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Portrayal Of Community Issues Faced By Women

The goal of this extended article is to investigate how Persistence Agbabi portrays the problems women are faced with in her poem routine ''Seven Sisters'' from her poetry collection ''Transformatrix'' and look at different viewpoints of the primary themes provided in the seven poems from the perspective of the poet.

This is done by first distinguishing three main topics in the seven poems that happen to be:

Teenage pregnancy and prostitution

Adolescence and fairytale stereotypes

Sexuality, sexual mistreatment and gender expectations

These issues were then carefully analyzed by in depth exploration of the poems and extra external options. With the purpose of understanding the subject matter behind the poems more adequately, an interview with the poet, Patience Agbabi, was planned first by contacting her through www. patienceagbabi. wordpress. com and later by email. The correspondence is fastened in the appendix.

After a detailed research of the key subject areas, it was possible to summarize that Persistence Agbabi portrayed the ladies and the sociable issues in a far more unconventional manner by highlighting the virtuous as well as the unpleasant characteristics of the main characters. This is different for example from the advertising which, affected by world, typically only reveals only one point of view and thus disregards the viewpoints of individuals who actually have problems with the sociable issues discussed in this essay.


Patience Agbabi is a English poet delivered in London in 1965 to Nigerian parents. She was informed at Oxford Univeristy and printed the poetry collection, named ''Transformatrix'', in 2000. This extended essay will examine seven sestina poems from that collection, suitably called the ''Seven Sisters'', that happen to be a truthful interpretation of the poet's view on women and the many challenges they go through. With each one of the seven women representing another type of time and type of life, Perseverance Agbabi has given a very interesting depiction of the change of women through time. The issues in the poems differ a good deal. The main topics discussed are adolescent motherhood and prostitution, adolescence and fairytale stereotypes, and sexuality, erotic maltreatment and gender expectations. In her poems Perseverance Agbabi attempts to break the stereotypes of women that have formed from a long time of misunderstanding and insufficient interest to learn the other side of the story. It really is interesting to notice that even though a feminist, the poet does not depict the women in the seven poems in an extremely positive or ideal manner; the character types are all authentic and with flaws, as it is in real life, which is strictly the reason why these are so intriguing to learn. Instead of the worn out depictions of the subject areas in the poems, Agbabi attempts to explore another type of viewpoint and widen the knowledge of for example transvestites, lesbians or rebellious young adults. The poet uses one of the very most difficult types of poetry to master, the sestina, to highlight the most crucial aspects in each poem. A sestina is an extremely structured poem consisting of six six-line stanzas followed by its envoy. A similar set of six words ends the lines of each of the stanzas, but in a different order each time. The six recurring expression are time, gal, end, child, youngster, dark - each of these representing the central styles of the poems and merging the ''Seven Sisters'' together. Entirely the question this article is designed to answer is: How can Fortitude Agbabi portray the problems women are confronted with in her poem routine ''Eight Sisters''?

Teenage pregnancy and prostitution

Teenage pregnancy has been a problem throughout background, the one difference being that nowadays it is much more discussed and there are actual measures taken to relieve the problem. Through the Second World Battle however, which is also enough time body for the first poem ''Martina'', the problem was much worse and the challenge was disregarded or denied. As explained in the poem, the war acquired a horrific influence on people because so many were surviving in constant fear, pondering only about the outcome of the confrontation. With the men delivered to battle, the ladies had to give themselves and for many it meant obtaining a job and working long hours for the first time in their lives. It is to no surprise then, that some women resorted to easier ways to keep their previous lifestyle and at the same time help the war-effort. The so called ''win women'' or ''khaki-wackies'' provided respectable companionship for military services men: they wrote letters, played credit cards, danced with them and finally ended up holding their children because of this of imprudence. Within the poem ''Martina'', the difference between your two manners of behaviour is identified by the actual fact that in the time of dread and despair, when women was required to work hard and food is at very short resource, the so called ''khaki-wackies'' experienced a more glamorous lifestyle, at least on the outside:

