Diversified - Rainbow Colours of Literature Poetry Friday

[Poetry Friday]: Ambiguity and Stereotypes

poetry friday

Iphigene here.

As a child (I was around 10 years old), I had made it my life’s mission to break stereotypes. I was counter norm. I do not know why it happened, but the definitions of who I should be was too imposing when I was transferred to an all girls Catholic School. The culture shock moving from co-ed to all-girls was frustrating that I made it my personal mission to not fit into boxes. I didn’t stick to cliques, I sort of moved from one group to the next and if all else fail, I went to the library. To this day, I stick to the idea that the person–his/her/hir/their–is all that matters. In hindsight, I suppose that’s why I’m pursuing life as a psychologist.


The poem I’m sharing today is another old poem. I wrote this in 2007. I remember the circumstances that brought this poem to existence. I had deliberately written my poems under an ambiguous pseudonym. It was in many ways a social experiment. It allowed to see how people would react towards my poems and who they thought was behind it. Some thought I was a man in my mid-forties, others thoughts I was in my 20s, others thought I was a 30-year-old woman. The braver ones would ask me to correct their impression. I wondered about that, if it mattered if I was any of that, because to me that didn’t matter. Finding this poem among the old stack echoed something I believe in, that the human being is all that matters, if we see the human being and his/her/hir/their soul why must their race, skin color, gender, sexuality, disability, etc matter? It’s sad to miss out on a beautiful soul because you couldn’t get over the packaging it comes in.

I hope you enjoy this short old poem. I hope to post a few newer ones in the weeks to come. 🙂 Thank you Margaret of Reflections on the Teche for hosting today’s Poetry Friday (Check her blog for other poems)


11 comments on “[Poetry Friday]: Ambiguity and Stereotypes

  1. margaretsmn

    I am depth and shallowness, fluid and burning. Today I am feeling much like fire. Tomorrow maybe I will go back to water. We are all these things. We are human. Thanks for sharing today.


    • Hi Margaret,
      Thanks for taking the time to read this poem. That is lovely, to know that you can move through depth and shallowness, to fire and water. I love that continuity and change within the human person.


  2. I like to memorize, and the first few lines immediately filled my mind. Thanks for sharing.


  3. maryleehahn

    Your poem contains powerful truths!


  4. Oh how I admire your not-in-a-boxedness! And this poem! Wow! I love the thought of fluid AND burning. Gorgeous. Thank you for sharing! xo


    • Hi Irene,
      It has it has its pros and cons. Long story, but I definitely had to deal with a lot of problems growing up. The fluid and burning line is also a personal favorite. The muses were kind with that line. Thanks for reading.


  5. I can hear the ten-year-old determined to find a fluid shape. A lovely poem.


    • I like how you put it—fluid shape. I always felt labels/boxes/stereotypes constricting. I didn’t understand why my gender, age or even nationality would matter in a conversation. I struggled with that for a while, because I felt if one enjoyed the conversation, it didn’t matter if i was male or female or western or not. Well, that’s how i felt in 2007. thanks for the read. glad you enjoyed it.


  6. Pingback: [Poetry Friday]: Unboxed – Gathering Books

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