Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Poets United Midweek Motif ~ Suffrage, the right to vote

Union française pour le suffrage des femmes 1909 poster.png
Poster of the French Union for Women's Suffrage (1909)
Union française pour le suffrage des femmes
"French women want to vote - against alcohol, slums and war"

“I do not know if the people of the United States would vote for superior men if they ran for office, but there can be no doubt that such men do not run.” 
― Alexis de TocquevilleTocqueville: Democracy in America

“To view the opposition as dangerous is to misunderstand the basic concepts of democracy. To oppress the opposition is to assault the very foundation of democracy.” 
― Aung San Suu KyiLetters from Burma

“There is no such thing as not voting: you either vote by voting, or you vote by staying home and tacitly doubling the value of some Diehard's vote.” 
― David Foster Wallace, Consider the Lobster and Other Essays

Midweek Motif ~ Suffrage, 
the right to vote

Do you have the right to vote?  
When did you last use that right?  
Have you ever been on a ballot? 
What would you like to see on a ballot to vote for?  

Your Challenge: Write a poem that exposes and/or challenges suffrage. 

We walked five blocks 
to the elementary school, 
my mother’s high heels 
crunching through playground gravel. 
We entered through a side door.

Down the long corridor, 
decorated with Halloween masks, 
health department safety posters— 
we followed the arrows 
to the third grade classroom.

My mother stepped alone 
into the booth, pulling the curtain behind her. 
I could see only the backs of her 
calves in crinkled nylons.

A partial vanishing, then reappearing 
pocketbook crooked on her elbow, 
our mayor’s button pinned to her lapel. 
. . . . 
(Read the rest HERE.)

I am unjust, but I can strive for justice. 
My life’s unkind, but I can vote for kindness. 
I, the unloving, say life should be lovely. 
I, that am blind, cry out against my blindness. 

Man is a curious brute—he pets his fancies— 
Fighting mankind, to win sweet luxury. 
So he will be, though law be clear as crystal, 
Tho’ all men plan to live in harmony. 

Come, let us vote against our human nature, 
Crying to God in all the polling places 
To heal our everlasting sinfulness 
And make us sages with transfigured faces. 

I hold my ballot in my shaking hand
And say to myself: this is cause and effect.
The opportunity is so grand
I have spent all my life to expect.

You have lived in a free country, 

Here you and your ancestors were born; 
Your civil rights are numerous and sundry; 
Please do feel pity for the forlorn.

I had exercised my right to vote

In my native land’s first ever election: 
Illiterates did not know what cadres wrote; 
Bad factions led them to wrong direction.

Wanting self-rule, people grew wiser; 

The patriots just built a young nation.
But the invaders, however, were slyer: 
Elections were only to shield usurpation.

. . . . 
(Read the rest HERE.)


  1. Thank you for another midweek challenge - I suppose with the right to vote comes choice - and in 'our' case we often don't honour that privilege - as ever i'm afraid a bit of a skewed perspective.. If i don't get back to all your posts many apologies - I am due to go into hospital for a short period next week..

    1. Take care of yourself, Jae Rose! I'm coming around to read your poem.

    2. Take care Jae. Be well soon.

    3. Thank you all.. Shall think of you all next week and try to accept the stinky old hospital bed

    4. Get well soon Jae

      Much love...

  2. Tried a new form (to me) Sevenling today. A challenging topic Susan & perfect for this form.

  3. It's noon on the east coast of the USA, and I'm going out for the afternoon/early evening. I'm looking forward to a feast here when I get back.

  4. Well, The Election from Hell has my undivided attention these days but am not sure I can write in a restrained fashion, I am so appalled, LOL. However, I will try.

    1. Looking forward to hearing your voice on this mechanism and right.

  5. Oh heck, it might not be restrained. Cackle.

  6. Such a fitting prompt. The topic is filled with much emotion nowadays. God bless the world.

  7. Hi Susan, Why can't I see Mr Linky....??? Donno what to do.
    Here's my link

  8. Wow its Wednesday already. Have a nice day every one

    Much love...

  9. Important topic...thank you, Susan. I don't have time to write to this now but thought I'd mention a really good film that I watched on the topic..."Suffragette"

    1. Yes, I saw that, too. On a more comic level, Do you also remember the song from Mary Poppins?

  10. Am sorry, not sure, if I will be back, any time soon, as I am struggling with my mental and physical health. Will be posting on my blog, but not to any group site. Until next time, take care, therisa

    1. Take care of yourself, Therisa. That should always come first. I will miss your voice, but I'll see if I can stop over. Sending strength, dear poet.

    2. All the best, Therisa. Be good to yourself.

  11. LOL. I did write a rant and when I tried to link it, Mr Linky rejected it and then disappeared, so that must have been my fault. I took it as a sign and didnt post the poem after all....I have yet to write a kinder one.........maybe tomorrow. Glad Mr Linky recovered from the horror, cackle.

  12. A topical theme for us here in Australia as we have just had a controversial and prolonged Federal Election process.
    Thanks for the prompt!


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