Sewn Silent

Written for:  Imaginary Gardens With Real Toads – Artistic Interpretations with Margaret- La Catrina and the Wall of Books

“I was intrigued by the wall of books painted with a portrait that seems ripe for poetic interpretation. I snapped images of the book titles and they are posted below – I believe clicking on a photo will enlarge it for easier reading. I will also randomly select titles and list them below, but not all of them (I will not be posting the authors) You can peruse the titles as well. There is one last image of this lady at the bottom of the post. You may use my images for your challenge.

This prompt lends itself to the dark side, but it need not be dark.”
The challenge is to use ten (yes, TEN) book titles in a new poem. There are so many intriguing options I don’t think this will be difficult. The portrait in some way must be used as inspiration. Maybe it is the legend itself, perhaps her makeup, perhaps her brown hair, or the red rose in her hair. Maybe it is the subject of books that you take away from this image. I give you permission to play fast and loose with the image.”


Here are my chosen book names:  Total Control; My Story; Mortal Prey; Fighting Back; Lady in Red; A Darkness More Than Night; Seize the Night; Amazing Grace;
Silent Honor; The Collectors

The collectors seek out
mortal prey to keep
under their total control–
women. We are imprisoned
in an inky darkness
more than night. Each
woman is garbed in
a different color. I am
the lady in red. We want
to seize the night, sing
Amazing Grace again, but
our lips are sewn in
black thread, silent
in our honor. Now that
you have read my story,
I implore you to find
a way to fight back
for freedom.

About purplepeninportland

I am a freelance poet, born and bred in Brooklyn, New York. I live with my husband, John, and two charming rescue dogs–Marion Miller and Murphy. We spent eight lovely years in Portland, OR, but are now back in New York. My goal is to create and share poetry with others who write, or simply enjoy reading poetry. I hope to touch a nerve in you, and feel your sparks as well.
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21 Responses to Sewn Silent

  1. Sherry Marr says:

    Oh, this is powerful, the sewn-shut lips, the plea to fight for freedom. Awesome, Sara!


  2. Fleur McMorrow says:

    Well done.


  3. Margaret Elizabeth Bednar says:

    Of course, visions of “Handmaid’s Tale” come to my mind… Truly scary.


  4. colonialist says:

    This is skilfully contrived, from choice of literature onwards!


  5. oldegg says:

    Beautifully written horror Sara, glad I read it in the morning!


  6. It does make one think of Handmaid’s Tale. “I implore you to find
    a way to fight back for freedom.” well done


  7. Susie Clevenger says:

    Yes, I too think of Handmaid’s Tale. My we not be silent, but speak and support truth.


  8. Jim says:

    Poor women, lost their say. Who would be so cruel as to sew those lips? Woman’s chief tool.
    I like it, it reads well.


  9. kim881 says:

    Your poem reminds me of Gilead from The Handmaid’s Tale, Sara – very frightening.


  10. sanaarizvi says:

    This is absolutely stunning in its portrayal of the truth that is discussed in the ‘Handmaid’s Tale.’ A fine response to the prompt! ❤❤❤


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