Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Kenia's Wednesday Challenge

Do not be destroyed.
Gather new stones
And build new poems.
Recreate your life, again and again.
Remove the stones and plant roses and make fruit jam. Restart.

Ana Lins dos Guimarães Peixoto was born in 1889 and she was a woman ahead of her time. Despite being poorly educated, she loved reading and started writing poetry at the age of 14. Because she didn't know much about grammar, her poetry focused in the message she wanted to deliver, instead of in metrics.  

Her life was filled with turning points, but it ended up exactly in the same place where it started, The Old Bridge House in Goiás, built around the mid XVIII Century. Ana spent important years of her life as a poet there and much of her poetry refers to everyday life in Goiás and her childhoood memories. The house has been turned into a museum to honor her.

Ana published her first book when she was 75 years old.  She had been married for 45 years when her husband died and from then on she adopted a new name that would enter the history of Brazilian Poetry: Cora Coralina. 

Inside me lives 
The working-class woman. 
Pretty proletarian. 
Pretty gossipy, 
Imprudent, unprejudiced, 
With little slippers, 
And many children.

Inside me lives 
The peasant 
—Grafted to the land, 
A little moody. 
Hard worker. 
Early riser. 
Good midwife. 
Good child raiser. 
Her twelve children, 
Her twenty grandchildren.

CHALLENGE: Cora had a very distinct sense of self, she was a very strong woman, in spite of her fragile appearance, a woman with a structure of iron, people would say. I like to think it's not just about Cora. There are so many brave women everywhere, they are mothers, sisters, wives, teachers, poetesses, housewives. My challenge today asks of you to write a poem to revere the goddess inside each and every woman, to celebrate feminine. Those of you who are boys can come too! 

When you're finished, please link your poem below and provide a link for the Real Toads in your blog. Happy writing!


Sherry Blue Sky said...

Now, THERE'S a topic I can get behind:) Good one, Kenia!!

Zoe said...

I wrote this poem yesterday, inspired by the beauty in a woman who honestly doesn't see it, but I really want to link because it is all about the feminine and a problem that to me is especially found in us women. This is a great topic, and I particularly enjoyed the look at a poet I have never come across before. Thank you!

Fireblossom said...

Great prompt! Let me see what I, or more likely Coal, can do.

Mary said...

I have submitted a poem I wrote last night about Hillary Clinton, who I truly believe is a strong feminine woman in today's world.

Laurie Kolp said...

I love this prompt, Kenia. Thank you.

Kerry O'Connor said...

Such an inspiring story - first published at 75. That is a life-long belief in her ability, and the importance of what she had to say to her people.
Lovely challenge, Kenia.

Unknown said...

Kenia, This prompt is more exciting and inspiring to me than any in recent memory. Thank you! Cannot wait to work this notion.

Hannah said...

I love her story! She is so beautiful and such an authentic voice. Thank you for this challenge, Kenia!

Margaret said...

75 years of age and she was still creating "life". For the written word, poetry often lives beyond the grave. I posted something (gasp) archived, but I thought it fit the prompt in a fun way.

Anonymous said...

I love her. I recognized her name when you got down to "Cora."


Daydreamertoo said...

What a wonderful and interesting woman.
Thanks for the prompt.

Anonymous said...

What a woman! What a poet! And thanks for a great prompt, Kenia...

Susie Clevenger said...

Thank you Kenia for introducing us to such a wonderful woman and inspiration.

Mystic_Mom said...

I tried two, the formatting is not correct because Wordpress hates me today...hope you enjoy them anyway!

De Jackson said...

I LOVE this beautiful, kicky lady. And I love this prompt! Thank you!

Kay L. Davies said...

What a wonderful prompt, Kenia. I would love to have known Cora.
I wish I had been able to contribute today, but I had to be satisfied with commenting.

Ella said...

What a wonderful challenge! The poems are delicate and strong!
Wow, I am in awe of everyone's voice!

Carol Steel said...

What a wonderful woman, such simplicity and strength, a powerful combination. Thanks for sharing this.