''. . But we were weekend

disciples, evacuees scared of dark

nights pierced with blitzkrieg pyrotechnics, child-

like, clinging to mother's skirt. She found time

to party in new nylons, good-time girl

growing voluptuous from man and boy,

on delicious chocolate and plum brandy. I used to be tomboy. . . ''

In reality these were non-professional prostitutes, young girls who resorted to more straight-forward steps to make it through the turbulent and uncertain times. Within the last three stanzas of the poem, Agbabi represents the typical final result of such behaviour, which was motherhood. As the V-girls were in majority young girls raging from the age of 12 to 17, young motherhood rate was for example in the United States higher in the 1940's than it is now.

''. . . .

We all understood she was expecting a child.

In those days most of us expected the boy

to marry her. Nonetheless it being wartime,

too soon his two-month leave emerged to an end.

Her father threw her out into pitch-dark

November's clutches with words ''No girl

of mine. . . '' She offered birth to your baby girl,

Martina. They wished to position the child

up for adoption. . . . . ''

In these lines the poet also clarifies the misconception people possessed about the lifestyle of such ladies.

It was expected that the soldiers would marry the girl they received pregnant, however the fact was quite different. Majority of the men got no intention to use responsibility, and even though they did walk down that aisle, the marriages usually ended when the war was over. The girls were left behind, pregnant and rejected by the society, without other option than to resort to illegal abortion, supply the child up for adoption or try to raise their newborn on your. The women could not expect help from their families as it was considered unforgivable to truly have a child delivered out of wedlock. The press portrayed them as people who only had themselves to blame for their situation, however the poem ''Martina'' evokes somewhat sympathy than dismay for the character, especially with the previous lines:

''. . . . In time,

she got wedded for the child's sake, a boy-

next-door type; and in time I achieved a girl

with sloe-dark sight and liked her till the end. ''

Patience Agbabi herself says that: ''The conversational first person narrative invites the reader to identify with these women, to enjoy their heart and wit, to empathise with them in spite of their morals. '' Through the entire poem and especially in the end, the narrator is more intrigued and fascinated with the victory lady, somewhat than being appalled. In my opinion it displays that in many ways the V-girls were envied because of their apparently glamorous lifestyle and their free-spirited dynamics, by other, more conservative, women throughout that time.

The other poem in the collection, that gets the central designs of teenage motherhood, prostitution and also erotic misuse is ''Samantha''. Unlike ''Martina'', the life span of ''Samantha'' occurs at a far more modern time. The poem offers usually with prostitution, but once more it is not from the very typical viewpoint, as the girl positive characteristics are similarly emphasized with her short-comings. The poem also gives more insight to 1 of the reasons behind prostitution and from that also young pregnancy.

''. . .

They can't see my bump in the dark.

I work Stamford Hill mostly. My first time

was 96. We was really broke. Boy

from the local estate. Dealer. The girls

put me up to it. Once I got over the style it was child's

play. Sucked him as an ice lolly in June. We call it 'making ends

meet. ' ''

In this stanza, the prostitute is discussing why she first received started out with her type of work, and as for most girls, in most cases about financial problems and a lack of education or opportunities to discover a proper job. Corresponding to Claire Sterk: money, history of sexual abuse, having developed without love from the significant people in their lives and being enticed by a male of female friend or by peer pressure from a group of friends are the primary reasons for prostitution. All of those are also stated in the poem ''Samantha''. When comparing ''Samantha'' to ''Martina'' then their one similarity is pregnancy, what is different, is both women's perception of the situations.

In ''Martina'', the lady is punished for her situation and considers putting the child up for adoption. In ''Samantha'', the prostitute has a more positive attitude towards the fact that she has a kid.

