Friday, March 30, 2012

Musings on Femininity and Verse

So this week I was a productive Katie.

I was invited by one of my thesis committee members (flashbacks!!!) to be a part of her panel on gender and literature as part of Festiba. I was honored to join in, and said "of course! yes! I would love to!" and put it on the back burner of my ADD brain.

I figured I would just kind of run the same presentation as I did at AWP, no biggie.

But as the days ran closer, I started to feel -- well, that I was missing out on an opportunity to evaluate my own poetics. The panel was, after all, a research panel, and... I should probably do some actual research, yeah? And since I defended my thesis about a year ago now, my views on poetry have changed, matured, ripened (I like to think, anyway).

And so this past weekend, I embarked on a reading journey through criticism. No, it wasn't nearly as boring as it sounds. I came to a few personal conclusions that I touched on in my presentation. Why don't I share them with you?

1. Poetics are always changing and evolving, and that's completely ok.

2. The best poetry engages the conversation between form and content. Poets who are aware of this can use it to further their message in a powerful way.

3. My poetry is all about looking back and revisioning what it means to be a woman, a human being, broadening the discourse to allow for those marvelous shades of gray.

4. I do this by revising myths to be a source of feminine power and strength through my content.

5. I do this by revising and challenging form and meter to embody the feminine voice

6. Most importantly, as a poet, I acknowledge that there is no one answer to any question. There are many ways to be a poet, to be a feminist. I'm only beginning to discover a voice that works for me. Poetics are always changing and evolving in response to the world around me.


So there you have it. My current poetic philosophy. Let's see if it changes tomorrow :-)

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