Friday, April 24, 2009

Ann Stone: "Period"

Well, my day's running out (I've been working on one of my final papers all day and spending time with the wife and kids on breaks) so I thought I'd dash off a quick post about Ann Stone's "Period" (her poem, not the physical process) before I head to bed.

What I like most about the poem is the subtlety with which the poet explores a young girl's coming into maturity: she bares no secret parts and doesn't whip us with the nitty-gritty facts. In fact, she's very respectful, reverent almost, about what this period means for the girl, who gives her mother the news at "a quilting bee" (line 5)---a fitting image for the intricate physical interweaving that often occurs between sexually mature women---and is met with nothing but compassion, with empathy.

Such respect/reverence for the body and its processes is something, I believe, that ought to characterize Mormon poetry, however the poet chooses to deal.

Stone has two other poems available at Exponent II here and here.