|Chelsea Bednar blogs at Artistic Adventures.|
I am truly moved by Margaret Bedner's poem "True Vogue" and her daughter's drawings posted under that title on Margaret's blog: Art Happens 365 - My Photography & Poetry. Here is the poem's first stanza:
make a woman
or so they say
I hope you will go to her site to see the rest.
It is a short poem, about loving our selves and our own poetic souls. The drawings make it especially vivid.
I, too, have written about this, over and over, but in poems so raw and youthful that they need major revision before I will post them again. Irony?
"True Vogue" is a good lens into a never fully-answered question: Where do we live and create without pretense? I went through various phases in answer to this question, and when I taught in high school I tried to help my students face the issue. I wanted them to see they had to make strategic choices. This is a hard lesson to teach and learn as a writer who believes authentic voices are more and more needed.
When I read "True Vogue," however, I am reminded of our craft as poets. The need to "re-envision" has occasionally more to do with creating poetry than with trying to hide a creative soul. The spareness of this free-verse poem that moves forward through images and metaphor--what is buttoned and unbuttoned--shows true art. The poet does not try to do everything; she does not make the poem comment on itself. She cuts all but impressions to underline her double-sworded title.
Vogue means "a temporary fashion trend." What is truly vogue? In which phase of our lives--mine and yours--will it be popular to be as naked as our hidden selves? At which point do we begin to take the real risks that could make our art worthy of being seen and celebrated?