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The room is loud with them,
each motherís personal obsession:
her chosen monotheism
and to each his acolyte, to each her priestess.

They dominate us all,
this pantheon of tiny tyrants
alive and radiant
with their imperious self-obsession.

And there,
within timeís grace a god, went I:
I too divested
reluctantly, with age, my creed
of absolute, exquisite self-importance.

The world leaked in,
my place within it straitened.

And will my own child
set the seal
on this diminuendo?
Will I, condemned to adulthood,
be jealous of the life that Iíve created?

I contemplate my cherished atheism,
contemplate
the quiet suicide we grow to long for.

Deplorable banality, deplorable desire.
Incredible that it is so:
that all these women are, so gracefully
above the flood
still breathing, loving.



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Comments

The following comments are for "Baby shower"
by MobiusSoul

quiet suicide?
interesting piece, especially since i've just read Simon de Beauvoir's existentialist feminist work on motherhood. She explains that mothers become so attached to their babies because it is the only being they can exert control over, since men exert complete control over women--even having a child is not really up to women (since they can be raped by their husbands) their only freedom is to have an abortion, and if you think about it, what kind of freedom is that?? they have a right to be murderers, how generous a freedom!
anyways, i enjoyed this piece, thank you for sharing-- it struck a chord in my own developing understanding of the world.
i wish you the best of luck!

( Posted by: IcicleIcicle [Member] On: November 2, 2010 )

Thanks Icicle
Not sure this is an existential feminist poem, though! It arose, less abstractly, from my attempt to reconcile the innate desire to breed with the associated loss of personal liberty and acknowledged irresponsibility of further populating an over-crowded planet.

With no disrespect to Simone de Beauvoir (I've admittedly never read her), I absolutely don't buy the idea that 'mothers become so attached to their babies because they're the only beings they can exert control over'. The only beings who offer a guarantee of unconditional love, perhaps. But I don't think motherhood has much to do with 'control'. I'll get back to you on that once I've tried it!

( Posted by: mobiussoul [Member] On: November 6, 2010 )

existential femme
your piece does tie into the existential thought though unintentional. basically what you felt in writing the poem is similar to what a woman who is conscious of her "situation"--whereas women who are unaware i.e. endlessly breeding mothers, unconsciously seek motherhood to fulfill their needs otherwise deprived by men. (simone was writing after WWII, and the situation of women was very different from today)

what i've learned in my feminisit readings is that the fem writers wanted to deconstruct the idea of "woman" made by man, and the stories that have defined women since the beginning of our histories as a people and/or nations.

imagine if it werent expected that women should be mothers, but that men HAD to be fathers! what a different world this would be

( Posted by: IcicleIcicle [Member] On: November 6, 2010 )





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