Thursday, November 27, 2008

Rising to Rachel's Challenge

It's been a terribly long time since I had a poem up here and as Rachel rightly points out I rarely talk that much about what I'm doing writing-wise, which probably leads a lot of people to think that I don't write much.

Au contraire! But I am horribly self-critical of my own work, so I like to try and get things into the best shape possible... which ain't easy in present mega-biz conditions: finishing off CW classes for this term; assembling Santy lists; booking me graduation at QUB for me masters; trying desperately to finish B&W photography work for artist's book of image/text to be launched on 9th December at Belfast Exposed... and there are other things I have to do too, like get a job (He's told me - no more slacking!?!)

Anyhoo, here's a poem. It's not great, but there ya are :)


removed for editing

21 comments:

Rachel Fox said...

Now doesn't that feel better? Just like taking off a badly-fitting breast-entrapment contraption in fact! I look forward to reading lots more of and about your work on here. It's fascinating to hear stories about poems, thought processes, things people have tried, ideas that have and haven't worked, poems that people have or haven't responded to.

And if your man wants to see what a woman slacking off really looks like send him over this way! With only one child imagine how much less laundry I have for a start!
x

BarbaraS said...

That's a good description of a bra: 'a breast-entrapment contraption.'

I also enjoy reading about the process of writing too, because I wonder what works for other people and how they think about things. And you never know, it might spark off a gud un for you as well!

Women Rule Writer said...

Unfortunately without the breast-entrapment contraption, some of us would be in pain!
I love the wit in this poem, Barbara.
Germaine G sure has a lot to say abut women's accoutrements. I once heard her refer to handbags as 'the external womb' and she told us we were all mad / enslaved for carrying one. I bet she carries one!

Liz said...

Barbara, fair dues for revealing all...great topic for a poem - love the humour and the repetition and all the trappings that come from bra-wearing...remember the 'burn-the-bra' chants from the mid/late 70's? : )

I must admit to being one who hasn't posted poems (drafts) on my blog - not sure why, maybe the whole 'is it now published' or 'not published' discussion ...but yes I love getting insight into what works for different writers.

Keep up the good work. ; )

apprentice said...

Interesting subject for a villanelle, as you are constrained by the scheme - a bit like wearing a bra really

Mine are now Clyde-built for obvious reasons, but it means I also carry a good brickbat about my person, should it be required.

You do a great on every score. More power to your elbow girl.

BarbaraS said...

Thanks WRW! I think the reason why we carry bags is that all our stuff won't fit in our pockets. If you try fitting all the necessaries into a 'good' coat, you end up looking like a lumpy Humpty... and what's wrong with having an external womb anyway? And that reminds me of a friend who 'collects' handbags... funnily enough since she had her's whipped out... hmmm. Could be a poem in that somewhere...

Liz, thanks very much... I think you could say that I was trying to figure out where I stand in relation to bras... having had six kids means that some parts of me are, shall we say, gravitationally challenged. And as Gok Wan (if you haven't witnessed the phenomenon of Gok - well, look him up online!) says... a woman needs all the support she can get. I think I definitely feel another poem coming on...

BarbaraS said...

Ah, A - that's great way of describing them, I had a wee chuckle. That's a good read of why I picked on the form of a villanelee too ;)It needs some work, but I will sort it soon.

Rachel Fox said...

Interesting what Liz says about the 'published poem' business...even more so because you could view the publishing world/poetry system as a big bra...keeping everyone's poems in their correct place ('you can't publish it anywhere else if you enter it in our competition', 'we won't publish it in our magazine if it's been published elsewhere' etc. etc.). I do understand why the system works the way it does but I can't say I like it much...so many constraints, so many 'wait until you're a good girl or boy and then we'll let you have a sweetie...look you're won 4th place in the 3 Readers and a Dog Poetry Magazine competition!'.
No - get 'em out and flash 'em, I say! Think of all the people who could be reading a poem while it's sat unloved in a competition/submission pile. Poets have been too well-behaved for too long...Oh dear, maybe I need to lie down somewhere quiet...

BarbaraS said...

Ha, ha, ha, Rachel... maybe I need to lie down quiet somewhere too.I@m only getting shtarted ;)

Colin Will said...

Ummm. Should I comment, or should I not? My feelings on villanelles are quite well known in some circles. Any other form, Barbara ...

Jan said...

Sassy witty poem, this.
PLeas please folk by posting some more.

BarbaraS said...

Aha Colin, another villanelle detestor... there are a few in my CW classes too. I'm not mad about them myself, there are too few really great ones out there. But in this case, I think it might just support the content (pun intended)... you'd need to be female to have experienced the whole trauma of having to wear these garments for all of your life (well since the eary teens anyway) and for varying reasons.

Dick said...

This is great, Barbara. The villanelle form - so well served here - gives the piece a wonderfully rhetorical feel, as if the speaker is haranguing a crowd of acolytes!

An American friend once worked for a guy who was known universally as The Bra. His surname was Titzlinger.

Liz said...

Re: Rachel's comments...;D very true, Rachel, agree with your reasoning...and yes,a lie-down does work wonders, today is definitely lie-down day for me...(big smile); )

BarbaraS said...

Of course, the other way around worrying whether something is published or not is to edit out the post, if you're looking to send the piece somewhere... ;)

BarbaraS said...

Great story Dick; how come you always have this ready reserve of great tales... because you love telling stories..!

Kay said...

I like the 'raciness' quality to this poem / villanelle. Well done, it has energy and ... well, yes, chutzpah!!!

BarbaraS said...

Thanks very much Kay, much appreciated.

Hedgie said...

Ahoy! (To be nautical for no particular reason.) You have natal felicitations awaiting you here.

Dominic Rivron said...

A villanelle about the politics of the bra? It had to be done. The more I read it, the more I enjoy it. Have you seen Blaugustine's latest blog? ("The ghost in the underwear")? Kind of related.

BarbaraS said...

No, I hadn't Dominic, now I must look, thanks x :)