Tuesday, 15 December 2015

If only out of vanity/Warning

One of the things I love most about teaching is finding out what my students are reading/listening to. At this time of year, I hear all about the creative work that has most inspired them in their own writing, as they submit their assessed creative portfolios.So my next few posts owe everything to my students - thankyou to this semester's cohort of Creative Writing Workshop on Monday evenings. You guys are awesome!

Their first recommendation is performance poet Staceyann Chin, with her fine and fierce poem, 'If only out of vanity'.

Although this poem makes me feel very old indeed, my favourite part is:

“I want to be forty years old
and weigh three hundred pounds
and ride a motorcycle in the wintertime
with four hell raising children
and a one hundred ten pound female lover
who writes poetry about my life
and my children and loves me
like no one has ever loved me before
I want to be the girl your parents will use
as a bad example of a lady”

Check out the text of the poem here:

It's like a more angry and politically aware version of Jenny Joseph's famous 'Warning', written in 1961. You know it:

When I am an old woman I shall wear purple
With a red hat which doesn't go, and doesn't suit me. ...

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