But in a sub culture of growing strength, new literary journals and small presses were springing up, solely devoted to women. Poets like Briget Pegeen Kelly ( born 1951) had already forged a genius of anticipation, so that when Millennial feminists found poetic voice, it was propelled like cannon shot ahead-- as Plato always knew of poets- ahead of history.
The potency of social media, where women are united, globally, in protest against misogyny as the root of rape culture, face-veiling, genital mutilation, unequal pay, domestic assault,--and mass shootings-- can't be overstated. World faiths might have been pivotal as a buttress for social justice, but only institutionalized homophobia and misogyny as a spiritual force.
And so , feminist poets turned away from patriarchal faiths and searched for an intimacy of spirit:
Stargazingby Ariana Nadia Nash
The stars are all the skin
I’ll never touch. They are
the bright points of years
I have not lived, the names
I do not know. They speak
to worlds inside myself
I will not learn. They shock—
this spread of stars, these motes
of fireballs, this milky
conflagration. In their depth
and beauty, they are
the most intricate map
of the unknown, the most
wild moan of silence.
But this is not enough: a new wave of feminist poets began to reinterpret the antique past and recast it in new---and modern terms:
You Be the Skipper, I'll Be the Sea
by Cassidy McFadzean
This time of year, Agamemnon’s
tomb is swarming with Beliebers.
If I was your boyfriend, Clytemnestra...
What’s the theme of this one, teacher?
Like gold-leaf masked talismans,
we raised our iPhones in the dark.
Our ringtones were a Greek chorus
calling from the hive to lion guards.
Said: I'm a novel with the pages uncut.
Someone flipped me open and had enough.
Now reading me rips me in two.
What’s a poem for? What’s it to you?
Who said size don’t matter lied.
The shaft of the cistern in the hillside
had me on my hands and knees.
I lapped up clay with my teeth.
We were catamarans in my last fantasy,
moved in this world like a stone over sea.
You stole me away from the treasury.
Freedom, Siri, was a machine.
About a year ago, I phoned Richard Wilbur, 94 but very sharp, to ask him to blurb my new book. Wilbur can rightfully be titled the Dean of American poetry: Past U.S. Poet Laureate, twice-winner of the Pulitzer Prize and Chairman Emeritus of the Academy of American Poets. We traded harmless gossip. The phone call came to an end. " Read the women", he said.
Recommended reading:Poems: Song and the Orchard, Briget Pegeen Kelly, Carcaret Press, Ltd. 2008
Corridor: Poems, Saskia Hamilton, Graywolf Press, 2014
Instructions for Preparing Your Skin, Ariana Nash, Anhinga Press, 2013
Motherland Fatherland Homelandsexuals, Patricia Lockwood, Penguin Books, 2014
About the Author: Charles Bane, Jr. is the American author of The Chapbook ( Curbside Splendor, 2011) and Love Poems ( Kelsay Books, 2014). His work was described by the Huffington Post as "not only standing on the shoulders of giants, but shrinking them." Creator of The Meaning Of Poetry series for The Gutenberg Project, he is a current nominee as Poet Laureate of Florida.