Thursday, September 30, 2010

leaving the weighty camels (Friday's Sunday's Poem/Hot Actress 64)

The Hymn of a Fat Woman
Joyce Huff

All of the saints starved themselves.
Not a single fat one.
The words “deity” and “diet” must have come from the same
Latin root.

Those saints must have been thin as knucklebones
or shards of stained
glass or Christ carved
on his cross.

as pew seats. Brittle
as hair shirts. Women
made from bone, like the ribs that protrude from his wasted
wooden chest. Women consumed
by fervor.

They must have been able to walk three or four abreast
down that straight and oh-so-narrow path.
They must have slipped with ease through the eye
of the needle, leaving the weighty
camels stranded at the city gate.

Within that spare city’s walls,
I do not think I would find anyone like me.

I imagine I will find my kind outside
lolling in the garden
munching on the apples.

About the poem: As usual, I started reading it because I liked the title, but then picked it for today because of the mixed message it sends: the idea that "fat" women aren't consumed by fervor and that they may not make it entirely into Heaven -- but would come close? And the reference to apples in the last line then sends another message entirely -- implying that women like the speaker are in fact responsible for keeping others out of Paradise? The poem seems as though it's supposed to be a mollifier for anyone who considers themselves fat, but in the end, reads more as a slap in the face to anyone who's not skinny.

I didn't like the message. But I found it worth thinking about.

About the Hot Actress: Also worth thinking about? Sophia Vergara. Sweetie picked her without knowing the poem I was putting up today.

No comments: