Wednesday, April 07, 2010
“Look around—there's only one thing of danger for you here—poetry.” - Pablo Neruda to the armed forces searching his house after Pinochet's military coup in 1973.
So I recently added myself to The Mom Blogs directory – icon & link at the bottom of the sidebar. I'd like more traffic here. I'm experimenting. One must do that now and again, it seems, experiment, though one is mistrustful of groups and highly mistrustful of groups that involve parenting.
You are invited to include your blog in up to three categories. In theory, this seems pretty good. In reality, you are choosing from a limited pool you didn't have a hand in creating and it brings up some interesting conundrums. I put myself in moms blogging in California. Pretty straight forward. Then I put myself in something called “Beyond Motherhood.” Seems to be the catch-all for those of us whose essence is not represented there. And the last one I am in is “Political.” I couldn't help but notice that this was one of the smallest categories. Much smaller, for example, than the listings for “Scrapbooking” (currently 234 blogs listed), “Fashion and Beauty” (451), and “Shopping and Reviews” (941). And I ask myself, how can this be?
Yes, I do mean, how can this be that “Scrapbooking” is not only a major interest of so many people, but that parents have TIME to scrapbook AND time to BLOG about it??!!?? But these are minor distractions when I think about the question at heart here: Are you trying to tell me that parenting isn't political? Cuz, um...
If you don't think that labor choices and food choices and school choice are political, I'm not sure what to tell you. If you don't think that raising children in a world of climate change and war isn't political, then you are a lot different than I am. I mean, when you get right down to it, for godssakes, if you've ever taken your infant outside with or without a hat and been accosted by strangers with vocal opinions, you've dabbled in the world of political parenting.
But I don't just write about parenting, eh? And if you don't think poetry is political, well, where do I start? Let's start with these words: Pablo Neruda.
Poetry not political? Tell that to the poets who've been exiled from their homelands because of their ideas. Tell the poets who've died for their words.
And check this awesome site out that I just discovered Split This Rock. A huge thanks to my colleague and friend Diana García for turning me on to this one. It is a group of activist poets trying to help other poets take their place in the movement for social justice. Diana was just part of a panel at the STR conference in DC this past March. The panel was called BIRTH AND THE POLITICS OF MOTHERING IN CONTEMPORARY POETRY. Sorry, did I just write that in all caps? Yeah, well, there's a bug crawled up my butt on this one and, trust me, be glad you're at a safe cyber distance from me.
If it's too much for you to name choices in how and why you mother, or when and what you write “political,” fine, be a language coward and see if I care. A rose by any other name, lovies. Just do me a favor and don't call it “scrapbooking.”