Sunday, March 7, 2010


Being International Women's Day, here's some prose by Stevie Smith, a poet who observes the world from an educated woman's point of view. She may not think of herself as a feminist, but she definitely has an independent female voice. This one is dedicated to all those women pinned down to a wasted life of duty and subservience. Hopefully, some day they will find their inner ROAR rather than be shut down in prose. Like these women, this prose is trying to escape and break out into verse and poetry.  
Married to a tiger

Why do some women like to be bullied, I think to myself, lying at full length to enjoy the hot soft water. Now, at home where my aunt and I live, the wives are so often delighted to tell you how splendidly bullying their husbands are, and how they put the foot down here and there, and no, they will not let them play bridge in the afternoon and they will not let them smoke. "My dear husband does not like to see me smoke," there is a great deal of pride in their voices when they say this. I have often noticed it, it is as if they would say, you may not think it but I am married to a tiger. No, I did not think it, for certainly I cannot penetrate this excellent disguise that this tiger has adopted, for certainly no better disguise exists anywhere than the disguise of a Bottle Green husband. "My dear," say the jungle tiger-bucks, "I shall go to the tiger reunion festival as a Bottle Green husband, you won't know me." 


* The statue is none other than Emmanuel Fremiet's Joan of Arc that has been standing at the Place des Pyramides in Paris since 1874. I like the contrast between the golden saint and the grey surroundings and delapidated cement base on which the statue stands.


Robin said...

This was the first thing that came to mind and I had to go digging for it in my newly found quote book:

"Whenever two people meet there are really six people present. There is each man as he sees himself, each man as the other person sees him, and each man as he really is." ~ William James

And I think that really addresses that wonderful bit about the women and their bottle green husbands from a different perspective. I would have liked it better if a woman had said it given the holiday. So, I kept looking for a woman's quote to finish this off and there were tons. How to choose?

"To live is so startling it leaves little time for anything else."
~Emily Dickinson


Purple Cow said...

Love the James quote - as for Dickinson...her poem, "They shut me up in prose", is a perfect feminist poem.

As for "living" being startling in itself...I quite agree...though i always do manage to squeeze a little room for a blog post.


Robin said...

Okay, I got your request for how to do a link to someone else's blog or one of your own (works the same for both). I copied and pasted the instructions as they were given to me. If you don't understand them my email is on my fanpage ~ I got the message that you joined ~ or you can comment me again and I will try to help with more comprehensive info. But I think this will do it. Here it is:
Right click on the website in the URL bar and select 'copy'. Then, in the text of your post (as you're composing it) highlight the word you want to link to the website. In the little taskbar above where you're writing your post, you'll see the word 'link'. Click that and paste the website URL into the empty field. (Or you could type it in by hand if you know it well, but it needs to start 'http://' to work, rather than just 'www.'. Click 'ok' and there you have it!