{welcome poetry peeps: the pf round-up is here!}


When you’re born the first week of March, you are legally obligated to celebrate all month long, even on the Ides… so, welcome to my Poetry Party. (Beware of dudes named Brutus.)

March has indeed come in like a lion. We’ve seen a lot of rainy, sleet-y, thunder-y days here, and it’s wiiiiiiindy just now, but already I can see the light of Spring at the end of the tunnel. There is all sorts of chaos going on in my garden – poppies returning, alyssum sluggishly coming into flower. There are long, naked whips rising from my Russian sage plants, and next door, the cherry-plum-peach-almond tree (whatever it is) has decided to give up on being coy, and is bedecked in delicate pinky-white blossoms. Even through scouring winds, Spring is bustin’ out all over, and with it comes a surge of, if not energy, purpose, and a renewed interest in looking around and seeing where we are. Hello! Welcome back from hibernation, Brain!

Poetry Friday: Food for Waking Brains.

Click Here & Join the Round-up!

From Process…

One of the best things about having a poetry practice that includes other people is that they have often read poems that you have not. While doing a poetry project using slang – both reacting to it, incorporating it into a ten-line poem, and redefining it within our work – I was reminded of the poetry of Richard Wilbur, and his first book of OPPOSITES, first published in 1973. The brief I was working with was to use a slang word and then to move beyond it. I chose the relatively dated (but still well-used) slang word “snatched.” In drag circles, it’s a celebratory word that denotes a person’s flawlessness – you look mahvelous, darling. Sometimes for me, “snatched” evokes images of corsets and constriction, of firm adherence to beauty standards and a rigidly implacable sense of correctness. (Note that this doesn’t at all necessarily reflect the actual meaning of the term!) In that sense, it’s not always a friendly-feeling word… Like most people, I’m all for flawlessness, except when I’m against it – all of us have our moments of circling around what the pursuit of peerless and perfect means to us.

…to Poetry

The day I wrote this little poem, I was definitely in the against camp. I was feeling …pinched and pushed, and the idea of being snatched just made everything feel… worse. So I wrote this exploration of opposites. What was the opposite of “snatched,” in the sense of something wrapped and tied and perfect? What if we celebrated all things lax, roomy, slack, and slouchy? Is there anything worth praising in that? Well… obviously! Thank goodness, there are always opposite options.

NB: Though the poem uses the word “girl,” in the campy way that people toss it around, this poem is in celebration of delightful beings of all – or no – genders. You might choose to try this poem as it relates to who you are, and how you see yourself – there are a number of terms which could use a good rousing dose of opposites. Grab a thesaurus and have fun…


GIRL! That waist is surrendered
No longer scrunched or subdued,
Freed from the tyranny of snaps and shaping.
Check it – her whole look’s relinquished;
Loosened and launched and liberated,
Unfettered to set free her frizz.
Unclasped from the grabbing and grubbing,
From striving to catch and to capture,
This girl is discharged and disentangled,
Is unsubtle, and unsubdued;
Has become unconstrained – and unhinged!
Fallible. Flawed. But FREE.

Friends, it’s been lovely to have you here! The party continues all month long. As always, you’re invited to join the month’s last hurrah during the Poetry Sisters’ March Challenge on Friday the 29th. (PLEASE click the image to enlarge for details.) In the meantime, I hope that you know that your perfection, whether spiraled or unspooled, constrained or uncoiled, buttoned up or billowing out – is ENOUGH. You’re loved unceasingly, just as you are.

Have a blissfully, blessedly unbound weekend.

32 Replies to “{welcome poetry peeps: the pf round-up is here!}”

  1. I was in love with this post at “if not energy, purpose, and a renewed interest in looking around and seeing where we are….” – before the amazing, liberating, wonderful poem! Thank you for this generous, life-loving post, Tanita, and for rounding us all up this week. Happy Spring!!! (& Happy Birthday!)

