Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Some messages are still to hard to swallow

I wrote a sort of manifesto poem when Peter offered the poetry class a prompt form a favorite poet of his (wouldn't you know, I saw his book yesterday and today forgot his name?). It was "I did/not follow the script". How could I resist? I didn't. The poem may not be a good one in poetic terms but it tells the story and ends with the lesson learned.  The story was discussed in class with recognition. No one actually remarked on the lesson -- I think they did not get it.  Truly revolutionary feminism is not in style, certainly not among our senior citizenry, which is the make up of the class, male and female.
But it seems to me the only way to end these horrible wars is for the women to be more active than those in Lysistrata -- to indeed kill the warrior when he returns victorious.

In parental exasperation my mother declared
“You’ll marry Kenny Craigmile
and be a farmer’s wife.”
In adolescent rage, I ran to my room --
I had learned not to make a scene --
I wrote in my diary, She understands
Nothing, Nothing! NOTHING!!!

Nor did I. I moved farther and farther away
From her and from Kenny Craigmile
But the script of gender, caste, education
Was strongly writ in the 1950s USA:
I succumbed, in my own way, to mating,
nesting, a little social climbing.

Educating myself beyond college courses
I discovered The Feminine Mystique,
Then wrote my first important script,
The End of the Teflon-Coated Life.
I struggled to write strong scripts –
to learn to make scenes; but I could not
Write scenes like men did. For them scenes
Came naturally loud, violent, profame
Or clever, contrived, intellectualized.

My heroine became Clytemnestra who,
Unlike patient, prevaricating Penelope,
Worked with her lover to ruled Mycenae
Well. She killed filicide Agamemnon
When he returned victorious from Troy.
She has been reviled these many millennia.
Men wrote the scripts about war and women.


barbara judge said...

June -- Very much a feminist poem. Men did write the scripts and still are doing it today. However, many women now see through their deceit but unfortunately many are still in the game of playing "Penelope." Nice post. -- barbara

June Calender said...

Thank you for understanding, Barbara. It seems feminist insights are out of style.