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Club Chat – Life After College Club

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Graduation is soon upon us, so what better time to talk about a campus organization that’s all about what to do once you’ve left school? I spoke with Joshua Rudin (‘18) who is the president of the Life After College Club – a club dedicated to promoting financial literacy and life skills among the student body.

Why did you start this club?
Because I know it’s a very important series of topics to discuss financial planning aspects. Such as budgeting, credit cards, saving for meals. I know that a lot of my friends are looking for that money on the weekend that they could spend on pizza, or whatever they would want to spend it on. So I wanted to give them tips on ways they could do that. A lot of people say “Oh, I don’t have enough money to do this” but if you save enough, you’ll be able to do what your friends are planning do, in addition to other things. These are life lessons that I really think students should learn before they get into the real world.

What is your clubs mission?
We want to educate college students about knowledge that they might not know. We have the answers to questions, thing like, how do I save enough to order pizza twice a week, or how do I take out a loans for a car, or to move off campus. That’s the mission, to educate students about these kinds of things, without having to take a course of personal financial planning.

What kinds of events have you had?
We invited a local credit union to campus, and they gave a brief overview about credit cards, debit cards, some rules about them, when you should use them, what a FICO score is… and they gave us a brief quiz to see what we knew already, and filled in the gaps of our knowledge of what we didn’t know. It was a great event, and I hope in the next few years they’ll be able to return to campus and present again.
We also send out newsletters and important topics in the news: things like information from financial journals or articles from blogs that other college students write. We also had a Career Education Office event, where the CEO came to our club and edited our resumes and cover letters for firms we were applying to. We really want to prepare people for life after college, instead of being stuck wondering “what do I do now?”

What challenges have you faced?
The biggest challenge has been marketing. I actually ran this club two falls ago as the Business and Economics club. But I didn’t realize that people associate it as some kind of investment club. I changed the name to emphasize that it’s not just investments or not just finance, it’s about building those life skills.

Do you think Goucher is a financially literate campus?
I think they can be, but I don’t think they necessarily are. A lot of people are complaining about the same things: that they don’t have enough money to do the things they want. I think they probably aren’t taking a step back and thinking: well, what if I budgeted this out, or what if I got a part-time job. Taking a step back and realizing how much you can do is the key.

Any goals for the future?
We want to have more events, and have the CEO come more often. Perhaps if the marketing was better to reach our target audience: mainly seniors and juniors, but I also want to reach younger students as well. I think they could really utilize it the most and carry it on through their junior and senior year. Another big goal I had was to set an association with a Towson university club or another similar organization.

Why should someone join your club?
I think there aren’t a lot of clubs on campus that offer “free knowledge” about things that help you later on. Our club teaches skills you’ll need to utilize soon after graduation. It’s important stuff you need to know.

And that’s that for this installment of club chat! Interested in having your organization featured in the next issue of the Q? Email me at firut001@mail.goucher.edu for your chance to be in the next edition!

Featured Image Credit: Graetnew.com

Get Into Goucher April 13th 2018

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Click on the photos above to see more photos of GiG.

On a lucky Friday April 13th, Goucher Students took to the Great Lawn, enjoying a community lunch, performances by student acapella groups, live music, a mechanical bull, and more.

Photo Credit:

Clayton Reynolds. Instagram: ClaytonReynolds27

Yuwan Zhang

May Hathaway

Students Pictured:

Madeleine Lemen

Dustin Taylor

Duncan Miller

Abigail Jones

Lydell Hills

Sarojini Schutt

Nathaniel Magloire

Kara Taylor

Wayne Cornish

Arthur Mutijima

Hannah Lane

Ashley Alyward

Sophie Friets

May Hathaway

Artist Pictured:

Sharnell Huff (Goucher Alum) AKA XennyDreamr

Onye

 

The Poetry Corner Part Two

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As a part of this semester’s theme of community, the Kratz Center for Creative Writing is sponsoring an event series called “Poetry as Community,” bringing local poets to campus. In conjunction with this theme, the Q has asked student poets to send in their own poems along with poetry recommendations. Here are student poets Sebastian Bronson Broddie, ‘20, and Thalia Richter, ‘20 on poets whose work they appreciate.

