Definition

One must make a distinction however: when dragged into prominence by half poets, the result is not poetry, nor till the autocrats among us can be “literalists of the imagination”—above insolence and triviality and can present for inspection, imaginary gardens with real toads in them, shall we have it.

Friday, April 6, 2018

April Six: Speaking in the Voice of Another




Today, let’s travel back in time, to feudal times in China, which began with the Xia dynasty in 2070 B.C., ending with the Revolution of 1911. In those times, girls and women, whose feet were usually bound, were oppressed, often living circumscribed lives of isolation. 

In the Hunan province, peasant women developed a secret language of female writing, called nu shu. A young girl was matched with a lifelong best friend, or soul sister, called her laotang, with whom she communicated by letter.

Sometimes these messages were inscribed on fans, which were passed back and forth. It was not until the 1960’s that this secret language of women drew the interest of the authorities and scholars.

The story of one of these captivating relationships is told in the book by Lisa See, and the film Snow Flower and the Secret Fan.

Our exercise is to write a poem in the voice of another: in this case, the voice of a woman living in feudal times, addressing her laotang,

Or,

Write from the point of view of any living creature. The canvas is wide. Amaze me!


21 comments:

Kerry O'Connor said...

That looks like an amazing movie!

brudberg said...

I will now go on leave... will be outside all internet for a week or so, hope to catch up so I still can do 30 poems in a month.

Sanaa Rizvi said...

A most challenging prompt, Sherry!💜 Gosh my fingers were trembling as I wrote hoping to do justice to the emotions of these women. Day 6! Phew!☕

Anonymous said...

i am sorry - i linked to the wrong poem - here is today's poem https://lindiannhewittcoleman.wordpress.com/2018/04/06/loxodonta-africana/
again i really enjoyed the prompt (and will watch the movie with mydaughter's this evening) thank you.

Kerry O'Connor said...

@lindi
I have fixed your link. Thank you for participating.

Brendan MacOdrum said...

Hope its OK to speak from the vantage of dead creatures, too.

Rosemary Nissen-Wade said...

What a fascinating prompt!

I am going to post and run – to bed, as it's getting late. I'll read you all tomorrow.

willow_switches said...

What a wealthy topic to consider and mine for treasures - thanks Sherry! I'm sure this jumping off point will inspire all kinds of goodies for us. LOL - I'm just so tired, but must muster the brain cells - may take awhile though.

Margaret said...

I am back from spring break later today. From 70 and sunny to possible snow! If someone could link me up one last time I’d be grateful. I will visit and comment all the posts I missed tomorrow.

Fireblossom said...

Mine is not about a feudal Chinese woman, but it is about a woman. Kind of.

Susie Clevenger said...

Such a beautiful prompt. I needed it today. My mind is going in a thousand directions of pain. My favorite uncle passed away yesterday. I can't process it without anger. Because of twisted insurance laws and the failure to diagnose his illness, he literally starved to death. My solace is he is no longer suffering.

Sherry Marr said...

Oh Susie, how absolutely horrible. I am so very sorry.

Bjorn, you must be going into the wilds. Have a glorious time.

It is so nice to see you all here this morning. On the West Coast, it is just morning. I look forward to reading all of your responses. Yes, the movie is wonderful, very moving. And Brendan, the voice of a dead creature is very appropriate, given we have killed off so many.

Anonymous said...

Late to the prompt for me as I've had a day out on the moors.....challenging prompt Sherry. Let's see what occurs ;)

Vivian Zems said...

Have a good break!

jellojenna6 said...

This sounds like a fun prompt. I read the book; it was engaging and fascinating.

Vivian Zems said...

This great, Sherry! I look forward to watching the film.

Toni Spencer said...

Thank you for this wonderful prompt. As onnabugeisha, I of course had to write with the voice of my sword and the first time I held her.

Sherry Marr said...

I so enjoyed the varied and wonderful responses to this prompt. Thank you all for taking part, and coming up with such amazing voices. I loved every single one.

Gillena Cox said...

Another stunning prompt, Thanks Sherry


much love...

Frank J. Tassone said...

Sorry I'm late, Toads! Thanks, Sherry, for this compelling promt. I chose a unique voice in which to write! I hope I do her justice! :)

Priscilla King said...

Mine's not about medieval China, but about someone trying to express herself/himself in conventional phrases, as the nu shu lines were portrayed in the book.