''. . I'd die if anything occurred to my kid. A child

keeps you sane. . . ''

Even though only taking place 20 to 30 years later, the view on the situation had transformed, and prostitutes at that time felt like that they had the right and independence of talking about their lives without shame of what others may think. What is interesting about the poem is the actual fact that Samantha herself does not seem to be too disturbed about just how her life has proved, she seems foolishly hopeful that things might change for the better. The fact is however, that the reasons that first dragged the woman into prostitution aren't more likely to just disappear. In an interview with the Guardian journalist, Emine Saner, a long-time intimacy worker told Saner that she'd like to have the ability to go wrong, but will not know how else to manage financially. The need for this poem and also ''Martina'' is the actual fact that even though both women have a distorted sense of morals, the reader can not help but feel relatively sorry for the personas and therefore permitting those to see teenage motherhood and prostitution in another light than usually portrayed by the multimedia.

Adolescence and fairytale stereotypes

According to Perseverance Agbabi herself, exploring childhood moving into adolescence is one of her favorite themes. As everyone is a kid before and can say that puberty is an extremely psychological time of a person's life, it is therefore no real surprise that adolescence can be an interesting topic for any authors and poets. In a very life of any usual teenager, adolescence is enough time of first love, learning about sexuality and for most young girls the realisation of the truth behind fairytale stereotypes. Among my own favourites, Agbabi's poem ''The Tiger'' is an outstanding portrayal of your rebellious teenage gal who is just on her journey of sensing what life as a grown-up is really like. Most young girls have a huge misunderstanding about adulthood, mainly regarding romance.

'' Tracy loves Darren. It had been girl

power, 1979. He was my aerosol boy

and the swelling inscription, my lifebuoy.

We lasted a month. ''

In the poem, the young woman gets a tattoo with the name of her first love. It really is a very truthful depiction of young people' s understanding of love, as they think it will last forever just like the tattoo. The reality of the problem hits young people usually when they gain more freedom and responsibilities, which also marks the end of these puberty. ''The Tiger'' shows the ordeal within an psychological and familiar way, thus making the audience feel the angst of puberty once more. In society, adolescence is broadly talked about, as parents appear increasingly more clueless of how to proceed when their child is behaving in a rebellious matter. Giving the audience an information to the girl's point of view, Agbabi once again enables visitors to see the problem from a fresh angle.

'' It requires an hour to obliterate lady meets boy

a minute for youth to end,

and for dark blue to diminish to grey, a lifetime. ''

With the final stanza of the poem, Agbabi stresses again the actual fact that feelings and situations that all seemed so important during years of puberty, mean hardly any when compared to the others of a person's life. The second poem in Agbabi's collection that also handles the problems of fairytale stereotyping and much more generally, youngsters misunderstanding of the life span ahead, is ''Leila''. This poem is mainly depicting the usual dream of a little young lady, in her early on years of adolescence, when she longs for enchanting princes and amazing wedding ceremonies. This delusion has been created by entertainment industry, as children face more and more cartoons, films and toys in an exceedingly early age. The idea behind this is to affect the kids into wanting all sorts of consumer goods, but additionally these films and toys supply the small children a distorted view of life which in old age may end up being a significant obstacle on the approach to life a satisfied life. Developmental psychologists have long recognized the fact that taking part in has a crucial affect on the child's development. During play children communicate with their world and internalize elements of contemporary society, such as norms, worth, and adult assignments. Children's gadgets have an enormous influence on their development of self-image and their idea of the population - one of the essential tasks of years as a child and adolescence. It really is to no surprise then, that the poet has chosen this subject matter as it sheds light and talks about another band of women, who are suffering from some type of social concern.

''. . .

dreaming all night of her shoe-shine youngster,

their diamond wedding, that happy end-

ing. If she were a time

she'd be midnight, when each child paints the dark

with illusion, when young ladies become women, boys

become men as soon as upon a period. . . becomes THE FINISH. ''

The previous stanza of the poem is demonstrating exactly Agbabi's point that eventually everyone grow up and your there is also to develop out of fairytales. No fairytale ever before shows the life span of the protagonists following the happily ever after, and therefore having unrealistic prospects in one's adulthood to, for example, have a relationship that can be compared to a classical fairytale, is a wish that the truth is will never become a reality. The two poems of adolescence and fairytale stereotypes are not only instructive for the young girls and women who are confronted with the issue, but also for many who as observers may well not have completely recognized or recognized it as a sociable concern before.

Sexuality, sexual misuse and gender expectations

Sexuality is most definitely the most questionable and most covered subject matter that the poet has reviewed in her poem collection ''Seven Sisters''. Perseverance Agbabi, being truly a bisexual herself, provides very interesting and relatively perceptive portrayal of your huge variety of different women and their sexualities. Not merely does she discuss the sexualities of the ladies themselves, but also gender expectations amongst moms, who also wish for their child to be of certain making love. According to research workers children are increasingly more alert to their sexuality from an early time, for example according to the research of 2004 by the Guttmacher Institute, 46% of teenagers in america between ages of 15-19 experienced sex at least once. It is to no surprise then that sexuality is such a talked about topic about the world these days. The challenge with young children and their sexuality is quickly mentioned in the poems ''Martina'' and ''The Tiger''. Within the poem '' The Tiger'', Agbabi writes about the protagonist sacrificing her virginity at a very young age, and thus also getting rid of her childhood. In ''Martina'', the key character is presumably around age 16, but must grow up fast, and for that reason get in touch with her sexual aspect, because of the battle. ''The more controversial part of sexuality in ''Martina'' is the actual fact that even though the personality is heterosexual, the narrator is a lesbian, '' as said by the poet. Sexual orientation has an extremely big part to try out inside our sense of who we could and exactly where we belong. Despite the fact that no-one decides their sexual orientation, you may still find millions of individuals who are highly against homosexuality, or bisexuality for example. As a close to heart matter for Agbabi, she decides a very different angle expressing her thoughts about the sociable issue relating to sexuality. In her poem ''Ms de Meanour'', the narrator who's also the primary figure in the poem, is a move queen and in lively fashion talks about her life of behaving such as a female, even though actually being truly a man.

'' Time

for boy

meets girl

in the reflection and outrageous child

bitch with a dick from Crouch End

becomes Wild Western End

diva with dark

luscious lashes. . . . . ''

In my opinion the poet is trying to draw a comparison between transvestites and gay people, as both are concealing their true personality and sexuality for the power and content of others. Pull queens dress and act as women, for the purpose of entertaining or undertaking. Homosexual people, on the other palm, need to sometimes cover their preferences from other in fear of public condemnation. In the very beginning of the 21st century, violence against homosexual populace was increasing, even the only ''wrong'' they did is just contain the courage to show difference from the majority. Fortunately during the last couple of years, the situation has improved, for example in many countries and in a few states in U. S, same-sex marriages are allowed and recognized by the government. Very closely linked with this topic, is gender anticipations which is another theme in Agbabi's poems. Decades back, it was crucial for a family group to truly have a son, for the very obvious reason a son is more robust and was more helpful around the house. Not only are there objectives about the gender of the child before it exists, but also after. Parents presume their children to develop up and follow the way in which of behavior that is satisfactory by the culture. To get a heterosexual couple, who have certain expectations because of their child, with respect to the kid's intimacy, it is probably quite disturbing to accept if the child actually is homosexual for example. The poem ''The Globe Mother'', is defined in a fairytale time of ''Once upon a time'', where a vintage girl craves for a boy and is initially disappointed, when the child she possessed already named ''Young man' turned out to be a girl.

''. . . Old Woman called it Boy

and dreamt earth, wind and hearth, better times. . .

And here the tale would end

if girls could truly tame the dark

and little kids were really boys, not young ladies.

Old Female woke and noticed her baby Youngster was girl

and being wise, gave praise and elevated this girl-child

. . . . ''

The poem is a remarkable approach to the topic, as the Old Girl signifies most parents who want the youngster to increase up a certain way they have imagined. It is also educational, such as the poem even though preliminary shocked to learn that things had not gone as organized, the Old Woman still raised the child without any issues or regrets. For me, Agbabi is trying to persuade the audience that even when a child will not grow up regarding to certain gender expectations, it is not a reason to repel person' s own flesh and bloodstream.

