Half Girl, Then Elegy
Copyright © 2019 by Omotara James. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on January 23, 2019, by the Academy of American Poets.
About this Poem
“As I go along my daily business of being a woman, I continue to be surprised by how the world defines me: by what I am no longer. From a position of transitional and unfixed womanhood, I was drawn to the metaphorical conceit of a great fall. The chosen image of the sky feels more appropriate than say, a rabbit hole, because girlhood is a pilgrimage we make in the open. Maybe the poem works to challenge the concept that girlhood is finite. Maybe it can’t. The rhythm of the poem attempts to capture this slippage while turning on the homonymy of have and halve. For me, one of the surprises of this poem is the interrogation between possession of and division from the self.”
Omotara James is the author of Daughter Tongue (Akashic Books, 2018), selected for the New Generation African Poets Box Set by the African Poetry Book Fund.
Date Published: 2019-01-23
Source URL: https://poets.org/poem/half-girl-then-elegy