  2. From one birthday GIRL! to another, Cousin Tanita, thank you! At my unspooled birthday dance party last Saturday I made a daring declaration and announced that I have given up on perfection in front of 75 people. I even acted on it, and let the decorations and the food and the glitches be enough. I am finally in a place to accept just…ENOUGH, which is not yet entirely comfortable but doable (and still very time- and energy-consuming therefore). What I am trying to say is that I will be printing out your poem, trying not to dissolve the printer ink with my occasional tears, and taping it somewhere pertinent (maybe on that skinny mirror in front of which I like to imagine I’m still snatched). I turned 60. I think I’ve earned my Lifelong Learner Badge. Love you and every line of RELEASED.

  3. Unspooled perfection! I feel RELEASED! Here it is, your birthday Tanita– and you give us this gift! Feels like a big EXHALE – raining joy. Hope your month is filled with release!

  4. Happy Birthday, Tanita, and thanks for hosting today. Your poem is a study in word choice and alliteration – expertly crafted, energizing, and exuberant!

  5. Happy birthday, Tanita! And thank you for hosting!
    Your poem is everything I needed to hear today…”Fallible. Flawed. But FREE.” Yes! ❤️

  6. Tanita, your poem reminded me how lucky we are that we do not live during the corseted era. My mother studied fashion design in NYC and had an amazing look at 5th Avenue through the eyes of the lingerie salon she worked for. Then, World War II hit and she had to return to Central NY to help my Nonnie during the war days. I love the word choices you used throughout your poem. Even your title of the poem is clever, inventive, and a teaser for what is to come. Thanks for hosting and presenting such a a great opening to your post. Have a great weekend.

  7. I always enjoy your writing, Tanita. I love “There is all sorts of chaos going on…” Such an apt description of when the world comes to life in springtime. Thank you for your sweet poem! I needed that. I’m taking “Fallible. Flawed. But FREE” with me today!

  8. Happy March, Happy Birthday, Happy Poetry Friday, and Happy Release! 😀
    I *love* this.
    “Fallible. Flawed. But FREE.”
    And fabulous.

    Thanks for this exuberant celebration of the best kind of letting go.

    And thanks for hosting!

  9. Happy Birthday, Tanita. I do love the thoughts about freedom, being “discharged and disentangled”. I’m planning to post it on the wall by my desk! It’ll be MY reminder to remember! Thanks for hosting!

  10. Happy birthday, Tanita! And I love this poem so much. Usually, words like free and surrender and released don’t convey a huge sense of power. But your entire poem, from first word to last, feels like such a claiming of power in rejecting any constraints and expectations from other people. It sizzles! Thanks for hosting and for the wonderful description of your garden. Don’t blow away in the winds!

    1. @laurasalas: Hope all is well, friend! I find that I like to take quasi-religious words and …”reclaim” them. It’s a release of its own to take some of the more out-there Christianspeak and reject the constraints that, for some, go with it. I don’t love “surrender” either, except surrendering to knowing that I am imperfect and that’s FINE. Here’s to that!

  11. Must admit to being unfamiliar with the slang “snatched.” But I do love your poem, an alliterative gem. Here’s to removing all constraints (though I’ve always been unhinged). Happy March Birthday and thanks for hosting this week!!

  12. Happy Poetry Friday Tanita! I adore, adore, ADORE your poem! Reading it felt like an exhale. Thank you for hosting and sharing. And happy Birthday Month!

  13. Oh, do I love this poem. I read with a lot of love for the surrendered! What a fun and wonderful opposite to write about. Thank you for hosting. I’m a pantoum lover so I’ll give it a go!

  14. Many Happy Returns of the Day Tanita for before and Onward!!!

    Wonderful poem for releasing, and welcoming Spring, nice graphics too. And, Yes to eliminating all those constricting constraints. Love the multi-fruited tree you described. Thanks for hosting us!

  15. Belated Birthday wishes! Or, since you’re celebrating all month, I guess I’m not late after all!

    Thanks for hosting us with this GLORIOUS ode to the joy of being RELEASED from all that constrains! (Your verbs! Your alliteration! So fun!)

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