Friday, March 5, 2010

Poetry Friday: Mary Barber

In the poem, "To a Lady, Who Valu’d Herself on Speaking Her Mind in a Blunt Manner, Which She Call’d Being Sincere" 
Mary Barber, an Irish poet and housewife contradicts the belief of her time period that women should not voice their opinions. Barber lived from 1685 to 1755, so she was alive after Shakespeare's time. Still, we can see some similarities in her use of language and in the cultural expectations of women. Here is her poem:

Well you Sincerity display,

A virtue wond’rous rare!

Nor value, tho’ the world should say,

You’re rude, so you’re sincere.

To be sincere, then, give me leave;

And I will frankly own,

Since you but this one virtue have,

'Twere better you had none.

Today, you're going to work to translate this poem to modern-speak. You're also going to relate this poem to your life and your gender by choosing a double standard that exists in today's society. Work out your message to the world about this double standard in an eight line poem that mimics either the original or your translated version. Please complete this in pages and either send me a screenshot of your translation and new poem or upload both to your blog with a picture inculded. If you choose to upload to your blog, please include Barber's original poem and explain that you're translating it to modern-speak.

Here is a screenshot of a student translation of Mary Barber's poem and the student's original poem:

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