A more terrifying theme of sexuality in Agbabi's poems is child intimate mistreatment, which she writes about in the poem ''Samantha'', where the character is a young 14 12 months old girl, who was raped by her step-father and consequently became a prostitute. Intimate abuse between men and women and children, and additionally between siblings, is however not a passing issue in the current culture. In 1994, 46% of all rape cases reported, were patients of their family.

''. . . Pervs. Like my stepdad. I had been still a child

when he achieved it. Told her I used to be sleeping with boys

but she strolled in on us that lunchtime,

and called me a whore. Jealous bitch. I remaining that weekend.

Fourteen, and still scared of the deep. ''

One of the most disturbing factual statements about child sexual misuse is that in a few situations, the parents of the kids don't believe when their child instructs them about the rape or accuse the child to be seductive and asking for being raped. In those situations, the parent is usually more concerned about the partnership with the abuser than the well-being of the youngster. Therefore it is no real surprise, that after such ordeal, these children finish up running abroad and when getting adulthood suffer from low self-esteem, sexual dysfunction, difficulties with having a wholesome relationships, depression, substance abuse etc. The frankness of the key figure in the poem, shows the audience the results of sexual maltreatment without any buffers, in its purest form which includes proven to be the most effective way to get people acknowledge the seriousness of the situation and do something about one of the very most horrific problems women have to undergo in their lives.


Patience Agbabi is a true-hearted feminist, who in her poem collection ''Eight Sisters'' creates about a few of the most frequent sociable issues women are confronted with, without taking attributes. In her own words: ''As a feminist, as i started out as a article writer there was a politics pressure never to let the side down. Women were seeking equality and you'd a obligation as a copy writer to show women in the best possible light. But by this second booklet, I let skill alternatively than politics lead just how. '' Even though there have been many bigger and smaller issues discussed in the poems, the styles that prevailed and seemed to be most near center for the poet, were young pregnancy and prostitution, adolescences and fairytale stereotypes and last but not least sexuality, sexual abuse and gender expectations. Just how of portraying issues that are exceedingly talked about, making them sound progressive and interesting, and in addition finding something new to teach in all of the situations is what makes the poems beautiful and absolutely worthy of reading. Fortitude Agbabi draws the reader along with writing in first person narrative and therefore lets the reader to recognize with these women and the down sides they face. Teenage pregnancy and prostitution are often talked about from the point of view of the overall media but just what a regular person will not notice often about is the other side of the storyline, the reality about the problem. As the poet brought up herself, she actually is not endeavoring to idealize these women or justify their behaviour and morals, but rather give the reader a big change to make up their own decision about the people. This pertains to all the themes and character types discussed in ''Eight Sisters''. All together the collection acts as a quick study book for anyone enthusiastic about women - their problems, their views on world and the way the modern culture views them and most essentially it allows the reader to analyse the information without any external influence, thus approaching to a final result that has its bases on the individuals own views as opposed to the views of another person.


Patience Agbabi - ''Transformatrix''

Edinburgh: Payback Press. 2000.

Marilyn Hegarty - ''Victory Young girls, Khaki-Wackies and Patriotutes: The rules of girl sexuality during World Warfare II''

New York: NYU Press. 2007.

Claire Sterk - ''Tricking And Tripping, Prostitution INSIDE THE Era Of AIDS''

New York: Public Change Press. 2000.

Ken Moore - ''Anti-lesbian, Gay, Transgender and Bisexual Assault in 2000''

New York: National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs. 2001.

Kluft - ''Incest-Related Syndromes of Adult Psychopathology''

Washington: American Psyhiatric Press. 1990.

Penelope Maza - ''Adoption Movements: 1944-1975''

US Children's Bureau. 1984.

