Enemies Project: British Polish Poetic Cooperation....
I met Amy Cutler though Steven Fowler's “Enemies/Wrogowie” project (see also the video reportage on the main pages of the Blog on WW), which involved Polish and British authors meeting up, talking, discussing themes and works that are of interest, and then create something together. As life gets very busy in London, Amy and I met only a few weeks before the actual public reading event was supposed to happen. It was scary: neither of us had a clear idea of what to write and how to do it.
Writers and poets are lonely people, they do their work in the solitude of their own imaginations, letting in others only as the characters of their imaginary worlds. I decided to bring to the meeting only one poem and one book: Odwaga by Anna Świrszczyńska and Talking to My Body (Anna Swir, it is a friendly version of Świrszczyńska’s surname).
Amy brought her collection of poems Nostalgia Forest.
Nature and the Body. Women and the Body. Nostalgia and Women…
During our meeting, we talked passionately about women’s writing, Świrszczyńska, language, the body, pregnancy, abortions and miscarriages, love and social roles: one of those conversation you do not usually have: chaotic outbursts on themes that envelop, fascinate, outrage. We decided to write a poetic dialogue about Polish poets, sex, stereotypes, freedoms…
Later that night, I found a few links on the gender debate in Poland, as well as on what it means “to be a mother” (advice from medical sites and different support groups).
We started to have fun and created the following poetic dialogue….
1. Ula's poem:
2. Amy's poem:
I don’t write poetry
I forgot how to write or make or think or do it
how to poetry?
I have written dissertations, essays, reviews, columns, short stories, stories, bibliographical notes, chapters, biographical sketches, evaluation forms, reference letters, sections, introductions and epilogues
All the poems I have written or I will write
line by line
word by word
syllable by syllable
morpheme by morpheme
and letter by letter
full lexical utterances
ought to be forgotten
aimless, objectiveless, with no outcomes, no project standards, no proper dissemination strategies, no readable style, no acknowledgements
unable to be included in reports and summaries, applications, research presentations, personal and departmental appraisals
I don’t write poetry
It does not fit
my job description.
do not make fun of the child in the bottle
I am a mother and I don’t want to be a mother
singing the calisthenics of my body
with the other things, animals, and women
they are strangers, you don’t know their languages
in contrast to cow’s milk or familiar lactose
I will not be the slave of any bottle
we always feed manner to that child
from our two marvellous warehouses
it’s never too early to think about how you’re going to start feeding your
unknown inertia of breast
and the empty-handed man
will be night pain
arm yourself, animal
strongest in the first hour after birth
with its adjustable unrepeatable sucking value
Dialogue with Amy (on gender, patriarchy and a male goose)
gender has invaded poland
dżender not gender
foreign in forms and sound
polish family is in danger
danger with gender
gender as danger
gender of gander
and gander are also
adult male geese.
did you know this?
there is no time to joke here
polish mothers are
withdrawing toddlers from all the nurseries where dangerous gender has been mentioned.
one has to save the nation.
gender is an enemy
it is clear to me
nicely round, properly accentuated, with a scary “ge”
as all the enemies:
genocides, Jesuit, gestures, gibberish, generous, genesis, german, gentleman, jealousy, genitals, geographically-spread gentries
do you want more of these?
don’t be a fool
don’t believe in dżender
rule is a rule
clear like ten commandments
there are mothers and hunters in this world
nothing in-between: gay, lesbian or queer
nothing of this sort
sadly glancing now at my bookshelves
don-quixote-ing all above
is above so crazy?
is it so unique?
After all patriarchy –
those adult male geese
one big clique
the poem plays with Polish/English phonetics, hence dangerous "ge" (pronounce in Polish like "the" (in ghetto). Also, "Polish" phonetic reading of gender (gender) plays with the world "gander" here. This is how the poor bird ended up here
... and a scary links and materials that inspired us...
Gender monster in Poland
· About the Gender Trouble in Poland January 2014
· Gender Trouble continue...
How to be a good mother?
Polish Foundation “The Milk of the Mother”
· Cieszymy się, że trafiłaś na naszą stronę.
· Czas poświęcony na karmienie piersią jest najlepszym prezentem,
jaki możesz podarować swojemu maluchowi.
· Żyjemy w czasach, kiedy odpowiedź na to pytanie nie jest oczywista.
· Nawet świadomość, że jesteśmy ssakami, nie zawsze jest dla nas
naturalną podpowiedzią, w jaki sposób karmić swoje dziecko.
· mleko mamy ma unikalny skład i jest dopasowane do
każdego dziecka indywidualnie
· w czasie karmienia piersią buduje się bliską i niepowtarzalną relację
ze swoim dzieckiem
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