Sebastian’s Poet Recommendation: Gwendolyn Brooks is well known for crafting powerful poems about racial identity and many hold evidence of her engagement in politics, from when she worked with the NAACP in college. What I most love about Gwendolyn Brooks’s work is her ability to make me feel a great deal more like who I am supposed to be, or to feel a greater appreciation for who I am right now. I always feel like she knows exactly who I am when I read her poems, and that who I am is to be celebrated. Her subjects…sometimes seem to leap right off the page and envelop you in a warm, soft, comforting light.

Thalia’s Poet Recommendation: My favorite book of [Maggie Nelson] is Bluets, which is written as a cross between poetry and prose, ruminating on depression, loneliness, and love through the lens of the color blue. The book begins, “Suppose I were to begin by saying that I had fallen in love with a color. Suppose I were to speak this as though it were a confession.” Nelson’s obsession with the color blue bleeds into her discussions of depression, sometimes eliding the two, so that emotion gains literal visibility. Loneliness is blue, and perhaps parts of love are red, but no matter what, Nelson made me believe in the tangibility and physical realities of these emotions…Her poetry depicts love and heartbreak side-by-side, as though the latter is inevitable, but worth it for the sake of the former…by articulating her loneliness, Nelson creates a sense of shared sadness, and perhaps that can help lessen the burden.

To read the work of Sebstian and Thalia, look here.

Featured Image: Gwendolyn Brooks. Photo Credit: The Poetry Foundation

Hidden Gems: Shopping and Recreation Near Goucher

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Writing 206/Spring 2018

Have you ever wondered what amazing places lay hidden deep beneath the areas around Goucher? Have you ever sat in your room, bored because you’ve already done all the “mainstream” activities offered to you by your friends? If you’ve felt yourself pondering these questions then look no further than the newest segment of the Q for ideas of your future adventures! We are helping students find other activities in and around Goucher that we feel are hidden. These places provide wonderful experiences for you and your group!

10 Car Pile Up
If you’re looking to get off campus, try thrifting at 10 Car Pile Up by the Towson Circle! It is a funky second hand vintage shop with a huge variety of clothing and accessories to choose from. Even if you’re not looking to buy, just walking around and trying on old coats and hats can be a fun outing. With its bright yellow exterior and eccentric window displays, it’s hard to miss when walking past. You’ve probably walked by it without even noticing! It’s a different way to get off campus and enjoy the spaces in Towson that doesn’t have to cost you a lot of money.

The Sound Garden
The Sound Garden is a well-loved part of Fells Point, Baltimore, celebrating their 25th year, however many Goucher students might not know about it. It is a local small business music store that has always been a supporter of up and coming bands and is filled with every CD and vinyl imaginable. From the most obscure album to the most popular, it’s the spot to get a hold of your favorite music. Recently, they added a room that is completely dedicated to vinyl. But, if you’re more of a movie fanatic, they have an entire section of DVDs as well! They have a huge collection ranging from music, DVDs, and band merchandise.
Surrounded by restaurants, shops, cafes, and a short distance away from the water, The Sound Garden’s location makes it ideal to visit and turn a warm, sunny day into a great trip to Baltimore with friends. You can also sell your old CDs and DVDs to the store if you’re looking to get rid of some stuff you don’t use anymore. They make sure they separate the new and old stuff in the store to make it convenient for buyers as well.
They also hold outdoor and in-store concerts and meet-and-greets whenever bands come to town. One band in particular that enjoys performing at The Sound Garden is All Time Low, as all band members are from Baltimore and were given the opportunity to perform at the store when the band was just beginning many years ago.