Emine Saner - ''You're consenting to being raped for money''

Guardian. 11th December 2007.

http://www. eduqna. com/Words-Wordplay/841-1-words-4. html

http://www. public. asu. edu/~kleong/adolescents%20barbie. pdf

http://www. guttmacher. org/pubs/FB-ATSRH. html

http://www. ncvc. org/ncvc/main. aspx?dbName=DocumentViewer&DocumentID=32315

Seven Sisters Unveiled


I uncovered the sestina quite unintentionally. I was popular for being a Janis Joplin enthusiast, the 60's rock star who lived fast and passed on young of an heroin overdose. I used to be particularly mesmerised by her rendition of Ball and Chain, a blues amount she performed at the Monteray pop event in 1967. The friend provided me a copy of any poem called You Can't Rhumboogie in a Ball and String (for Janis Joplin). It had been compiled by Alice Fulton, a poet I'd never heard of. The poem really captured Janis' spirit and I treasured it. I also treasured what sort of words seemed to dance around one another. Naturally, what I was giving an answer to subliminally was the form of the poem, the form known as the sestina.

So exactly what is a sestina? Like many poetic varieties they have musical roots. It had been created by Arnaud Daniel (whom Dante considered the best wordsmith). The proper execution was originally sung by the most notable category troubadours, those who could excel at the complicated form. The sestina continues to be viewed as the most difficult form to understand in modern How to Write Poetry books. In essence, you have six words which appear in a set order by the end of each range. You may have six stanzas of six lines each and a final stanza of three lines. It makes more sense when you see it on the web page so here's one I ready before, the first one I composed:


A poet good friend from the united states, Samantha Coerbell, reintroduced me to the sestina giving me the six end words, time, female, end, child, youngster, dark. They immediately recommended if you ask me a poem about the duration of time, adolescence, coming old with dark undertones. I didn't analyse it too tightly. One day I went to the Poetry Catalogue in London with a few hours to spare. I made a decision to write a sestina. It was supposed to be difficult but I believed it couldn't be that hard. I were able to write something I was reasonably happy with for the reason that two time. It made sense and it has a story lines. I realized it was a first draft that needed more work but it was a pretty good first draft as first drafts go. Just like the Alice Fulton poem, I also honored 10-syllable lines. Traditional English sestinas are written in iambic pentameter.

I relished the writing experience, using the word repetitions as a kind of rhyme and thought:

WHAT IF 100 people acquired given the same six end words. Imagine the difference in the poems they'd produce. Yet each poem would have a relationship to the next due the set repetition of the finish words. Each poem would perform the same dance to a new tune. I then decided to attempt the 'Seven Sisters' task. I gave myself per annum but eventually found myself writing one sestina per month. I wanted sufficient gaps between poems so they'd be very different. I intentionally didn't reread 'done' parts - I got to a draft stage where I recognized they did the trick then put them in the folder.


Seven Sisters' was mostly wordplay on the proper execution, sestina. Traditional sestinas used to declare themselves e. g. Elizabeth Bishop's Sestina. I decided each poem would be the name of a woman. I'd already got the subject for the collection, Transformatrix, so understood that my most important theme was women starting some type of change. I also wished to experiment with poetic form which means this sequence would be the centrepiece of the publication.


I kept the very same order of end words in the first six stanzas for all those seven poems. I allowed myself versatility with the envoys, with regard to my own sanity and to add variance with the very last word of each poem. I needed to finish using all the end words and managed to achieve this in the order: end child young man dark time young lady end. I intentionally used end twice - the first poem finished with the term end, and I needed the last one to also.

It was very important to the poems to look different on the site. If you are writing (or reading) seven sestinas you need such variance e. g. Ms De Meanour is right justified plus the Tiger is written more in paragraphs than in stanzas. Although form in the beginning dictated content, content in the end edited the form.


The first poem was an experiment. Can I do this? With succeeding poems I thought much more deeply about this content. The words son and female were specifically helpful. I knew they would perform a dating ritual in a few poems e. g. Martina, The Tiger, and Leila but I'd also have the ability to explore alternative sexualities e. g. Martina, The Tiger, and Ms De Meanour, the pull queen. You have an lesbian undercurrent in Martina, Martina herself is heterosexual however the narrator is a lesbian; subversion of the age-old key phrase boy meets gal inside the Tiger where I turn it around It requires one hour to obliterate girl meets boy; and of course, a dramatic subversion of the same term in Ms De Meanour Time/for son/meets female/ in the mirror. Artistically, it was very important to show a variety of women - the proper execution may be fixed but the content certainly wasn't.

