Poetry and mothering

There things I want to write here are now coming faster than I can find time to write.  It is interesting to me that one thing about writing is that it doesn’t actually “clear” your brain of ideas.  Like pruning a plant, it makes more grow.  Two weeks ago today, at the festival called Split this Rock (a festival of poetry of provocation and witness) I went to a morning workshop called “Birth and the Politics of Motherhood in Poetry”.  The panel was Patricia Smith, Diana Garcia, Alicia Ostriker and Melisa Cahnman-Taylor.  Motherhood.  Poetry.  What do you think of?  Patricia Smith read a poem called “Scribe” from her collection Teahouse of the Almighty, about her son’s work as a jailhouse writer while serving time in prison.  Diana Garcia read a poem about crossing the border into Mexico when she was a young and poor mother and her infant son needed antibiotics that she couldn’t afford to buy here.  I have not stopped thinking about these women, about these motherings, about the need for the voices of mothering– of the majority of the mothers of the world, of every mother.

3 responses to “Poetry and mothering

  1. Thank you for reminding my why the poems we write, we scribble, we recite, we conjure are so important. Look forward to reading your poems.

  2. Thank you, Laura. Connecting motherhood and writing and poetry reminds me so much of Kate Hopper. I used to think poetry was only in Spanish (preposterous, I know). Kate made me aware of poetry in English (this is how I *met* Grace Paley). I think you would like her writing motherswhowrite.blogspot.com

    • Thank you, as always (now it is always since we have been corresponding) for your comment and sharing Kate Hopper– whose work and blog I will surely look for. I think your comment that you used to think poetry was only in Spanish was really interesting, deep, sweet and revealing of a truth about poetry. Not preposterous at all. I assume Spanish was your first language, is that right? It does make me think about how poetry, good poetry, touches something deep in us, and often touches something that I would call “early”– something in the feeling realm about what we need and needed to be reminded was true, or something that was sad, or frightening or hopeful–often it reaches all the way back to one of those places from our early lives– a place of hope or loss or whatver. So it makes sense that you would have thought of poetry as something only existing in the language of your early life. Thanks for writing– as always.

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