My first poetic love was for Edna St Vincent Millay. I am particularly a fan of "Dirge without Music" and "Time Does Not Bring Relief..." I read Dirge first and spent a good amount of time just sitting there thinking about it, as I was not of a particularly revolutionist mindset and had no idea that feeling "resigned" was a thing, much less a thing against which to rebel. Shortly afterwards I read Time, and then spent about a week floating around wondering what it would be like to feel like that - I was too young to have experienced love, much less the burn that comes of loss. I think that she prepared me for it, in a way. I think that's one thing great writing can do, sometimes - prepare someone for things they had no idea they could be prepared for.
A few years ago, I read a book called Venus Envy. It is NOT to be confused with Venus Envy as it relates to transgender issues!!!! I specify that because I told someone I liked the book and they immediately referred to Erin Lindsey's web comic Venus Envy ...Now that I think about it, I have to ask them why they knew about that.
Anyway. The book to which I refer is not a good book, really, and it is actually pretty bad in some aspects... But it makes a great popcorn book, especially if you're good at ferreting out little nuggets of language-gold. To be perfectly honest, I don't really recommend reading it unless you really have nothing else to do on a rainy day. I do sometimes return to it, so I guess it's probably worthwhile. Maybe. Point is, I read it and it made me think about the idea of thinking about goddesses, by which I mean how previous societies must have viewed the deities - in what ways they were necessary, you know?
There's a book called Cunt that I read last year (someone gave it to me as a gift in like, 2004, but I never got around to reading it). It traces the origins of the word and made me think of the idea of women as a whole - I was on a total Isis kick at that time, which is probably why it popped into my head as related. Because, well... There's a lot of menstruation talk in the book. And Isis is the goddess of fertility. So, yeah. I wound up writing a series of poems about it. (Dork-factor = through the roof, I know.)
I don't think I would recommend this book if you're not EXTREMELY into feminine empowerment. The book borders on fem-nazi. Just saying.
OH, while I'm on the subject, for those of you who have not already read it (Terry, Krista) Fear of Flying is sort of in this same vein and was a delightful little smack in the face. Some of the ideas that surround goddesses can be found within these pages. Less blood than the previous book, but Jong can be pretty infuriating in her see-saws from mature to insane. You'll see what I mean. (Is that a good enough teaser? Buy, buy, buy. Go. Come on, you probably spend that much on a week's worth of coffee. Or tea. Or soda. And a book lasts longer!)
I'm a knitter, and there's a book that my aunt (the walking library and Jill-of-most-trades who taught me how to knit!) gave me to read when I told her I was taking Goddess Mythology this semester - it's called The Knitting Goddess: Finding the Heart and Soul of Knitting Through Instruction, Projects, and Stories. Great book, from what I've read so far. Here's a quote from the introduction:
"As I researched [various mythological archetypes related to knitting], I grew to anticipate that a heroine's ability to use yarn and a wheel or a spindle or loom - or, later, a pair of needles - would promise a story that shared wisdom about the potentials of feminine power. I was never disappointed. My knitting goddesses, as I came to call them, knew how to use passion, love, strategy, and patience to change or heal worlds and to travel between them."
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