It was also important not to only show positive woman role models. As being a feminist, once i began as a copy writer there was a political pressure never to let the part down. Women were seeking equality and you'd a responsibility as a copy writer to show women in the best possible light. But by this second booklet, I let art alternatively than politics lead just how. The Tiger, my favourite, portrays the bad female in school, the sort of girl who kept good ladies like me amused. Maybe it was postfeminism to enjoy her, not as a positive feminine role model but as a solid woman who recognized her own head. Likewise, Samantha is a prostitute with a means with words.

The conversational, first person narrative invites the audience to recognize with these women, to take pleasure from their soul anad wit, to empathise with them in spite of their morals. I didn't originally attempt to do monologues but the sestina, with its repetition of end-words, lends itself well to replicating natural conversation in poetry. Most of us duplicate ourselves for emphasis. One of the most famous sestinas, Ezra Pound's Sestina: Altaforte is a energetic monologue.

The phrase child would also perform a dance with female and boy. I could explore childhood moving into adolescence, a popular theme of mine occurring in other poems in the collection e. g. The Excoriation along with the Sting. I could go through the birth of a child and gender expections e. g. The Earth Mother or have the lady and guy have a child just as Samantha.

The phrase time allowed me to make imaginative leaps in time e. g. Martina is set in the next World War, The Tiger 1979 to 1980 and THE PLANET EARTH Mom in the fairytale world of Once upon a period. . . dark suited my poetic sensibility, I'm a fan of film noir, black-and-white gangster motion pictures from the 40s and 50s. I love shadows and twists and changes in plot. With regards to art I love the moody and the bluesy. Finally, end was a storytelling gift: I had the compare of woman and boy, I possibly could also end the collection with as soon as upon a period. . . becomes THE FINISH.


How do the text messages confirm and challenge traditional assumptions about the tasks of men and women (Earth Mom + Samantha + Ms De Meanour). THE PLANET EARTH Mom is written in traditional fairy tale style and creates a traditional circumstance - a woman wanting a kid to do what boys and men are supposed to do, chop timber etc. But the way she conjures up the child and the twist in the tale subvert all. In THE COLOR Crimson, Celie is black, poor, awful and a female. She's a caterpillar who develops wings. Both Misters conform to stereotype but Harpo's good at cooking food, Nettie and the young African girl are shiny, Shug talks just like a man etc etc.


Both text messages explore coming old, women finding their sexuality (Cider With Rosie's First Bite of the Apple).

How do the text messages confirm and test traditional assumptions about women's sexuality?

(Martina + Ms De Meanour )


Compare and contrast how form enhances theme/content? (The Tiger + all). In THE COLOR Purple, the epistolary form, the original Dear God letters don't feel just like letters. They're more diary. Actually, for me, the form disappears. It feels like reading a trad book with a smart but uneducated narrator. The usage of the vernacular is quite strong. It's only once they become real words from Nettie, you are aware you're reading a letter, an intimate yet informative text message as opposed to an initial person narrative. There is a real making point when Celie begins to create to Nettie instead of God, starts to question with Shug, who God is. The sestina form is pivotal to the themes of 'Seven Sisters' yet is (maybe) unobtrusive. The monologues are about exposing character just as much as telling a story. Each poem is related to the other through the form. Yet sometimes the proper execution is subverted. Equally Walker subverts the epistolary form by writing to God, I subvert the sestina by creating a series, changing the format.


Both text messages use fairy tale motifs e. g. Celie is unattractive duckling altered to a vibrant, attractive female. Also, there's a touch of the Cinderella account - the downtrodden Celie fits her (attractive prince) Shug. How do the text messages use and subvert fairytale stereotypes?

(Leila + Martina, THE PLANET EARTH Mom, Ms De Meanour and Samantha)

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