The Book Thing
Founded in September of 1999, The Book Thing is a free book store located in Baltimore. The store’s philosophy is giving books that people don’t want to people who do want them. Every book in the store is completely free. The only catch is that the books are not for resale.
Russell Wattenberg founded The Book Thing after hearing teachers talking about how they were not able to provide lower income students with enough reading materials. There is a limit of “150,000 books per person” so there is essentially no limit to the number of books that an individual can take with them.
The Book Thing is able to keep their doors open because of volunteer workers, and a consistent flow of in-person and mail-in donations. The store is open to the public every Saturday and Sunday from 9am to 5pm, however volunteers work at the store Monday through Friday from 10am to 4pm to keep the shelves stocked.
For more information visit: http://bookthing.org/#home

The Tin Roof
The Tin Roof is a small live music joint that serves both cheap beer and tasty food. The fun, casual and eclectic feel of the bar makes it the perfect spot to have fun with friends and make new ones.
The bar has hosted hundreds of bands since their creation, and live musicians are showcased on their stage seven days a week. Apart from live music, The Tin Roof also hosts events ranging from bar crawls to watch parties and karaoke nights. It’s even possible to book the bar for group parties and events with a customized entertainment package that caters to your group’s specific wants and needs.
The bar is open Tuesday-Sunday 11am-2am, Mondays 4pm-2am, and is located within Baltimore’s Power Plant Live at the Inner Harbor. If you’re looking for a laid-back atmosphere and a friendly crew, grab a brew, eat some food, make some friends and support local musicians at the Tin Roof in Baltimore.
For more information visit: https://www.tinroofbaltimore.com/about

The National Aquarium
Although this is not exactly a hidden gem, there are still a great deal of people who don’t know about the Aquarium. Tickets to the National Aquarium normally run $24.95 for children and $39.95 for adults.
Recently I was looking through their website and found that they do half price Fridays after 5 pm. This half price deal makes it much more accessible for college students or those on a budget. Half price Friday night starts at 5 p.m. and the last entrance is 7:30 p.m. which gives you ninety minutes to tour after the last entry–plenty of time to make it through the whole aquarium!

Rocky Point Park and Beach in Essex, MD. Photo Credit: Google Images.

Rocky Point Park and Beach located in Essex, MD
If you are looking for an adventure on a sunny day, check out Rocky Point Park and Beach located in Essex, MD. The park is open to the public year round for fishing, boating, and swimming. The park includes a sandy beach with a designated swimming area and an expansive view of the Chesapeake Bay. This is an ideal spot for a picnic with friends.

Club Chat: Eco Team

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In the last issue of the Q, there was an article about a recent coalition of environmentally minded clubs on campus. Goucher has a long history of environmental organizations, and this week we’ll look at the newest member of this legacy: the Eco Team. I spoke with club president Kat Elicker (‘19).

Why did you decide to start the club?
I’ve always known since I was a freshman, that I was going to be an environmental studies major. It was one of my passions. I’m also a Dorsey scholar, and they encourage you to find some kind of niche to grow your leadership skills. And I thought ‘well, I’ll be part of the environmental club on campus, and work my way up’.
When I had first toured the school, I had heard of four different ones, and when I got here I went to the club fair and couldn’t find any except for Ag Co-op. Don’t get me wrong: I love gardening, but it wasn’t really what I was looking for. I found out there was a club named GEAR – but it was dying down. I couldn’t figure out when their meeting times were.
My Sophomore year, I was like ‘you have to find this club!’. And I found it, and found out is was no longer a club. So I looked into a few other clubs, tried those out. My junior year I told myself ‘ you know, the Dorsey people said find your niche and grow in it, but maybe I should grow my niche myself.’ So I decided to create an environmental club on campus, sort of like GEAR. Since I didn’t have the same goals or guidelines set up like GEAR did, I wasn’t going to rename the club GEAR. So we go by the Eco Team. Had a good ring to it.

What’s the purpose of your organization?
Where GEAR was environmental action, we’re environmental awareness. The point really is to raise awareness on campus about how people can have more green practices, and be more sustainable in their everyday living. I feel that Goucher is a school that looks at the broad picture when it comes to sustainability, but then they forget the little things. Things that we as students are going to have to take on, because they are not going to implement them.
So the idea is to have at least one or two action projects a semester. And hopefully if the club continues on after me, they might do more environmental action.

