|Today's Poetry Friday host is
If National Poetry Month were a party (it kind of is), what would you wear to the celebration? During the month of April, I'll be featuring poetry about clothes.
Articles of clothing are symbolic. They represent choices people make about how they want to be viewed by others. But they can also represent a person's economic situation, relationship with gender, mood, and culture. A red jacket can be a metaphor for strength (just ask Hilary).
From popular song, we have Prince's "Raspberry Beret," Elvis' "Blue Suede Shoes," and Nancy Sinatra's walking boots. But what about poetry?
In April, I welcome you to sign up for a Monday or Wednesday post. On those days, I will feature guest bloggers. Guest posts will include a favorite clothing-related poem, with a paragraph or two of introduction.
Every Friday in April, I'll post a round-up of original clothing poems. (Send those via email to laurashovan at gmail dot com).
Here is a sample of what a guest post might look like:
One of my favorite poems about clothing is Lawrence Ferlinghetti's irreverent, off-the-rails "Underwear." My own writing style tends to be controlled, which is part of why I smile every time I read "Underwear." From its subject matter to its jabs at religion, politics, gender inequality, and Shakespeare, every layer of this poem holds a surprise. I can imagine George Carlin reading "Underwear" to a crowd. It shares the cadence and humor of the comic's classic routines. Like the best modern odes, "Underwear" brings my attention to a garment that I usually take for granted.
I didn’t get much sleep last night
thinking about underwear
Have you ever stopped to consider
underwear in the abstract
When you really dig into it
some shocking problems are raised
Underwear is something
we all have to deal with
some kind of underwear
The Pope wears underwear I hope
The Governor of Louisiana
I saw him on TV
He must have had tight underwear
He squirmed a lot
Underwear can really get you in a bind
You have seen the underwear ads
for men and women
so alike but so different
Women’s underwear holds things up
Men’s underwear holds things down
Underwear is one thing
men and women have in common
Underwear is all we have between us
You have seen the three-color pictures
with crotches encircled
to show the areas of extra strength
and three-way stretch
promising full freedom of action
Don’t be deceived
It’s all based on the two-party system
which doesn’t allow much freedom of choice
the way things are set up
America in its Underwear
struggles thru the night
Underwear controls everything in the end
Take foundation garments for instance
They are really fascist forms
of underground government
making people believe
something but the truth
telling you what you can or can’t do
Did you ever try to get around a girdle
Perhaps Non-Violent Action
is the only answer
Did Gandhi wear a girdle?
Did Lady Macbeth wear a girdle?
Was that why Macbeth murdered sleep?
And that spot she was always rubbing—
Was it really in her underwear?
Modern anglosaxon ladies
must have huge guilt complexes
always washing and washing and washing
Out damned spot
Underwear with spots very suspicious
Underwear with bulges very shocking
Underwear on clothesline a great flag of freedom
Someone has escaped his Underwear
May be naked somewhere
But don’t worry
Everybody’s still hung up in it
There won’t be no real revolution
And poetry still the underwear of the soul
Read the rest (yes, there's more!) at The Poetry Foundation.
So take off your jackets, (keep your underwear on), loosen your ties, and buckle your blue suede shoes. April is almost here.
Guest bloggers, leave a comment to let me know which date and what poem you'd like to post.
Wednesday 4/1: Guest Post by J. C. Elkin
Friday 4/3: Poem round up
Monday 4/6: Guest Post AVAILABLE!
Wednesday 4/8: Guest Post by Robyn Hood Black
Friday 4/10: Poem round up
Monday 4/13: Guest Post AVAILABLE!
Wednesday 4/15: Guest Post by Linda Baie
Friday 4/17: Poem round up
Monday 4/20: Guest Post by Robyn Campbell
Wednesday 4/22; Guest Post AVAILABLE!
Friday 4/24: Poem round up
Monday 4/27: Guest Post AVAILABLE!
Wednesday 4/29: Project wrap up