NaPoWriMo 2018: Day 20 – Let Every Girl Be

The craft resource for the day is Alice Notley’s essay, The Poetics of Disobedience. In it, Notley advocates for a poet to “maintain a state of disobedience against…everything.” By this she means remaining open to all forms, all subjects, and not becoming beholden to “usual” methods for writing. Whenever we are sure that there is one “right” way to write, or some specific set of topics that are the “right” ones to discuss, we should ask ourselves, what part of experience are we leaving out? And why?

The prompt for the day  takes its cue from Notley’s rebelliousness, and asks you to write a poem that involves rebellion in some way. The speaker or subject of the poem could defy a rule or stricture that’s been placed on them, or the poem could begin by obeying a rule and then proceed to break it (for example, a poem that starts out in iambic pentameter, and then breaks into sprawling, unmetered lines). Or if you tend to write funny poems, you could rebel against yourself, and write something serious (or vice versa). Whatever approach you take, your poem hopefully will open a path beyond the standard, hum-drum ruts that every poet sometimes falls into.

My poem for today rebels against man-made customs, traditions, beliefs that a girl must sacrifice, give up her dreams and grow up and do all that a man does and more and yet be considered incapable.  When girls can study the same subjects as the boys, why are they considered to be less wiser when they grow up? Who is to blame for this? Men in the form of fathers, brothers? Schools? Society?Or are Women in the form of mothers, grandmothers, aunts, mothers-in-law to blame? While a handful of women may have achieved success, the majority of women still face the issue of discrimination at home and at work.


A Poem for Every Girl

I will not give up the things that I want to do, 

for things that you think I must do

I will not be forced by you

I will  not be coerced by you

to do the things I don’t want to

Unless I choose to

I will entertain when I wish to

And not when you think I have to

I will not be treated as a sequel

Because I am by far your equal

I will not be subdued

Or unfairly viewed

By Man

Or Woman

Get this straight

I  will not be treated as a bait.

A simple truth you do not see

Men, you would not exist if not for ME

Don’t clip my wings, I want to be free

Women, do not forget, you are ME.

 

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16 comments

  1. It is not about flexing muscles with the other sex but about asking what we rightfully deserve. I don’t think we lot are not equal but above them, are we not? What would they do without us? It is all about understanding our place and finding a balance, one that is constantly being threatened today with new notions that are somewhere between the mix of what is followed in the West but unable to give up what was taught to you since childhood. Well beat that and make up your mind to be you, and the confusion is settled.

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    1. Thanks very much Robbie for your words on the poem and for the share. Truly appreciate it. So often we blame the men when as mothers, colleagues and friends we may also be to blame for not nipping it in the bud.

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  2. Equality and respect for each other is not about portioning blame. Feminists being verbally attacked by other women, men being castigated for giving women compliments as if this being seen as provocative abuse. Before you get it into your mind that I’m an anti feminist or a male chauvinist your completely wrong.
    I don’t believe in proving you are strong by attacking the weak is correct. Or being defensive and taking every comment and gesture as an attack on your respect and self esteem.
    I support the individual Male or Female no matter what sexual persuasion, race, colour or religion in being the best they can be. And more importantly that they do this for themselves not at the bequest of others, not to please the opposite gender their boss or authority figures but for themselves.
    Diversity and the individuality of each and every person should be respected.
    The world should not be made up of just strong men and equally strong women and we should not dictate to our respective gender or the opposite gender to what they should be. This should not in anyway degrade others or preach to others or stop you helping supporting or loving others, but it will stop you from telling others how they should live and what they should believe. Respect needs to take a front seat rather than being broken down ridiculed and a war against the opposite gender or over beliefs.

    I am me and will always be me, I shall be who I want to be, and I will do this for ME.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Bryan for sharing your opinion too. It supports the poem completely. Its not about feminism. Its not about blaming women. Its blaming anybody- man or woman who tries to stop a girl from dreaming, achieving her goals. Women need to be strong in their ideals and values to raise strong good human beings- boys and girls. And we can achieve this by giving girls and boys the same opportunities, encouragement and support. Your last line nails it. Thanks again Bryan. Appreciate your comment.

      Liked by 1 person

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