An Original Grace

3 November 2019

By Philip Kuepper

What mattered to her
was breaking free
of the stereotype,
breaking free of being an appendage
to a preconceived notion of femininity.

Her ability to row
came early to her,
providing her the luxury
of escaping being seen an object
of sex, obsessed with make-up,
and girly ways to attract
the “hero.”  She was her own heroine.

She nicknamed her oars
Independence and Confidence,
and stroked each wave
as though developing a thought
to feed the theme of her life.
She would row her life her way.

(19 October 2019)

One comment

  1. Wonderful! I have one of the “originals” of this, which was the cover of an English girl’s annual book in the 1950s, and have included images of this sort in my study of the history of women and rowing, which necessarily includes visual examples that play off a sexploitation vibe. Your verse masterfully captures, not necessarily what was then the case, but what should then have been the case, and what would almost certainly be the case today. Well done.

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