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[personal profile] alexconall
Michelle found this poem, too, something from her own heritage.

Love Poem
Audre Lorde

Speak earth and bless me with what is richest )

Audre Lorde self-described as a "black, lesbian, mother, warrior, poet," and was the New York State Poet Laureate at her death.

Bless me with what is richest, Lorde wrote. Love is sweet as honey. Lien said, yes.

Source: The Collected Poems of Audre Lorde
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[personal profile] alexconall
The next poem Michelle found.

Janice Gould

What can I say about someone who )

Janice Gould is a Koyangk'auwi Maidu poet and an assistant professor in Women's and Ethnic Studies and Native American Studies at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs.

What can I say about someone who performs interesting magic, Gould wrote. Someone like you, Michelle said. A force of nature. And Lien smiled.

Source: Doubters and Dreamers, Janice Gould
alexconall: the Pleiades (Default)
[personal profile] alexconall
Lien found the next poem, too.

Just once before I die I want someone to make love to me in Cantonese
Indigo Chih-Lien Som

my mother )

Indigo Chih-Lien Som is an American-born Chinese woman describing herself as "garlic-throwing, book-binding, shuttle-throwing cancer and fire horse".

Just once I want to remember, Som wrote. Just once I want. I want with you, said Lien; do you want with me?

Michelle bought a learn-to-speak-Cantonese set.

Source: The Very Inside: An Anthology of Writing by Asian and Pacific Islander Lesbian and Bisexual Women, edited by Sharon Lim-Hing
alexconall: the Pleiades (Default)
[personal profile] alexconall
Lien found the next poem, after Michelle said she was afraid to introduce Lien to her family.

Loving In The War Years
Cherríe Moraga

Loving you is like living )

Cherríe Moraga describes herself as a 'Xicanadyke'. "I am ever-grateful to feminism for teaching me this," she writes, "that political oppression is always experienced personally by someone."

Love is living dangerously, Moraga wrote. I've got to take you as you come to me. I refuse, said Michelle, to be afraid.

Source: Loving in the War Years, Cherríe L. Moraga
alexconall: the Pleiades (Default)
[personal profile] alexconall
Michelle couldn't let Lien's invitation pass, of course. She tracked down and gave to Lien a poem expressing exactly how she'd felt the moment she met Lien.

Vanessa Marzan Deza

oh excuse me i'm sorry )

Vanessa Marzan Deza is Pinay—Filipina—and writes, according to her bio, "grounded in her particular context as colored and female. It is a conscious act of resistance and creative envisioning."

Let me look away, Deza wrote. I didn't mean to stare, and there is work to do. But I don't want, Michelle told Lien, to look away.

Source: The Very Inside: An Anthology of Writing by Asian and Pacific Islander Lesbian and Bisexual Women, edited by Sharon Lim-Hing
alexconall: the Pleiades (Default)
[personal profile] alexconall
Once there was a girl; once there was a girl. Women, both, really. Her name was Lien; her name was Michelle. After Lien met Michelle, she copied out this poem and gave it to Michelle.

Fragment 31
Sappho tr. Anne Carson

He seems to me equal to gods that man )

Sappho. The most readily recognized queer female poet in the world. Not, probably, the first—that honor may go to Enheduanna, the first poet whose name we know. But the most recognizable name among queer female poets, and Sappho 31 may be her best-known poem.

All is to be dared, Sappho wrote. So Lien dared. But the rest of the poem, unless the last stanza of Catullus 51 is an accurate translation (unlikely), is lost.

Source: If Not, Winter: Fragments of Sappho, Anne Carson
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[personal profile] alexconall
I owe [personal profile] jjhunter a lot for how this poem turned out in the end. My initial idea for remixing Sappho Fragment 16 was to translate (more in the sense of 'moving sideways' than in the sense involving multiple languages) the concepts into a poetic form to which English is better suited. In a way, that's what I did in the end. The images of armies and Helen are Sappho's, but Sappho was writing about her conception of beauty, speaking as a queer woman of Lesbos millennia ago, and I am here writing of mine, speaking as a queer woman of today's USA.

The meter is not Sapphic, more's the pity, but, uh, Wiki 'Sapphic stanza' and scroll down to the poems by Lee and Tranter. Someday I'll write a true Sapphic poem in English; this is not that day. Anyway, English iambic pentameter is eminently suited to describing beauty, as any student of Shakespeare knows.

I present:

Anaktoria )
alexconall: the Pleiades (Default)
[personal profile] alexconall
Gwyneira, Cymran princess, and her seven friends
must flee lest she be murdered by her mother queen.
How can they keep her safe? How can she get her throne?

Today I am proud to reveal my poem "The Fairest Of Them All" in its entirety. Listen to [ profile] anna_unfolding on AO3, or read it here:

The sky was the pale gray of marble columns in / the throne room of Queen Aeron. [...] )
alexconall: the Pleiades (Default)
[personal profile] alexconall
feminist author poet
social justice bard

meet [personal profile] alexconall
[community profile] poetree host for this week

Today I'd like to talk about how my [community profile] pod_together project, "The Fairest Of Them All", came to be.

I don't remember when I got the idea to write a collection of princess-focused fairy tales retold in a feminist fashion. I didn't mention it in the bio included in A Dinner of Herbs in late March; the first instance of the title Self-Rescuing Princess in my email history was in mid-May, the first instance of the previous title at the end of April, so it must have been sometime in April.

It's coincidence, I swear, that I registered for a women's studies course on Disney for summer of 2013.

I saw the [community profile] pod_together signups when [community profile] poetree first mentioned them, I think. I didn't sign up, because [community profile] pod_together is a fannish challenge and I haven't been feeling very fannish since I began my slow slide out of Supernatural fandom sometime circa the airing of the first episode of season eight, last fall. Then [community profile] poetree started hosting the [community profile] pod_together-affiliated icebreaker week, for participants and nonparticipants alike. I commented explaining in tanka why I didn't sign up. [personal profile] jjhunter reminded me, also in tanka, that transformative work of public domain materials counted and expressed an interest in reading my work. It so happened that that was the first week of class, and one of the assigned viewings was Disney's Snow White.

Hexameter seemed to fit my reply, I was already thinking about writing a feminist retelling of Snow White, and I needed a rhyme for 'readers'. I said, "No, brain, I will not write Snow White in hexameter."

Under three hours later, I had a third of what became "The Fairest Of Them All". And it was too late to sign up for [community profile] pod_together.

Story of my life, y'all.

During the week I'll be posting short reflections on the process of the project, and on Saturday, I'll post the poem in its entirety.


poetree: Paper sculpture of bulbuous tree made from strips of book pages (Default)

February 2017



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