Global Poetry Writing Month (GloPoWriMo), the spin off from NaPoWriMo, which does apply to countries where April is not just the cruelest month (according to T.S. Elliot), but the designated month to celebrate all things poetry. NaPoWriMo set the global poetry community alight with poetry writing fervour each spring. Ireland has Poetry Day Ireland on 26th April. Not a whole month for sure, but enough that I think I need to fly both national and global flags. Doing the double as usual for someone living in border country with multiple nationalities.
And my response to Day 2’s prompt is one that is grounded in recent Irish news.
we’d like to challenge you to write a poem that plays with voice. For example, you might try writing a stanza that recounts something in the first-person, followed by a stanza recounting the same incident in the second-person, followed by a stanza that treats the incident from a third-person point of view. Or you might try a poem in the form of a dialogue, which necessarily has two “I” speakers, addressing two “you”s. Another way to go is to take an existing poem of yours or someone else’s, and try rewriting it in a different voice. The point is just to play with who is speaking to who and how.
I am not sure that I have actually played along with complete spirit of the prompt, but the alternating hashtags that have appeared in the wake of the acquitals in Belfast and the subsequent responses that have broken down gender lines, seemed like a jumping off point. Also, as a feminist, I get how the legal system muffles the ‘reasonable doubt’ element down to a ‘he said/she said’ storyline. Too frequently, unless a woman nearly dies and has the courage to confront her assaulter in court, the ‘reasonable doubt’ is all too often the outcome. Which leaves women angry and less likely to report rape. Because who wants to volunteer to be assaulted all over again by an institution? Too often victims wind up in court and, like Joan of Arc, get roasted and metaphorically burnt at the stake.
Believe You Me
Because I drank too much wine one night
Because sometimes we all want to delight the party
Especially because I thought h was a really nice guy
Because we learn nice can be a big lie
Because I believed he liked me
Because we are all taught we ought to please
Because I didn’t like the darkness
Because we all know someone hurt
Too many of us have been in that room
At some point
With a sister friend
Or our mother
Who conceived in terror
It should be okay to change your mind
To not have to submit in pain
To be able to disappoint
To not walk away vagina bleeding, and shamed