Mobile Photography & Art Saturday Poetry – ‘Self-Portrait with Weeping Woman’ by Deborah Paredez


This weeks Saturday Poetry, matched with mobile photography/art is entitled ‘Self-Portrait with Weeping Woman’ by Deborah Paredez. “There is so much horror these days, but there’s a long history of terror thrust into the lives of brown folks and a long history of women standing on the shore raging against it. The sonnet is the envelope into which I’ve been folding my scrawled letters lately, and in this one I wanted to honor those women—mythic and real—whose refusal to relinquish their grief and rage catalysed epic transformations for them and offered me a way of knowing and moving through the world”, explains Paradez.

Paredez received a PhD from Northwestern University. Her latest book of poetry, Year of the Dog, is forthcoming from BOA Editions in Spring 2020.  Paredez is a cofounder and codirector of CantoMundo, a national organisation supporting Latinx poets and poetry. She teaches creative writing and ethnic studies at Columbia University and lives in New York City.

I have matched this image by @clau_clara. You can view and follow her work on Instagram here.

If you would like to be featured in our Saturday Poetry section, please ensure you include the hashtag #theappwhisperer to any images posted to Instagram. This will mean we will be able to consider it.

To view the others we have published in this section, go here.


‘Self-Portrait with Weeping Woman’ by Deborah Paredez

I know why I fell hard for Hecuba—

shins skinned and lips split to blooming lupine

on her throat’s rough coat, hurled down the whole length

of disaster—I’m sure I’d grown to know

by then to slacken as a sail against

the current and squall of a woman’s woe.

What could I do but chorus my ruddered

howl to hers? When you’re a brown girl raised up

near the river, there’s always a woman

bereft and bank-wrecked, bloodied and bleating

her insistent lament. Ay Llorona—

every crossing is a tomb and a tune,

a wolf-wail and the moon that turns me to

scratch at the tracks of every mud-dirged girl.

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