Sexlight

Date
2002-01-01
Authors
Mueller, Erika
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English
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English
Abstract

I began writing this collection of poetry one summer, after planting a wild patch of herbs, vegetables, and flowers. It was a summer full of moths; they clung to window screens, danced past my face, flew among grasses and trees. In my worry that they represented something ominous, I began researching moths and (re)discovered poetry. What I learned has now become the shape of this manuscript. The poems in the first section explore how in girlhood we believe in so many myths, view them as real and living truths that breathe. There is the myth of love providing warmth. There is the myth that the intentions behind actions are enough when we cannot imagine outcomes. There is the myth that being a girl in the world is filled with happiness, when in fact our gender brings us much pain. There is the myth of safety when the dangers before us are in truth "too big to eat." There is the myth that our bodies are our own. The poems in section II explore how young women struggle with the loss of girlhood myths, even resign themselves to uglier truths for a time. Because many of us refuse to accept the reality unveiled by the loss of girlhood myths, we begin taking risks to create change. The poems in section III narrate this active (re)discovery of grief, love, self, history, and female identity. From myth, to struggle, resignation and finally rediscovery, these pages explore a journey toward living fully. They travel "wide across our damaged life sky" and remind us to pick ourselves up. While these poems are undoubtedly infused with where they sprung from, my greatest hope is that they prove open to their readers and to their own place in the world.

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