What are your plans this coming semester?
We hope to do some club bonding: probably a documentary movie night within the club. We also want to work with FMS and construction in making sure there is proper recycling in the new buildings. We are also putting up new recycling posters soon. Moving into future semesters, it’s going to be a case by case basis. We’ve heard about some freshman peers who want to deal with the single use plastic issue at Alice’s and Huebeck, and we might partner with them next semester.

Do you think Goucher is an environmentally friendly campus? How can it improve?
It was difficult as a student to see how Goucher isn’t sustainable, but it’s really in day to day life. When they were moving the buildings, they had initiatives to try and reduce construction waste and buildup- but that led to a bunch of trees being cut down. They say they have an initiative where for every one tree they cut down they plant two, but where do they plant them? There are just logistical things, where their overall mindset is green, but I see a lot of faults in the things they do. Thankfully, there are places you can go if you want to see change happen. That’s part of the reason why I started the club, so there would be another place you could go to.

Why should people participate?
It’s a space where people can talk about their environmental passions, and also make friends. If you want to come to my club, if your looking for the environmental side of things where you are making recycling posters and talking to people about the practices they have – then our club is the place to do it. But if you don’t, I would be more than happy to have people come to our club if there is a problem they see on campus that they would like to address. I don’t want them to feel like they need to be committed to the club after that. Come and say your piece. We can work on it, maybe only a small change, and after that, you can stay with us or put your time somewhere else until you have another idea.

And that’s that for this installment of club chat! Interested in having your organization featured in the next issue of the Q? Email me at firut001@mail.goucher.edu for your chance to be in the next edition!

Featured Image: Eco Team focuses on increasing environmental awareness on campus. Photo Credit: Google Images

In Memoriam: Professor Emerita Marianne Githens

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In late February, Goucher received the sad news that Professor Emerita Marianne Githens had passed away. She was 83 years old.
Professor Githens was born in New York City and raised in Long Island. She received her Bachelor of Arts from Marymount Manhattan College before travelling to England to study further. In 1960, she obtained her doctorate from the London School of Economics. While there, she studied European political organizations and French political beliefs.
Professor Githens taught full time at Goucher from 1965 until her retirement in 2014, where she then continued to teach courses part time until 2016. During her tenure, Professor Githen’s advocated for inclusion, diversity, and equity. She supported women’s rights and rights for urban neighborhoods in Baltimore. She is recognized by many as a pioneer scholar in the field of women in politics and was the co-founder of the Women’s Studies Program at Goucher. She also served as the chair of the political science program.
In 1993, Professor Githens was appointed by the European Commission’s Commission of European Communities for Program Development to write a report on women in Europe.
In 2000, Professor Githens was named as Goucher College’s Elizabeth Conolly Todd Distinguished Professor. She won a myriad of awards from Goucher, including the Outstanding Teaching Award, Caroline Doebler Bruckerl Faculty Award, and a Human Rights Scholar Award. She also received a Distinguished Alumna Award from Marymount Manhattan College. After her retirement, she was honored with the title of Professor Emerita for her contributions to academia. Professor Githens helped shape the community that Goucher is today and dedicated her life to ensuring that those without a voice could be heard.

Featured Image: Marianne Githens. Credit: Baltimore Sun

Charm City Stories Releases First Publication

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Baltimore’s New Student Art and Literary Magazine of Mental and Physical Health Debuts

You know an event is a success when there are more people than chairs. On Friday, April 6th, Charm City Stories, Baltimore’s first student literary and art magazine of mental and physical health, released its first publication with a poetry reading and gallery showing.

The slim and bold art magazine features the work of at least five Goucher students, including Natasha Hubatsek, ‘21, Michelle Cheifetz, ‘20, Ruth Diaz-Rivera, ‘20, Donche Golder, ‘19, and Sarojini Schutt, ‘18.

