Tuesday, December 17, 2019

Poets and Poems: Juliette van der Molen and “Anatomy of a Dress”

Fashion can be a statement, a trend, a business, an object of fascination, a multi-billion enterprise, and likely any number of other things. Poet Juliette van der Molen wants to tell what it isn’t, or what it shouldn’t be – the wrapping that turns a woman into an object. The 16 poems of her newly published Anatomy of a Dress are a kind of declaration of independence; in her author’s note, she says that the collection “explores messages sent and interpreted regarding how women have historically been encouraged to dress, mainly for the pleasure and subjugation of the patriarchy.” 

When I read that, I took a deep breath, and asked Tweetspeak Poetry’s editor if she was sure she wanted a man, one who is mostly conservative, to review this collection. She said yes, so I took another deep breath, and then took the plunge. So let it be noted at the outset that I’m generally suspicious of any poetry that falls into the category of “message poetry,” whether it’s from the right, center, or left. I’ve read message poetry many times and often enjoyed it or been challenged by it. But I approach it initially with a healthy dose of skepticism, because I don’t know what’s more important here – the message or creating a poem. 

To continue reading, please see my post today at Tweetspeak Poetry.

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