Poetry for women has changed over the years. It was sugary-sweet and “all things nice”. Many women were gentle little home-makers. A bit giggly and prone to fainting fits. But somewhere between burning our bras and demanding the same respect we taught our daughters to expect, us ladies have found our voices!
I often speak through my poetry – I called my women’s poetry page Girls Talk.
These two words form the title of one of my poetry collections. The collection is about what women say to each other. Or, as likely, ABOUT each other! Poetry for women in other words.
But those two words – Girls Talk- can be interpreted in different ways.
If “Talk” is a verb, then – as anyone will testify – girls certainly do talk. They talk about the mundane matters of life – the weather, stains on laundry, how to bake that perfect cake, nappy rash. I am not saying that the mundane is solely the preserve of the female, nor that baking is insignificant. Simply that those are matters are examples which may enter the conversations of a group of women.
But underneath the inane chatter is often a mastermind at work.
You see, women are good at body language. They are really good at hearing the unsaid. They may not know what it is they have noticed, but they will sense that something is rippling beneath the surface. And they will worry at it like a terrier bitch until they’ve unravelled the secret.
That apostrophe can lead to catastrophe! This is often a group of women having a powwow. A coven perhaps! A murder of old crows who claim ownership of their conversation – or character assassination maybe!
“It’s just girls’ talk dear” will send shivers down the spine of many a good man! Or likewise, a female colleague who is not part of the collective.
It can also be a benign women’s group chatting harmlessly. However, chances are there will be plenty of dissection afterwards! Not necessarily nasty dissection. But one poor lady’s words are often picked over for deeper meaning. That collective mastermind with the intuitive skills of a supervillain is magnified by the number of women involved in the conversation.
Women do like to know each other’s business!
Now this is the lone woman. She is usually privately bemoaning her fate, confessing her sins or conjuring up her desired future.
She is the Primadonna of poets! The First Lady of fiction. Consequently, she is the girl we all like to write about and pretend we don’t know who she is.
She is the spirit who resides within every female. And she calls to men whose inner feminine needs to be heard. This is every mother, daughter, Goddess, Amazon and witch. This girl is mother earth and the abused child in one.
Also she is the tired housewife, nurse, cleaner or company director. She is the cheater or the cheated. She is woman…a collective. Her voice will resonate with women the world over as she can speak in many languages and characters. The listener hears what they need from her words, and is soothed, encouraged, fired or validated. Her screams of anguish, shouts of anger, whispers of love and pain are heard throughout the universe.
So who does my Girls Talk poetry represent?
My Girls Talk poems are written for all three of these categories. I worked with women and listened to their hopes and dreams, their complaints and their troubles. I heard the regrets and memories of the old and likewise, the aspirations of the young. Similarly, I heard hopelessness and resignation, frustration and fear.
Often, I wanted to comment, to advise and to encourage. Sometimes I wanted to slap some sense into them. But that was not my role…this was their path to create and follow. I could cry with them, laugh with them, simply be there for them.
That deep dark silence of wordless connection.
They did not want my advice…nor did I offer it. They wanted to be heard. Moreover, these women needed to be listened to. And in telling their story, they heard it in a different way. Perhaps it made things clearer to them. And as a result of that clarity, they saw their route forward. Maybe being listened to reinforced their resolve to stumble down a blind alley or chase a poor choice.
Often, I felt the weight of their stories long after they had walked away. I think I occasionally picked up their energy baggage in addition to my own – I felt drained.
I was carrying all these stories and needed to let them float away.
Poetry For Women
So I wrote about them. Poetry for women. Actually about women. I changed circumstances but gained writing inspiration from them. Perhaps I wrote about what I would have wanted them to do. Or about a similar situation, penning their angst for them.
I used the anonymity of “she” or “her” to hide behind. The Primadonna taking another curtain call on behalf of her sisters everywhere.
Maybe sometimes “she” is me!
But I am not telling when!
Here are some rants! Through-the-Glass is where I am let off the leash!