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
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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