The magazine was founded by Johns Hopkins student Arunima Vijay. Through her experience living in Baltimore, Vijay had begun to notice many experiences with illness in the community around her, as well as the abundance of art. She desired to find a way to combine medicine with art, a desire which eventually led to the creation of this publication. Charm City stories is inspired by the field of Narrative Medicine, which is rooted in the idea that effective and humane healthcare relies on the ability to interpret and be moved by the stories of others.

Starting out, Vijay was nervous about how others would respond to her idea. “I didn’t know if I was the only one who thought there was a need for a publication doing this kind of work,” she said.

As it turned, however, Vijay was not alone in wanting a student publication focused on health. She was able to form a team of editors with three other students from Johns Hopkins: Anuradha Haridhas, Julia See, and their magazine and website designer, Coleman Haley. The team publicized through social media, student writing/art groups, and outreach to the heads of the art and writing departments at Johns Hopkins, Goucher, Loyola, UMBC, University of Maryland College Park, and Morgan University. Through these various outlets, they received student poetry, art, creative nonfiction and fiction, all of which was related to physical and mental health. “The most fulfilling part was the overwhelmingly positive response we got from the community,” said Vijay.

In addition to the support of the community, a student publication also requires financial backing. Charm City Stories was fortunate to receive funding by the Mellon Arts Innovation grant from Johns Hopkins University.
Between applying for the grant for funding, contacting writers and artists, designing the magazine, creating the website, and planning the exhibition, Vijay estimates that, altogether, putting together the magazine took several hundred hours. “It’s a year’s worth of hours and effort,” she said.

The publication opens with a poem from Goucher student Natasha Hubatsek entitled “maybe that’s another morning.” Hubatsek’s free verse poem wanders from crisp detail to sensory snapshot, tracing the thoughts of someone asking and answering the question of why they keep on getting up in the morning.
Further into the publication, Michelle Cheifetz’s contemplative poems, “Don’t cry,” “What isn’t,” and “science: Rome,” slide between italics and regular font, images and ideas, beauty and destruction. Cheifetz and Hubatsek both read from their work at the gallery showing and magazine opening.

About halfway through the magazine, Donche Golder’s poem, “This is what you need to hear, and why” speaks directly to the perpetrators of sexual assault. At the end of the poem, the poem’s speaker then addresses a particular yet general “you,” saying, “I could have inserted a name, but this poem isn’t for one person./ This poem is directed at “you,” whoever “you” may be,/ wherever “you” are, for whatever “you” have done wrong./ This is what you need to hear, and this is why.”

Many of the Goucher students involved submitted to the publication because they were in a writing class with Professor Katherine Cottle, and wanted to see how their work would be received outside of the classroom and the Goucher community. It appears that the response was largely a positive one, as the publication features the work of so many Goucher students.

The current team of Charm City Stories editors, consisting entirely of JHU students, hopes, in future years, to have more students from other schools involved in editing the publication. They would also like to have a broader audience, more submissions, a larger event venue…and more chairs.
To read the publication online, visit charmcitystories.com.

If you’re interested in applying for an editor position for next year, click here to fill out an application form: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSeV8pkhuw70NKOcwf_rL-jcQe-CIFfAuf3sSIrOTzwAHm_TZA/viewform

Featured Image: Charm City Stories Logo. Photo Credit: Charm City Stories Facebook Page

Environmental Clubs Create Coalition

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On Tuesday March 27th, a group of student leaders met to discuss the future of environmental action on Goucher’s campus. The group, currently named the Goucher Green Coalition (GGC), hopes to enact greater positive change through increased connectivity and communication among environmental clubs on campus. Because some of the clubs involved rely heavily on volunteers, such as Food Recovery Network, one goal of GGC will be to create a network through which clubs can ask for volunteers. The coalition also hopes to organize its own events, such as an Earth Day Campus Clean up on April 18th, and a Call-A-Thon for students to contact their representatives.

