7 Poems To Heal Your Feminist Heart
If you want to commit to something — a creative practice, a way of life, even a dietary change — you can never remind yourself too often of your goals. Not surprisingly, the advent of 2017 brought lots of resolutions about practicing feminism, and — hey, it's okay if one or two or five of those have fallen by the wayside. In fact, it's never too late to get back on that feminist horse and ride toward that sunset.
In other words, you can heal your feminist heart, no matter how many blows it's suffered recently. And poetry can be just the thing to help you do so.
In her article "Poetry, Feminism, and the Public Sphere," Kathleen Crown writes:
Both poetry and feminism, emerging at points of crisis, seek to transform the world by altering the very forms through which our culture apprehends, expresses, and knows itself. Thus even in turning to the past, poetry and feminism always reorient toward a yet unimagined future, imagining new terms for the individual's participation in public life.
So many aspirations about feminism are aimed at this very idea--"the individual's participation in public life." If you're ready to soothe the wounds and get out of convalescence mode and into feminist warrior pose, read on.
1. "I Am the Whole Defense" by Mai Der Vang
I am not wife, but my name is Widow.
Let them arrive
To my ready door,
The earth I’ve already dug.
2. "The Soul selects her own Society (303)" by Emily Dickinson
The Soul selects her own Society —
Then — shuts the Door —
To her divine Majority —
Present no more —
3. "canvas and mirror" by evie shockley
self-portrait with hardhead,
with soft light, with raised eyebrow. self-
portrait voo-doo, self-portrait hijinks, self-portrait
surprise. self-portrait with patience, with political
protest, with poetry
4. "Shoulda Been Jimi Savannah" by Patricia Smith
My mother scraped the name Patricia Ann from the ruins
of her discarded Delta, thinking it would offer me shield
and shelter, that leering men would skulk away at the slap
5. "You Foolish Men" by Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz
You foolish men who lay
the guilt on women,
not seeing you’re the cause
of the very thing you blame
6. [we fight back to control the outside] by kari edwards
again, something’s burning
a sentence interrogation
uniform playing fields
for level capital
for later gender compromise
7. "Exclusively on Venus" by Trace Peterson
Roses are red / violets are transsexual / welcome to womanhood /
now get to work honey