International Women’s Day 8th March 2016
Who would you choose to be?
To dance like Markova or Fonteyn
Showing such strength and beauty and passion
Having the tenacity to work and work at the barre
For hours, for days, for years
To delight by their movements
Sadly, I lack the grace.
To be like Ellen McArthur, Clare Francis
Brave and confident, intrepid.
Or to be able to ski or skate
To sky-dive and rock climb
Or race a car round a track
Adrenalin pumping and driving me on.
Alas I am a ninny and a coward.
To have a vision, to be an entrepreneur
To think green and start so small
And grow and grow into The Body Shop
To be an Anita Roddick
Combining pragmatism with a dream
But no, I have never had that energy.
To be a man, just for one month
To experience masculine emotions
To accept different responsibilities
Suffer his pain – feel a man’s joy
To sing like Jessye Norman
With the power and control of an eagle
And the subtlety of a Chopin prelude
With a voice that soars like angels
Touching the hardest heart.
My singing voice is pleasant enough – no more than that.
To be a female vanguard
A woman exploring the world
A traveller – alone and courageous
A philosopher and linguist
Freya Stark my particular heroine
Whose achievements I could never aspire to.
Barbara Hepworth, sculptor
Her beautiful works displayed
In gardens and at The Tate Gallery in St.Ives
She made stone come alive
With a superb craftsmanship
A possessor of a unique gift
And to be admired by many – and me.
Jackie Kay, Carol Ann Duffy, Charlotte Bronte, Margaret Atwood, Anita Shreve, Isabelle Allende, Elizabeth Smart, Emily Bronte, Christina Rossetti, Dorothy Parker, Alice Walker, Emily Dickinson, Jane Austen, Sylvia Plath, Toni Morrison, Angela Carter, Annie Proulx
Now those are names
I swoon over
Any one of them
I would wish to be
Stirring up the magic
With the written word.
The poem, the short story, the novel
Original women, clever, creative, romantic women.
Satirical, fantastical, doomed women.
Which one should I be?
Jane Eyre is my favourite book – It has to be Charlotte
But then again Wuthering Heights – so maybe Emily
And then Angela writes so wickedly, and so did Dorothy
Perhaps Elizabeth – By Grand Central Station I sat Down and Wept
Oh how I love that slender volume.
And what a beauty she was also
No, I think it has to be Carol Ann –
So modern, her poems so heartbreakingly lovely
Oh to be Carol Ann
I’m inspired by her
I delight in her words
I try to learn from her
Dreaming of writing like her
But to be Duffy, No.
I am me, this is who I am
I have to be faithful to
My failings, my weaknesses
My blessings, they belong to me
I inhabit this body
I have a history, a destiny
From womb to tomb
Meg Marsden is my name
It is she I choose to be.
Friday 4th March 2016/Meg Marsden copyright.