What I admire about female poets
For Clifton, Walker, Angelou and all the queens of verse
The female creative muse is expressed
in more ways than chick-lit,
romance and feminist canon.
With poetry, the female experience
is boiled down,
but not lost in heat and spice,
to one or more pages
of broken or consecutive stanza.
With poetry, a woman’s life
in the kitchen, in the bedroom, at work
becomes coded in metaphors,
lyrical rhythms, rhymes,
For those untrained
the verse has no identity.
For knowledgeable folk
the identity is identical
exact and comparable
to the raw realities of life.
With poetry, everything:
abuse, lost babies,
relationship heartache, period pains,
the shame of a chastity snatched away –
is reduced to a single maxim: survival.
With poetry, not just the earth
but being a woman is beautiful,
beautiful as the rise in ‘Still I rise,’
strong and defiant as the phenomenal
in ‘phenomenal woman.’
Broken words of hurt and loss turn,
to reinforced rods of majestic steel.
Brothers, with poetry there is a cipher
that can unlock the mine
that is the female mind
with all the riches we hope to find —
For just as a sister’s style evolves every season,
so too should we men reason
that her poetry will be in a cycle
of submerged, alternating, meaning.