Every day up until our What Is Feminist Poetry? event we are collaborating on with Threads Equality Agency, we will be sharing a poem which exemplifies feminist poetry in one way or another – to celebrate these voices and start exploring the ideas and experiences they raise. Who writes feminist poetry? What is it about, and what kind of language does it use?

And remember – our event will include an open mic segment so please do bring along (or comment below!) any poetry you’ve written which you think explores or illustrates your experience of your gender, or poetry by anyone else (living, dead, celebrated, anonymous or otherwise) which you think deserves to be shared, discussed, or heard.

I hope you’re all as excited for this evening as we are! Come along East Oxford Community Centre at 7.30pm, bring a pen, paper, a bit of curiosity, open-mindedness, and imagination, and prepare for an evening of FEMINISM and POETRY.

The last feminist-poem-of-the-day we’ve got is by Michelle Madsen who will be sharing her work along with Serena Arthur tonight. It is a poem about empowerment, strength, possibliity, and frisbee, and captures the dizzying vertigo of hypothetical and real achievement with wit and poetic sleight of hand. Don’t miss this opportunity to enjoy Michelle and Serena’s work tonight, share your own, and share your ideas about writing and gender.

Here’s “Alternative Beach Sports”:

 

Dearest,
You are (hypothetically)
The greatest
Frisbee player
This world has ever seen.

In theory,
You could
Fling that disc
Unfettered across continents,
Watch it crest the waves
Of crabbed grey oceans,
Lick the sun’s hungry penumbra
without singeing its wings,
And
hurtle
back
earthwards
To whisper on the nervous legs of divers
Spin through the spray as they take fright,
And plunge right in.
 
Hypothetically,
Your disc would be arrested only by an errant tree
Which with stunning inconsideracy has been planted in its path
But no matter dearest, your frisbee ducks divinely
And you hook up lost sheep –
You beach-bound shepherdess –
This plastic plate your latter day crook.

In this multiverse of possibility
Disc-flinging has wrenched the adoration of the masses
From the ball’s spherical clutch
And you,
You’re crutched by their shoulders
As they crown you the day’s sporting uber-deity
On world-wide prime-time TV
With an infra-red plastic tiara
Jewelled with luminous beads of sweat
And then,
(then!)
You could even advertise high-end underwear!
On 50-foot high billboards
In big, busy cities
Where the kids haven’t even begun to dream
Of flinging their frisbees
Across all seven seas
And beyond the luminaries
Of far and lonely galaxies.

But dearest,
What’s in this dream?
Hypothetically you could become a raging queen
A supine witness,
A saint,
A trainee manatee,
A whore incorporated,
An anything, an anybody
Who drinks in secret and watches re-runs of past glories on TV,
Who wears her last hopes in the rents tears have torn in her face
Who Havishams her wedding lace
Freezing it in strips
And turns her eyes
To the brooding sky
Searching for grace
In the round-bellied clouds,
That play havoc with her nights.
 
So don’t count the lies
They outnumber the stars
Don’t think yourself small
But brace for the ride of your lives
Holding on to this disc
About to be thrown by the greatest
Frisbee player this world will ever see.

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