Women In Words

Women In Words

In the words of Robert Frost, "Poetry is when an emotion has found its thought and the thought has found words."

Poetry and prose have been the language of the suppressed for centuries; words put together like pearls on a string – delicate and capable of turning the so-called ‘ordinary’ into pretty. Here is a brief list of the strongest, most powerful poets who write for the strength of women everywhere.

 

1. Maya Angelou

Possibly the greatest poet ever, acknowledged for her effortlessly beautiful writing, her words are capable of stirring up revolutions. She wrote in simple, unembellished words, but words with meanings so strong, they could move you to tears. Maya's writing stems from deep down, inspired and fuelled by her own painful personal experiences- a past that went from fry cook to sex worker to musical actor. She writes about racism, family, about the men who used her and the others who let her down.

"You may shoot me with your words,

You may cut me with your eyes,

You may kill me with your hatefulness,

But still, like air, I'll rise."

 

2. Sappho
Possibly the first female poet to write about sexual identity and homosexuality; Sappho is practically the goddess of feminine poetry. She wrote poems that were meant to be sung; lyrical poetry that you automatically assigned a tune to while you read it. Sappho, born on the island of Lesbos, continues to inspire generations of writers; and as you might have guessed, was the origin for the word "lesbian", and "Sapphic", both words to describe love between women. She is counted among the ranks of epic poets, like Homer and Plato.

"It’s no use

 Mother dear, I

Can’t finish my

Weaving

You may

Blame Aphrodite

Soft as she is

She has almost

Killed me with

Love for that boy"

 

3. Rupi Kaur
A Canadian of Indian origin, Rupi Kaur tops the list of the most influential female writers of the century. Her poems are heart-breaking and passionate; she writes about feminism and falling in love. Somehow, her poems manage to touch the hearts of everyone alike; regardless of who you are. Kaur once posted a series of pictures on her Instagram platform, titled "The Period", which portrayed herself with menstrual blood stains on her clothing and bed sheets - something every girl is familiar with. Instagram took those pictures down, stating "obscenity" and "not complying with their terms of service". When this spurred an online explosion of rage, Instagram promptly apologized; a step forward in de-stigmatizing menstruation.

"You tell me to quiet down cause

My opinions make me less beautiful

But i was made with a fire in my belly

So i could not be put out

I was not made with a lightness in my tongue

So i could be easy to swallow

I was made heavy

Half blade and half silk

Difficult to forget but

Not easy for the mind to follow."

 

4. Alok Vaid Menon
"Born in the wrong world; not the wrong body."
A gender non-conforming Indian-American poet and LGBTQ activist, Menon writes mostly on Instagram and other online platforms; and has published a chapbook titled "femme in public". Menon goes by "singular they" pronouns; and incorporates trans-activism and gender identity into their poems. They are known for their flamboyant, extravagant fashion style- fearless and fierce as can be. Their poems are raw and almost prose-like, addressing issues that most of us simply overlook.
Here is a link to one of their poems: https://thefeministwire.com/2015/04/2-poems-by-darkmatter/

 

Poetry has the ability to stir up emotions locked deep down; it helps us relate with and express thoughts suppressed within us; and is one of the best mediums to address social issues.

Do you have a poem you’d like us to share? Write to us at connect@thepinkboxindia.com!

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