Rachel Grosso, ’18, was inspired to organize the coalition after attending the first annual Baltimore Student Environmental Conference, which brought together student leaders of environmental organizations from colleges and universities in Baltimore. Johns Hopkins and Loyola University both have an umbrella group that coordinates collaboration among environmental clubs, and this organizational structure inspired Grosso to start something similar at Goucher. Grosso noted that since Goucher Energy Action Revolution club, or GEAR, dissolved 3 or 4 years ago, Goucher has not had a “strong environmental presence,” which is something she hopes to change. As this is her final semester at Goucher, however, the continuance of GGC will rely on other students.

To form the group, Grosso made a list of people she had spoken with at the conference and looked for related clubs on the club page on Goucher’s website. As she began talking about her plan, more students became interested who were not already involved in a particular environmental group.

In this first meeting, which only lasted a half hour, the GGC discussed their purpose, vision, and concrete goals. Most of the meeting was spent discussing a petition to hire a new sustainability coordinator, but club leaders also made announcements about what they are working on.

Food Recovery Network (FRN) leader Allie Sklarew, ’17, stated that FRN will be hosting a Move Out for Hunger event at the end of the semester. This event encourages students to donate any leftover non-perishable food they have in their dorm rooms to be delivered to food banks, homeless shelters, and/or other organizations fighting hunger.

In a similar vein, Brett Rapkin-Citrenbaum, ’17, announced plans organize the “free store” at the end of the semester. A large project, the end-of-the-semester Free Store involves maintaining an on-campus space where students can bring items that they no longer want or need (clothing, books, electronics, etc.). The items brought to the Free Store can then be taken up by other students, or, if they remain in the “store” at the very end of the semester, be delivered to Goodwill. While there is a Free Store throughout the semester located on the top floor of Mary Fisher between Hooper and Dulaney, the Free Store at the end of the semester is much larger.

Because this Free Store project only operates at the end of the semester, unlike FRN, there is no consistent pool of student volunteers to pull from. For this reason, the Free Store exemplifies exactly the kind of project for which an organization like the Goucher Green Coalition can be helpful.

The Goucher Green Coalition had their second meeting on Monday, April 2nd.

If you’re interested in finding out more about the Goucher Green Coalition, contact Rachel Grosso at ragro001@mail.goucher.edu. And if you’d like to volunteer to help with the end-of-the-semester Free Store, contact Brett Rapkin-Citrenbaum, at brrap002@mail.goucher.edu.

Featured Image: The Second Meeting of Goucher Green Coalition. Photo Credit: Rachel Grosso

Goucher Students Published in Charm City Stories

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On Friday, April 6th, Charm City Stories, Baltimore’s first student literary and art magazine of mental and physical health, will release its first publication. The magazine will feature the work of at least four Goucher students: Donché Golder, Natasha Hubatsek, Michelle Cheifetz, and Ruth Diaz-Rivera.

Print copies of the free publication will be released at Johns Hopkins University at a gallery exhibition in the Second Decade Society Room of the Center for Visual Arts from 7-9pm. The publication will also be available online at charmcitystories.com.

Charm City stories is inspired by the field of Narrative Medicine, the idea that effective and humane healthcare relies on the ability to interpret and be moved by the stories of others. The first annual publication builds on the collaboration of writing departments at Johns Hopkins, Goucher, Loyola, UMBC, University of Maryland College Park, and Morgan University. The first annual publication of the free magazine is sponsored by the Mellon Arts Innovation grant from Johns Hopkins University.

One day, Goucher writing professor Katherine Cottle asked her writing students to submit at least one piece for publication before they left class, and this was the assignment that led to the publication in Charm City Stories for Donché Golder. Golder, ’18, submitted a poem, entitled “This is what you need to hear, and why.”

Through his poem, Golder explores themes of healing and accountability. “Without beating around the bush,” he said, “the poem is about sexual assault. The bulk of the poem addresses the agony of those who have been effected by sexual violence/abuse and the last four lines drive the point home: ‘I could have inserted a name, but this poem isn’t for one person./ This poem is directed at “you,” whoever “you” may be,/ wherever “you” are, for whatever “you” have done wrong./ This is what you need to hear, and this is why.’”

