WHAT WOMEN WANT: I just finished reading a sampling of poems that British poet, Myra Schneider just sent me. They’re from her newly published collection, What Women Want, from Second Light Publications.
The collection focuses on the ability of words and women to effect change. Myra explains:
“The booklet is in two sections. The main section has poems that examine the lives of women. The central poem in this section is a ten page narrative about Caroline Norton (1808-1877). She was the grand-daughter of Sheridan, the famous British playwright. Carolina was a beautiful society lady in London and a writer who had a dramatic life. Her brutal husband took away her three young children and gave them to his hard-hearted sister to look after in Scotland far out of her reach. Caroline’s difficulties led her to fight for women’s rights. She was the first woman reformer in Britain in the nineteenth century. Her pamphlet, Separation of Mother and Child by the Laws of Custody of Infants Considered (1837) is a work of art. With years of persistence she achieved some changes in the English law. These paved the way for later reforms.
“The poem, Carolyn Norton, ends by referring to the fact that many women in today’s world are denied basic human rights. It is followed by two poems which look at this situation. Other poems are about the frustrated life of my mother, also my mother-in-law, a stalwart refugee from Hitler. The last poem takes an upbeat look at women. The booklet begins with a section of general and lyrical poems which cover a range of subject matter.” Myra Schneider.
after Picasso: Deux femmes courant sur la plage
Look how their large bodies leaping
from dresses fill the beach, how their breasts
swing happiness, how the mediterraneans
of sea and sky fondle their flesh. Nothing
could rein them in. The blown wildnesses
of their dark animal hair, their hands joined
and raised, shout triumph. All their senses
are roused as they hurtle towards tomorrow.
That arm laid across the horizon,
the racing legs, an unstoppable quartet, pull
me from my skin and I become one of them,
believe I’m agile enough to run a mile,
believe I’m young again, believe age
has been stamped out. No wonder I worship
at the altar of energy, not the energy huge
with hate which revels in tearing apart,
in crushing to dust but the momentum
which carries blood to the brain, these women
across the plage, lovers as they couple
and tugs at the future till it breaks into bloom.
Order through Second Light Publications or directly from email@example.com
You can link to Myra’s website that includes information about her other poetry collections and her schedule of poetry classes and other events HERE.