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.
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‘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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