seen

stay lean
to be strong is to be masculine
be a sweet girl, not mean

cover your body in cream
accept that you are the progenitor of sin
bow down and don't cause a scene

you are not a being
you're property that belongs to him
to build up or to demean

and these lies are routine
embroidered into our daily out and in
unrecognized even when they are seen

so I call bullshit, and watch it steam
to be feminine is to be human
it is kind and it is mean
and it all that you can see and all that is unseen.

heidi
written: 1/22/15 for dVerse Meeting The Bar

Brian has challenged us to take a form and break it. I took the Villanelle, and, like all poetry that uses some sort of meter, I threw that shit out of the window. Then I severely slanted the rhyme. And I have no idea if I even like this poem, or if it conveys what I want it to convey. The more I have to think about the poem I am writing, the more clunky it always feels to me.  But, what the hey! It's my first submission to dVerse this year! Woohoo! Stop by and check out the other responses.

 

45 comments:

  1. An angry feminist villanelle - what's not to like? OK, so some might say more political than poetic, but I love it! (And not just because I concur with the sentiments.)

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    1. Thank you Marina Sofia! I think I should probably just sit down on day and fill up a notebook of feminist poetry so that I can get used to that voice. I think that I am more vulnerable about my angry/political work than any of my other writing. I'm glad you liked it.

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  2. Well Heidi, there's no missing where you stand on this ... smiles. Here in the UK we abolished the slave trade in 1807, realinsing that people are people, not property. In the US they fought a bloody Civil War largely over the same issue, and yet here we are in 2015 and somehow we haven't worked out that men and women are all equally people.

    How hard can it be to figure that out, accept it and structure our relationships and society accordingly?

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    1. That's a very good question, Tony.

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  3. Not the same but equal. I can embrace all that.

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    1. Hi Debi! Welcome to the lasagna! Thanks for dropping in.

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  4. To be feminine is human, I love the message ~ And very current with news about women violence too ~ As to the form, I hardly recognize villanelle but so what, smiles ~ Good to see you Heidi ~

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    1. Hey Grace! I did stray a bit from the original form. I'm glad you enjoyed it and it's nice to be back!

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    1. Thank you, and welcome to the lasagna!

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  6. Excuse me while I sob with laughter into my lace scented handkerchief boo hoo LOL

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  7. a great first submission of the year! The world would run so much smoother if everyone recognized that both men and women have strengths...and in certain areas, a woman is stronger than a man (and vice versa)...different, yes, but certainly equal!

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  8. I like what you've done with it and totally agree with the sentiments expressed.

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  9. I appreciate a poem with strong feelings! And I really like this poem, am glad you wrote it, am glad that you shared it. Yes, so much of what is said to be 'feminine' is bullshit indeed. There is no ONE way of being feminine....for sure.

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  10. Oh this is good... I especially like how I imagine your lines getting longer also means that they are said with more force, louder.. just like it is meant to be, I would be pleased to have some feminine qualities myself.

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    1. Thanks Bjorn. I like the idea that the lines are getting louder as they go along too! Cool.

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  11. yep, total bullshit... femininity isn't exclusive to women - some guys are, too... I got some feminine qualities myself, because I'm human and I don't bow down to the idea of what a "man" should be. Great write.

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  12. Being feminine often has a lot more to do with culture than nature. Apart from the message I also enjoyed the energy I could feel in your words.

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    1. Hi Gabriella! I agree that it is more a cultural definition. I'm glad that you like it. Thanks for stopping by.

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  13. yep - to be feminine is to be human... i hate when people say "women don't do this and that" or it starts even when they're small "girls don't do this and that" "be a nice girl" ugh... but boys are bullied in the same way "boys don't cry" and stuff like that - let humans be humans. period. well penned heidi

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  14. You may have thrown it out the window but you sure created a beauty

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    1. Hi Gail! I'm horrible with meter. I'm glad you liked it.

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  15. Well I certainly love this poem. Full of righteous anger and resentment for a male-privileged society that mandates what is socially acceptable for women.

    I say go ahead and call bullshit while casting off the psychological chains.

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    1. Hi Barry! Thanks, I'm glad you liked it.

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  16. It's good to see you back at the pub, Heidi--and I have a feeling you had a lot of fun crushing that villanelle underfoot and that seemed to work so well for the theme of your poem. Have at it, girl!

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    1. Thank you Victoria! It's been too long. I think I did take out my metric frustration out on this form. :)

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  17. strong piece...i like the strength in your voice in this...
    sadly there are still many that ascribe to these positions...roles that society has set for men and women....solid response...

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  18. I wrote a long comment here, and then I think I didn't hit publish. Just saying the causes of my life were feminism and civil rights and I think this poem took us another step along the way. Well said and I like the way you break it up here. Strong piece.

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  19. I love it!!! Much truth lies in these words.

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  20. So much of who we are and what we start out believing is based simply on how things have always been or what we have always been taught or told. I like the you frequently challenge that.

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  21. I admire how you broke this... ~

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