Golder, a 4th year English Major, Professional Writing minor, was inspired to submit for Charm City Stories because, he admitted, he hadn’t been published since seventh grade. “I’ve come a long way since then and I think it shows in my work,” he said.

To find out more, visit charmcitystories.com.

The Poetry Corner

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This semester, the Kratz Center for Creative Writing is sponsoring a series of events entitled “Poetry as Community.” In conjunction with this theme, the Q has asked student poets to write about poets whose work they appreciate, to send in along with their own poems.

Here is Goucher poet Donché Golder, ’18, on poets who he considers to be great:

Lady Ise 877-?940

Lady Ise is a Japanese poet who wrote her work and the ‘Waka’  form. The term ‘Waka’ refers to poetry written in a 5-7-5-7-7 metre, (5-7-5 look familiar?) although it was once an all encompassing word form poetry in Japan. Lady Ise was the premiere female poet in Kokinwakashū, the first anthology of waka commissioned by Emperor Daigo. She is also, alongside Ono no Komachi, one of the premiere female poets in the Japanese early classical canon. Her works on the season are very beautiful and when translated are among some of my favorites.

*Note: Waka when translated into English or other languages may not always retain their metre.

ISE SHŪ 37 (*Ise Shū is the poetic memoirs of Lady Ise)

yo ni sakanu        Never blooming in this world,
mono ni ariseba    Were it such a thing,
sakurabana        A cherry blossom;
Fito ni amaneku    To all and sundry
tugezaramasi wo     It would be better not, to announce it so!

KOKINWAKASHŪ XVIII: 1000 (located in the 18th book of the kokinwahashū, the 1,000th waka chronologically.)

yamagaFa no        A mountain brook
oto ni nomi kiku    Babbling is all I hear
momosiki wo        Over the many-stoned palace
mi wo Faya nagara    Swift as the current would I return to the days
miru yosi mo gana     I saw it-how I wish it could be so!

 

Fujiwara No Teika 1162-1241

Like Lady Ise above, Fujiwara No Teika (Teika), was a renowned Japanese poet who wrote in the waka form. His works were inspired by the occurrences in his life, and show fluctuations due to his status at court and his physical health. Nonetheless he is still an inspiration to me as a poet. His works are recorded in the Senzaishū and the Shinkokinshū.

SENZAISHŪ V: 355

sigure yuku        Touched by drizzling rain,
yomo no kozuwe no    All around, the treetops
iro yori mo        With their colours say
aki Fa yuFube no    Autumn in evening is
kaFaru narikeri     A time of change, indeed.

SHINKOKINSHŪ VIII: 788

tamayura no        Fleeting, indeed, are
tsuyu mo namida mo    Dew and tear drops, both
todomarazu        Unceasing;
nakibito koru        She loved
yado no aki kaze     This house, where Autumn winds blow now.

 

Lucille Clifton 1936-2010

Lucille Clifton was an African American Poet born in New York City.  Since it isn’t my job to give you a full chronicle of her life, I’ll keep it brief. Clifton’s work focused on the African American experience, both as an African American woman and as a member of an African American family.  She was a Pulitzer Prize finalist for her works Good Woman: Poems and a Memoir, 1969-1980, and Next: New Poems, which were both published in 1987. Clifton was also Poet Laureate of Baltimore City (My hometown). All in all, Clifton’s work speaks to me as an African American and makes me aspire to write as well as she did.

homage to my hips

these hips are big hips

they need space to

move around in.

they don’t fit into little

petty places. these hips

are free hips.

they don’t like to be held back.

these hips have never been enslaved,

they go where they want to go

they do what they want to do.

these hips are mighty hips.

these hips are magic hips.

i have known them

to put a spell on a man and

spin him like a top!

 

my dream about being white

hey music and

me

only white,

hair a flutter of

fall leaves

circling my perfect

line of a nose,

no lips,

no behind, hey

white me

and i’m wearing

white history

but there’s no future

in those clothes

so i take them off and

wake up

dancing.

 

Other poets Donché recommends:

Featured Image:  Lucille Clifton. Credit: The Poetry Foundation

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