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Day 13: "Talking to My Body" by Anna Swir

I read Talking to My Body a bit a few months ago. I was amazed then (it was in the 800 books) am still as I continue to read at how simple, or at least informal lines, resonate completely. This is a translation from Polish. Czeslaw Milosz (one of my favorite poets) and Leonard Nathan beautifully translate. I am going to discuss the poems on page 120 and 121. I found the rest just as complete--but the two are reason enough to enjoy and read the rest of the collection.

"A Woman Writer Does Laundry" counterbalances what "women's work" and "women's purpose" is. Women's work always formulaically involves dishes and/or laundry. In this poem, of course, the latter. But, this writer does not just do laundry in the washing machine--no she does it "in the old style. / I wash, I wash, rinse, wring / as did my grandmothers and great grandmothers. / Relaxation." Ha! I think I'm supposed to laugh/cry/become bitter. But, there truthfully is something about repetition that is relaxing--so maybe not completely tongue in cheek. Laundry is balanced as I said with writing and "writing / is suspect." Both as a woman and as a profession in general.

I love how these ideas intersect while making it look effortless.

And just to note, female writers are still discriminated against.

(My pen name is masculinized. I did this to avoid discrimination.)

"Talking to My Body," the title poem, (which comes very late in collection--maybe because of translation?) is fantastic. "My body, you are an animal / for whom ambition / is right. / Splendid possibilities / are open to us." The whole poem resonates with power and precision and echoes the collection that looks to understand aging and also, not just aging, but becoming used and accepting oneself.

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