Thursday, 28 September 2017

POEM - National Poetry Day

Today is National Poetry Day in the UK, and this year's theme is 'Freedom'.

Of course, there are loads of incredible poems on the subject of Freedom (some of my favourites are here, here , here, here, and here) but I figured that, on National Poetry Day, it would be remiss of me not to have a go at writing something for myself.

So here is a poem. The title comes from a book called The First Blast of the Trumpet Against a Monstrous Regiment of Women, which was written by John Knox in 1588. (Evidently, he was not keen on Elizabeth I becoming Queen...) 

In this context, the word Monstrous means 'unnatural', because it's completely unnatural for a lady-girl to be in charge of anything other than managing the staff, amirite?

The term 'a monstrous regiment of women' was then appropriated in the eighteenth, nineteenth and twentieth centuries to criticise women's involvement in the political sphere, from the French Revolution to the women's suffrage movement. 

Whatever next?

Personally, I think we should all stand to be a bit more monstrous:

Monstrous Woman
I want to be a Monstrous Woman
To speak out of turn
To take up space
To scandalise tabloid newspapers

I want to question authority
To win more fights than I lose
To take my fair share
And allow you to take yours too

I want never to apologise for myself again

I want to be a Monstrous Woman
To stop expecting less
To give voice to the voiceless
And make space for all my sisters

I want to shatter your expectations
Build bridges instead of walls
Stop accepting the blame
And do something about it

I want you to make your own God damn sandwich

I want to be a Monstrous Woman
To reclaim the streets and my own body
To live unhindered by guilt
And stop reading those glossy magazines

I want to be out of control
A force to be reckoned with
To disturb the comfortable
And comfort the disturbed

I want the word 'ladylike' to fuck off back to the nineteenth century where it belongs

I want to be a Monstrous Woman
To be angry and ugly
Aggressive and antagonistic
I want you to see that life is not a zero sum game

I want to pull down the scaffolding
And start afresh
To charge the barricades and
Peel back the dead flesh

I want show you how things could be

I want to be a Monstrous Woman
Who's with me?