I have several anthologies of poetry written by women. They span centuries and cultures and geography. I love to listen to the differing voices and gaze inward at the myriad pictures they paint.
I am especially drawn to these books when I hear phrases like, "Women are ..." , "Women like .. " or "All women ...". You can fill in those blanks with any number of inanities, that seek to reduce half the world's population into tiny little boxes. In these books, however, no two voices are the same. Each is whole and unto itself, as are we all. (In the interest of full disclosure, I myself, am a woman.)
I decided to embark on a bit of a world tour, on the distaff side that is. So, for a while I will be posting poems from women all over the world.
The anthology I am using is Aint' I A Woman! A Book of Woman's poetry From Around the World, Edited by Illona Linthwaite.
My first offering is from Mahsati, twelfth century, Iran. It was translated from Farsi by Deirdre Lashgari.
Better to live as a rogue and a bum,
a lover all treat as a joke,
to hang out with a crowd of comfortable drunks,
than crouch in a hypocrite's cloak.
Unless you can dance through a common bar,
with a vagabond's step, you're not going to make it.
This is the road of the restless who gamble
their lives; risk yours, or your not going to make it.