Friday, April 6, 2018

"Sister of my Heart"

A Lotus Shoe (a 3" foot) About Chinese Foot Binding

"In every message she spoke of birds, of flight, of the world away.  Even back then, she flew against what was presented to her.  I wanted to cling to her wings and soar, no matter how intimidated I was."  "Lisa See - Snow Flower and the Secret Fan"

Sister of my Heart

We will rise above
foul and disfigured
flourish
as modesty and virtue
are enshrined
in embroidery and silk.

Our husbands
will palm our feet,
perhaps kneel
not caring to know our heart.

We will spin, weave,
and sew for them,
be obedient, bare sons,
be yin to their yang.

____

Will close my eyes,
remember giggling
into the night
as we imagined
childish arms as wings
soaring securely together
into a world away.

by Margaret Bednar, March 20, 2018


A detail from a quilt I own

an interesting post on foot binding HERE

I watched the movie "Snowflower and the Secret Fan" and liked it.  It is slow moving but beautiful (my husband thanked me a thousand times for not making him watch it).  It was so depressing researching this - it is so disheartening to learn foot binding lasted a thousand years.  Watching the movie and seeing the little girl getting her feet bound was very difficult for me.  Many women and children had infection and sometimes gangrene set in - the feet  hurt off and on for their entire lives and they could never walk far.  If you have the stomach, google and view the images of the feet - the Chinese husbands never saw the bare feet supposedly - they were always wrapped in 10 feet of binding, often had a foul smell, and they unwound them once a week (or was it month?) and usually bathed their feet with the bindings on (I think I read that).  Anyway, my mind hasn't left this subject for the past 24 hours ...

This is linked with "Imaginary Garden with Real Toads - Wordy Friday With Wild Woman - Speaking in the Voice of Another"  & NaPoWriMo - National Poetry Month  (30 Poems in 30 Days).

I will be on spring break for the first few days of April and will schedule my poems in advance - I am unable to figure out how (if I even can) visit and comment on my phone's "BlogTouchPro" app ...
I can post but Mr. Linky does not show up.   

So I thank you all for visiting me and commenting and I promise I will visit and comment when I return.  

A joyous Easter to all those who celebrate.

10 comments:

Sherry Blue Sky said...

Thank you, Margaret, for writing about this so movingly, and for sharing the information. It is astonishing, the things human minds can think up to torture others, and how skewed are the values around beauty. We chose the same title for our poems. I love that! I especially love the last stanza, the image of the little girls giggling together, when their dreams were of soaring. Especially poignant, knowing how life would later flatten them.

Kerry O'Connor said...

So many ways to mutilate a woman's spirit and this one of the worst.

L C Folks said...

I, too, especially like the last stanza. How as young girls we dreamed such wonderful dreams,,not all come true. Thank you also for the research, it was a terrible time for women and possibly still is..

Sanaa Rizvi said...

This is incredibly moving! The last stanza really tugged at my heart!💞

Vivian Zems said...

This is beautiful. The last stanza reflects her 'happy place'. I'm glad she has an escape from reality.

Toni Spencer said...

Indeed, the feet were broken and rebound on a weekly basis until they attained the perfect shape. some men actually saw the feet and used them in a perverse form of sex. Truth. I could not write to this form in the way it was intended because of the extreme brutality of the practice. Only the wealthy and upperclass women had their feet bound. I wrote with the voice of my sword which was given to me 35 years ago. this poem was moving. so very moving.

Rosemary Nissen-Wade said...

A beautiful and touching poem, transcending the misery as those friendships must have helped the women to do – but by boing outside reality.

I have not seen the movie, but today began reading the book. I could not finish the chapter on foot binding. I became nauseous and dizzy, thought I would faint ... had to go and lie down, and have not yet resumed reading.

Rosemary Nissen-Wade said...

I mean, of course GOING outside reality.

Anonymous said...

A moving and eloquent piece.

Dom said...

A subject I was both fascinated and disgusted by when I first learned about it. It's amazing what humans will do to themselves and each other in the name of "beauty".