George Bilgere Poem: Desire

My Writing Elsewhere…

 

p.s. Congratulations are in order for Andrea, who has had her lovely little baby boy, Hayden!

21 Responses to “Honor Roll”

  1. Erica {EricaDHouse.com} August 31, 2012 at 9:27 am #

    I *have* to share that poem!
    {and I used to be that person!}

  2. Jaimie August 31, 2012 at 9:45 am #

    I feel ambivalent about the poem. Reading it, it’s funny and sardonic; unless he’s serious, then it’s not right.

  3. Jules August 31, 2012 at 9:52 am #

    I don’t see it as sexist. I think see it as a romantic play at the hunter-gatherer male and a smirk at how males “provide” in this day and age. Instead of killing mammoths, he’s buying washing machines. I thought the comments were evidence of how each person feels about relationships, in general.

    • Making it Lovely August 31, 2012 at 12:48 pm #

      It’s the kind of poem that gets heavily filtered through one’s lens.

  4. m! August 31, 2012 at 10:56 am #

    Ugh. As a faculty member at a well-known leftist/feminist women’s college, that poem makes me want to vomit. It just perpetuates the image that women should be desired for their bodies and that if they are beautiful enough, a rich man on a white horse will come along and rescue them and provide for them.

    Where’s the poem about how the man is so taken by the sophisticated and complex editorial commentary written by the woman journalist and how it makes him want to engage her in a scholarly political debate.

    Where’s the poem about how the man is so taken by the groundbreaking study published in Nature undertaken by the woman cancer scientist, and how that makes the man want to pick her brain for analytical details about human biology.

    Fuck this poem.
    Fuck the patriarchy.

    You are all better than this. Please don’t succumb to this.

    • Making it Lovely August 31, 2012 at 12:14 pm #

      See, I don’t think it’s meant to be taken so seriously. He juxtaposes lustful thoughts with staid, non-desirable outcomes, and wraps it all in the guise of romance. It’s the line about the “two teenage girls who will hate me” that convinces me its a brilliant joke.

    • sue August 31, 2012 at 1:53 pm #

      But why does feminism have to be so angry? I think that angry feminists are turning off a generation of younger women. I saw this poem as romantic, silly and sweet… feminism doesn’t REQUIRE us to buy our own washers & dryers; it gives us the CHOICE to. And what’s wrong with a man fantasizing about providing for his family, instead of only sexually objectifying the woman in the checkout line? I think it’s sweet.

      • m! August 31, 2012 at 2:14 pm #

        I don’t find it romantic at all.

        Nowhere in the poem is there any suggestion of the woman as anything other than a sexual object that can be purchased. The things that he wants to “provide” for her are materialistic or financial. Nowhere does he say he wants to find out about her as a person, love her for who she is, and support her in her ambitions. He assumes her ambitions are: BABIES! VANITY PLATES! SPA TRIPS! FANCY VACATIONS!

        It just makes me sad.

        I hope I can maintain my slim, suntanned legs, slender waist and full, pouting lips through middle age. Well, I guess that’s what I have my man for—to pay for my botox and liposuction! Thank god for men. Whatever would we do without them.

        I guess I’m an “angry feminist” for wanting something more from my relationship with my partner than car seats and mortgages in exchange for sex.

      • Catherine August 31, 2012 at 3:46 pm #

        Dear m!, this is a simple poem and I think you are reading too much into it. Here’s a guy, standing in line in a grocery store (which you can argue screams of consumerism at its finest and his subject is just another object to be bought), and he happens to see a woman to whom he feels attracted. She may very well be an award-winning researcher in the field of pediatric oncology, but you can’t tell that just from looking. It’s not about her. This is a poem called “Desire,” written by a male poet, so he gets to say what he wants. He imagines a made-up life with her, filled with the monotony of a day-to-day existence, and is then jarred back to his reality when she walks out the sliding doors. It’s just a moment in time, filled with imaginary moments that most of us can relate to, and I think there’s beauty in that. It didn’t really happen, and that is kind of the point. She might be headed back to her job at the leading research hospital in the country, but she still has to buy groceries and do her laundry.

  5. cora August 31, 2012 at 11:24 am #

    I loved the poem. To each their own.

  6. Catherine August 31, 2012 at 2:13 pm #

    I’ve read this before and I really like it. First attraction is usually physical and based on appearance, and love (or lust) will make us do crazy things. I think he’s just commenting on what “true love” really entails these days, and it is kind of hilarious, in my opinion.

  7. pernicketypony August 31, 2012 at 3:34 pm #

    This poem makes me INTENSELY uncomfortable. Maybe it’s because I’m just not familiar with the kind of relationship that the male viewer in the poem is idealising? All of my friends who are in relationships, married or otherwise, seem to be in love with each other because they are friends. They are partners in their relationship and even though one person generally earns more than the other (not always a man earning more than a woman, by the way)they still collaborate with each other in building their lives and families. I can’t say the poem makes me angry, because I tend to think it is being satirical…but the way some people describe it as “romantic” or representing what “true love really entails these days” kind of makes me squirm.

  8. Shannon August 31, 2012 at 5:47 pm #

    I thought it was just funny and silly. . . .not what I expected. I guess I could get annoyed that he just assumes she’s a vanity plates/spa kind of girl,but I’m not. I think sometimes people can take something because it’s “poetry” and read way too much into it. I’m way more likely to be offended by the woman dropping the f-bombs than this silly poem. It was quirky and I’m glad you shared.

