Monday, January 17, 2005

A Door to the Stars Beyond the Tomb

I hope Ron Silliman says more about fatherhood tomorrow. The mother in me just likes to read anything about kids, but the feminist in me likes to hear men talk about their kids. One has only to peruse the Wesleyan book _The Grand Permission_ (by the way, if you are the person who borrowed this from me last year, I forgot who you are; please give it back) to conclude that women poets have nothing interesting to say whatsoever on the confluence of poetry, motherhood, and MATERIALITY. Few ladies of the Wesleyan canon even mentioned the economics of motherhood; and if I hear anything more about "balancing" I'm going to unbalance a drink on someone's expensive shoes at the next Barnard symposium.

The fact is, either the men have to be breadwinner and poet, which is heroic, or they have to be the dreaded "househusband" which is counterheroic and, in our current climate, brave.

Full disclosure: I have spent my entire adult life avoiding work as much as possible (temping, collecting unemployment, going to grad school...) but it was only with the arrival of my son that my husband has let me freeload. Freeloading as a poet has had a long and honorable history, which I won't go into here, but of course the feminist in me bristles at it, and I don't like any hypocrisy about it. I do 2 kinds of unpaid work, and I'm lovin it. Doesn't mean I'm a role model. Doesn't make me special.

1 comment: