Exploring the Feminine and the Divine


Spanish poets Inma Pelegrín and Katy Parra join their voices with Irish poet Siobhan Mac Mahon and London poet Hannah Stone in this International Writers at Leeds event. The artists celebrate life and light alongside their exploration, through poetic dialogue, of how the feminine consciousness is embodied and expressed in relation to divinity.

Music by Irish guitarist Sabrina Piggott. Translations and final poetic collage (using exclusively verses by the 4 poets) by Antonio Martínez-Arboleda (University of Leeds).

The video contains original poems in English and Spanish as well as some translations. The event took place at Leeds Central Library on 3 February 2015.

With thanks to Leeds Trinity University, Instituto Cervantes of Leeds and Manchester, Leeds Central Library, School of Modern Languages and Cultures (University of Leeds) and Transforming with Poetry at Inkwell.

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1 comentario en “Exploring the Feminine and the Divine

  1. I congratulate all participating parties here, the poets and those who made it possible. It is not a common occurrence to see four poets tuned so well in presenting a subject. It was also thought provoking and taught us some tricks of the métier.

    There is no denial, that our religions are patriarchal. They have been so since the ancient Greeks at least. The play Medea signals the swap from the old agricultural-based goddess-religions to the new patriarchhal Olimpus-based ones.

    I have read a book «Frauen Denken Anders» , Women Think Differently, http://www.amazon.de/Frauen-denken-anders-Philo-Sophias-1×1/dp/3518396544 , which you would love to read. Unfortunately it is written in German and I don’t know if there is a translation into English. In it the authors explore the patriarchal representations in different areas, philosophy, religion, art, language, and prove, or at least present a very good case, for a reinterpretation of our cultural identity encompassing the vision of the woman too. I think that this performance of yours goes in the same direction of reinterpreting feminimity and its myths under the eyes of women .

    Our Gods are masculine, ludicrously masculine, the theology is masculine, our language is too masculine ( just think of the verb to dominate, coming from dominus, der Herr, herrschen, to dominate again. Or visiting Spanish, a zorro is an astute man, even the character of a batman-like hero-justiciero. Whereas a zorra for a woman is a prostitute or a woman of bad morals, an insult.

    Also, not to loose of sight the book «Vulva» from the anthropologist Mitu M Sanyal, also in German and translation into English unknwon, http://www.amazon.de/Vulva-Die-Enth%C3%BCllung-unsichtbaren-Geschlechts/dp/3803136296/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1435871795&sr=1-1&keywords=vulva.

    A radical artistic performance that challenges our artistic ideas was offered by Deborah de Robertis at a Parisian museum. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rti3TPOiFn8.

    But having said all this, I would like to remember that the destiny of the majority of men during millennia has not been much better. Men have been used as expendable flesh in the uncountable wars that have broken out. Only the Napolenic wars costed the lifes of 15 million men. Read the beginning of War and Peace to understand what was to be a man of low rank in those times of war. The first world war costed also millions of masculine lifes, thousands died each day. It is estimated ( although here I have lost my source ) that about 80 % of all women that have lived in the past passed effectively their genes onto the next generation, whereas only 20 % of all men have done so.

    I would put it this way: in my opinion, it is not so much a conflict between genders but a conflict between ranks. For millennia, men and women of high rank have used and abused men and women of low rank in their power struggles and in the enjoyment of goods. Women of high rank have also exerted their power in ways that today we would deem intolerable.

    In Victorian times and before and later, as everywhere else in our cultures and beyond, to educate a man, even of high rank, meant the use of violence and abuse. Not so long ago physical punishment was applied in Spanish schools ( thanks to Saint Agustin and his Confessions , in which he thanked his Latin teacher for the punishment he inflicted him, and subsequently millions of children have been since physically punished, Bertand Russell reports ).

    What is to be a man nowadays and mostly worldwide ?. To drink heavy quantities of spirits, to show sternness and muscles, and emotional distance, to grow masculinity scary-hairy-signals, to break his bones in contact sports ( or to watch and hail others doing the same ), to drive a big penis-like motor-vehicle, to be a successful bread-winner fathering new siblings in this over-populated world, a successful domino-macho in a pack of macho-wolfs and to climb the social ladder. This is surely a minimalist vison of masculinity, of which most men suffer too, unconsciously.

    In other words, men, like women, have been the victims of ideology and theology, trapped in our morals and ideas of what is to be a woman and a man, and continue to be.

    A good approach to tackle education in order to correct these ideological malformations could be to be aware of our biological basis. We have to reconcile the genders acting on scientific knowledge and proof.

    Well, congratulations for this magnificent poetic effort. Perhaps the understanding of the poems could be enhanced by adding the text in a rolling band on the screen, as if subtitles. Sometimes I don’t understand entirely well, English not being my mother-tongue, what is being said.

    And if you reached this point, please accept my apologies in the form of this song, to alleviate the seriousness of the moment:

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