Monday, May 25, 2009

a provocative poem

Today I rediscovered a book and stumbled upon a poem that resonated so strongly with me that I had to share!! The book is at our care ~ women writing about power by sandra haldeman martz. I got it a few years ago when i was researching poems for my Poetry Dress. This morning while getting dressed i caught sight of the book on the shelf. Remembering how much i enjoyed the works in there i took the book down and opened right to this poem. I read it and thought WOW! It truly speaks to me as a woman, mother of girls and as an artist working with feminist thoughts and imagery. So as i said before, I had to share. Hope you find it as thought provoking as i did~ peace.

Poem for the Woman Who Doesn't Want a Daughter

I want you to look at yourself in the mirror & say
“& God created Woman & she is good”

I want you to look at yourself in the mirror
& say “God is a Woman”

I want you to look at yourself in the mirror
& say “I am God’s Daughter”

I want you to look at yourself
with a lover’s eye
& write a poem about yourself that way

I want you to taste yourself & feel yourself & smell yourself
& study how to please yourself
the way you study
the way you were trained to study
to please men

I want you to study women walkin’ down the street
the way you study men
How their hips swing & their breasts sway
& their hair goes freeing the wind
& I want you to exult & sing
“I am one of them”

I want you to bathe yourself like a baby
with scented oil till you gleam

I want you to watch the muscles of women ripple
& say to yourself
how beautiful it is when women are strong

I want you to go to your hairdresser
& say “I want it natural
I like the way I am”

I want you to go through a hundred women’s magazines
& tear out every page on cosmetics & beauty care
& how to reduce yourself to a shadow
& make a fire & let them burn

I want you to boycott perfumed toilet paper
& use an outhouse for a week
in the heat of the summer
& sit there with the door hangin’ open
& look out at the trees

I want you to study proud woman
& character lines
in the faces of old women
& think on every women in your life
who did you good

I want you to find a portrait
of a great woman
& paste it over your television screen

I want you to ask for help from other women
& help them in return

& every time you feel turned on
I want you to close your eyes & say
“This is me
This comes from within”

By Karen Ethelsdattar
from at our core women writing about power
by sandra haldeman martz

P.S. I would put a picture of Gertrude Stein on my television screen!!! who would you put there??


  1. I'd put Michelle Obama over my TV screen. Love your work!


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