Poems for Pussy Riot: Vagina by Sophie Mayer

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On 13 September, English PEN launched ‘Poems for Pussy Riot‘, in support of three members of the Russian punk band –  Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, Maria Alyokhina and Yekaterina Samutsevich – who are currently serving a  two year prison sentence. We will be posting poems dedicated to Nadezdha, Maria and Yekaterina in the weeks leading up to their appeal hearing on 1 October.

Today’s contribution comes from writer and editor Sophie Mayer who initiated the project.

Vagina

She’d always thought it was an alien word, and now it was. What they said, again again, lip-synching to the rhythm of our oldest fear on every screen. Three classical syllables, the feminine rhyme apparently asking, “Take me to your queen.”

But no salve. No. This was no Churchillian V-sign flicked up to mark a new world, heaven here on earth. There was nothing new when it began: as old as caves. Or universe. Vastness is one translation, the envelope sheathing and unsheathing cosmic volume. Revealing our vulnerability as theirs. Kristeva, chapter and verse: the speech of the depressed is an alien skin.

Shed.

She’d shrug it pinkly off, its inner velvet. She’s always been. And been here, a Venusian Pirate Jenny slowly amassing the voltage to bring them, across the volutes and inversions of interstellar space, converging in.

To read Sophie’s piece about the genesis of the project and the first poem in the collection, courtesy of Ira Lightman, please click here.

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2 Comments on Poems for Pussy Riot: Vagina by Sophie Mayer - Leave a comment

Susana Medina


A really beautiful, delicate poem. I wish I had known about his excellent initiative from PEN before the deadline. A counterpoint to this poem here:

 
No Pasarán, спасибо
by Susana Medina
 
Multi-coloured balaclava
Multi-coloured punk
Multi-coloured riot prayer
Multi-coloured girlie dresses
Multi-coloured fuck you
Multi-coloured future
That at long last, spasibo, makes of Virgin Mary a feminist
And exposes Putin’s putrid pout as a worldwide sickness
Multi-coloured no pasarán.

 

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