Greetings, Friends! Today we have a guest pub tender for Poetics. I think you will enjoy her prompt today. I will let her introduce herself & her topic. Enjoy. Mary
Hi everyone, this is my first time guest-hosting at dVerse, and I’m very excited and honored, as well as a bit nervous. The dVerse pub has always been such a special place for me, and I’m so thrilled to be behind the bar, even as it means I need to learn how to mix a few drinks (and come up with a fun and/or interesting topic)!
I spent a lot of time this summer reading (and writing), noticing again something that has always fascinated me in literature—characters written by the opposite gender. In other words, when a male author writes a female protagonist, or a woman writes as a man. How can they possibly know what that feels like? Of course, they can’t really, but a writer’s imagination is their best tool, and it seems that some writers are much better at pulling it off than others. One of my favorite books of all time is She’s Come Undone by Wally Lamb, in part because I think it’s the finest example I’ve ever read of a man writing as a woman. I found it completely convincing.
It’s more difficult for me to judge whether or not a female writer creates a believable male, because I can only use my imagination as barometer. Donna Tartt’s The Goldfinch and The Secret History both include male protagonists that felt especially authentic to me, but I’d have to defer to a male reader for confirmation of that.
After tossing several ideas around in my head for a Poetics prompt, this is the notion I kept coming back to: How to write, convincingly, from a gender perspective you have never experienced. We see it done in fiction all the time, and while it may sometimes occur in poetry, I think that generally, we tend to write more from our own viewpoint.
So that is what I want you to do: try writing a poem as if you were a member of the opposite gender. Have as much fun with it (or take it as seriously) as you like, but try to really push yourself to see the world through the eyes of this person or character, and then write as if you are that person. I’ve never attempted to write anything from the male perspective, so this will be a challenge to myself as well.
If you want to take it a step further and make things a bit more interesting, you could also try to incorporate opposite words/phrases/concepts into your poem.
And if you are new to the pub, here’s how it work:
• Write your poem
• Post it on your blog or website
• Leave a comment below to say hello
• Click on Mr. Linky at the bottom of this post and enter your name and the direct URL of your post
• Visit other poets’ work and let them know what you thought
• Spread the word on social media with the #dVersePoets hashtag
• Have fun!
(Kelly Letky is from Farmington, NY, USA, and works as a freelance graphic artist and jewelry designer. In addition to those two hats, she also wears those of poet, photographer, writer, wife, mother, grandmother, sister, daughter, crazy cat lady, friend, runner, knitter and gardener. She writes at www.mrsmediocrity.com and www.thebluemuse.com.)