I’ve seen themes of my poetry dwell in the familial realm for many years. When I was younger, I would write poetry about my younger sister and how proud (or angry) I was that she was born. I would write about my Mother being the comfiest pillow ever. I would write, write, write about how much I loved being in a “girls only” household with my mom and two sisters. I would muse about the woes of being the middle child.
I think my poetry finds root in the über girl-ness of my girlhood. Growing up with all women was a beautiful blessing, empowering to say the least, but also difficult to reconcile with loss. My little family has grown to embrace womanhood and all that it should stand for, the beauty and strength it entails, the problems it produces. When writing poetry, I often think of womanhood (however one would wish to define it) because that is what I knew to observe, celebrate, and protect growing up. I think a major source of my poetry is the three women I grew up alongside. They weave themselves into every poem somehow, some way. I tend to focus on a woman’s interactions with everyday life because it has always been concerning to me that, “Hey, you’ve got no rhythm section in that family of yours!” and “Now you just need a brother to complete the family!” were acceptable and even charming things to say.
I take interest in society and the woman in my poetry, and I wonder how my poetic voice would be different if I had been raised a different way?
To cap this off, I’ll share a snippet of Phenomenal Woman by Maya Angelou, a poem my mother has always enjoyed.