‘Poetry survives against all odds’ – Pablo Neruda, from Odes to Opposite
As woman’s month comes to a close we are reminded of A woman’s worth through poetry.
The Central Library in Cape Town hosts poetry sessions every last Saturday of the month from 2pm, there’ll be a guest poet and a chance for up and coming poets to take centre stage and move us with their thoughts. I’ve been to a few poetry sessions and it always moves me seeing the emotion portrayed by poets as their words flow, sometimes like daggers to the heart, other times like the sweet scent of a rose through your nose. Poetry can evoke all kinds of emotion both from the poet and the audiences.
Lady Mary Chudleigh (1656 – 1710)
To the Ladies
Wife and servant are the same
But only differ in the name:
For when that fatal knot is tied,
Which nothing, nothing can divide,
When she the word Obey has said,
And man by law supreme has made,
Then all that’s kind is laid aside,
And nothing left but state and pride.
Fierce as an eastern prince he grows,
And all his innate rigour shows:
Then but to look, to laugh, or speak,
Will nuptial contract break,
Like mutes, she signs alone must make,
And never any freedom take,
But still be governed by a nod,
And fear her husband as her god:
Him still must serve, him still obey,
And nothing act, and nothing say,
But what her haughty lord thinks fit,
Who, with power, has all the wit.
Then shun, oh! shun that wretched state,
And all the fawning flatterers hate.
Value yourselves, and men despise:
You must be proud, if you’ll be wise.
The above poem was written in a time when woman were seen as the property of their husbands they had no real say in society, things have changed dramatically over the times. Woman have come into their own and realised their real worth. The poets today took to the theme with enthusiasm and vigor, reciting their thoughts of the woman in their lives or just woman in general, praising them and thanking them for the role they play in our society.
She walks the mile makes you smile
all the while being true
Don’t take for granted the passions
that she has for you
You will lose if you chose to refuse
to put her first
She will and she can find a man who
knows her worth – Alicia Keys, A womans worth
Men respect your woman, treat her right she is a goddess given to us as mother,companion, soulmate to cherish and to hold – her worth is immeasurable.