Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Fat Women Poets Learning to Write Themselves

I am a fat woman poet and was never slim, but I spent the first  forty five years of my life not writing about myself - or not writing about what I looked like and most of what I felt. This of course is by no means uncommon with many or even most fat women poets. At least in those days. And perhaps even now. It is as if we suspended our own body shapes, our feelings, our cores in some unvisited center of our brains and left them there. We adapted to everyone else's shapes, thoughts, feelings and somehow take them as if they were our own.

And to an extent they are. We are after all members of poetic communities other than those of fat women. We are Americans (if we live here), or North Americans if we are from Canada. We are members of some ethnic group, maybe. We are members of a spiritual or religious group - perhaps. We are lovers of animals or oceans or wheat fields. We are often politically passionate. We are often indignant about how women of all sizes are treated and the way they are still objectified. We consider everyone's thoughts, needs, orientations..

Except our own. And we don't even recognize that we are doing this until...we recognize it.

And when we do, the world and the images it creates and the ways in which we create them looks as if it has been enlarged by a factor of a million. The connections we make from our new realization, that we write ourselves and the world and the day as fat women poets, not just as poets, not even just as women poets, transforms not only our poetry, but our existence.

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