  9. Allison September 1, 2012 at 7:07 am #

    I’m a young feminist who makes tea for her boyfriend every morning because I’m good at making tea. He makes supper every night because he’s good at making supper. I organize political walking groups to engage women. I teach free body image workshops twice a year at school programs. I feel like I have to specify these things when I say I’m a feminist so other feminists will know I’m “the real deal” because for some reason everything I do is negated when I say I like jay z or wear eyeliner.

    Even if this poem was sexist, it’s still okay to like it . If feminist women were to abstain from the patriarchy they would all be pretty boring & disconnected… because everything still had strong patriarchical ties. So even if this were sexist, no one should criticize Nicole for it. Everything is “wrong” nowadays. Consumerism is sexist, but we’re all here watching Nicole decorate a house with things. That’s OKAY. We get so wrapped up in what’s politically correct that we forget that it’s not right; just because an item is fair trade or etc doesn’t make it ethical, not not being ethical doesn’t make us bad people. We need to stop holding ourselves to such impossible standards or feminism will die.

    Now on the poem itself; do we really think we are the only ones self aware enough to write? If a man is enlightened enough to mock current culture by publishing something subversive like lusting after setting up a home for the woman instead of popular culture’s pressure to “money cash hoes” (Thanks Jay) do you honestly think he means it in a sexist way? He’s making us think! It’s clever! It’s a bitter joke. I would love if someone told me they wanted to marry me & have kids instead of fuck me on the dance floor. That’s what my boyfriend did, in less specific terms, and he’s the most feminist guy I’ve ever met. I think it says more about the mans desire to grow up than the woman.

    This poem is supposed to be cute & demonstrate social paradox. If you don’t see it that way, that’s you’d choice… but it’s feminism that allows your opinion, and it allows Nicole’s as well.

    PS: I’m on a smartphone, sorry for typos. :) & sorry for the rant Nicole; I really really love your blog.

    • pernicketypony September 1, 2012 at 11:10 pm #

      I really appreciate this comment. I know what you mean about people sometimes having set ideas of what a feminist should be, and feeling like you are dismissed as not “the real deal” or fitting this.

      Anyway, I do agree with you about everyone having a right to their own opinions and tastes.

      My trouble is that, whenever I express my personal distaste for or discomfort for something I feel like people jump on me as being unfair/prudish/no-fun/angry/jealous/whatever.

      I’m not saying your comment is jumping on me. I just wanted to use this as a chance to clarify my previous comment and make it as clear as I can that I don’t think people are WRONG for liking it, or even for finding it romantic, just that I, personally, don’t, and the descriptions of it as romantic make me personally uncomfortable for reasons I don’t understand (I tried to explore a possibility as to why in my comment…but still I don’t quite know).

      I think I’ve sort of lost the thread of whatever I was trying to say here…basically I don’t want people (even just strangers on the internet) to be angry at me for (perhaps ineptly?) trying to put forth my own opinion. I am sorry if I offended Nicole or anyone else.

      As for the poem itself…again, I read it as satire, and relatively cleverly done. It just seems to me like a lot of other people rad it differently, which struck me as strange.

      • Catherine September 2, 2012 at 3:50 pm #

        Pernicketypony, I appreciate your opinion and I’m inclined to agree with you. Plus, it’s a poem, so it’s totally open to our own interpretations. When I mentioned “true love” and all it entails, I was being facetious. I think a lot of people have a “wine and roses” notion of love and marriage, when, in reality (or at least, my reality of 10 years of marriage), it is much more like what the poet describes. Not that there isn’t passion and a love for each other’s intellect, but I’ve known my husband since we were in high school, he does the grocery shopping because he enjoys it (I make the list), I clean the toilets, and we have two young boys that are legally required to be put in some kind of car seat when we travel in our family car, so these are some of the things that fill our daily lives. To me, true love IS cleaning somebody’s toilet because I love him, if that makes sense.

        Thank you, Nicole, for letting us discuss this on your blog. I was an English major with a minor in women’s studies, so I could go on forever. :P

    • Joy | Frock Files September 2, 2012 at 7:05 pm #

      YES! I feel like this comment is so well put. For a long while, I used to begin sentences with “This might not be very feminist, but…” until I realized that what I was saying was, “This might not play into other people’s ideas of feminism” because feminism, really, is about having the freedom to choose what you want to do/like/say/feel. As someone who graduated with two majors, one of them women’s studies, I was taught this kind of feminism; the kind with a sense of humor and a down-to-earth rationale. The poem didn’t offend me. It was meant to be funny and honest and a little ridiculous. It made me laugh, and in my mind, humor is one of the hardest things to achieve in poetry. Respect.

      P.S. Nicole, I love those Kate Spade mittens. Also, this seemed the only appropriate way to end this comment: They’re supercute.

  10. sue September 4, 2012 at 11:57 am #

    just one more thing – if you rule out this poem as misogynist because this guy’s fantasy is based on her looks alone, do you also rule out almost every Beatles song (“I Saw Her Standing There” etc) and every other love poem & song that doesn’t specify that he’s in love with her because she’s smart? What about “I Love Rock and Roll” – that one’s about Joan Jett objectifying a man, standin’ by the record machine…. & I love the Kate Spade mittens too : )

  11. Chelan September 6, 2012 at 1:11 am #

    Do you know that those Kate Spade mitten are on sale at 6pm.com? http://www.6pm.com/kate-spade-gloves
    Have fun hailing taxis!

  12. Ellie September 6, 2012 at 4:08 am #

    Nicole, I’m curious, why don’t you drink coffee?

    • Making it Lovely September 6, 2012 at 6:51 am #

      I just don’t like the taste of it. I like the way it smells, and I could use the caffeine certainly!

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