“What is a Woman” and Poetry for a Feminist World

         

Feminist AF.:
This is a drawing I found on Pinterest of a cartoon woman wearing a shirt that says “feminist AF”

 

         I discovered poetry when I was in the third grade. By that point I had already began creatively writing stories and I had discovered that I loved to sing as well. So when I first saw poetry, it seemed like a kind of song to me in writing, and from then on I loved it. I find poetry (and other writing) to be an amazing way to express yourself, to let the world know what you think they should. To enlighten or brighten people’s life. To me, poetry is the most beautiful form of getting your ideas out of your head, along with music (which is basically people singing poetry).

            So when it comes to expressing the need for change, I think that poetry of women has made an impact. Sylvia Plath and Maya Angelou are some names that first come to mind but I think any woman that writes poetry is making some kind of change in the world. Not that long ago, women publishing poetry or really anything wrote under men’s names or would publish anonymously because women were thought of as unable to understand complex or creative ideas. So the fact that women can now freely be expressive is a gift our foremothers may not of had.

            It took me a while to establish my own personal writing style when it came to poetry. With fictional and essay writing, my personal style came to me more easily, but for some reason with poetry it was harder to distinguish myself. My favorite poet is Emily Dickinson (a feminist poet in her own right) because I not only love the range of topics she wrote about, but also because I find her particular style attractive. I think that I emulate that style a bit with how choppy my poems are and that a majority of them are freestyle, rather than in a particular format. I like the ease freestyle poetry presents, and that I can write about anything without worrying about rhyming or format. I think that I get this love of freestyle from Dickinson; I also think that I enjoy writing from emotion because she also wrote in that way.

Personally I don’t believe myself to be a technical “feminist” writer or poet. I don’t focus on women’s issues in particular. For me, poetry is more about emotion than a topic or idea. I don’t write to make a point directly, but to connect with other people’s thoughts and emotions through shared feeling. But I think this way of writing may be even more successful in demonstrating ideas because people tend to pay attention to something that makes them feel an emotion. So when I wrote this poem titled “What is a Woman”, I wasn’t thinking about something particular but was expressing how I was feeling during that moment about society. This feeling is such a big part of women’s lives, I think, where we feel like we are underappreciated for what is truly valuable about ourselves just because society sees us as bodies rather than people. Women tend to feel almost caged by their bodies because no one sees the mind inside of it.

“What is a Woman?”

By Lauren Orr

 

My mind

is like a

river

full of colored pebbles

of intelligence

and philosophy

jewels

of the most natural

kind

There is

gold in the

water of

my mind

that is rarely ever

shifted

because I am not

known

for my bubbly

effervescence

 But rather

for my

skin

and my lips

and my hips

that get gripped

by

random men

who have no reason

or want

to search the

wonders

that is

the landscape of my

brain

Be porcelain

be beautiful

but no

your river is not

good enough

to

run into the ocean

of man’s

intellectual

floor.

            I think it’s important to always remember that just because something is creative doesn’t mean that it can’t make an impact in the world. For me, I sometimes struggle to put my poetry or creative works out there because of a lack of confidence in my own work, or fear of judgement from other people. I continually try to fight the urge to hide my poetry and not share it with people, because I know other women who have shared their poetry have made a difference not only in people’s lives, but also in society. My goal for my writing is not to be famous, but hopefully to make an impact somewhere for someone or for a part of society. Poetry makes a statement. And I hope that this one does just that.

Over and Out- Lauren

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