Within the Nineteen Sixties, younger Scandinavian poets – lots of them girls – started to analyze the theme of the reproductive office of their writing. They explored the topic from inside these largely invisible areas the place cooking, cleansing and baby minding are completed, making a physique of poetic textual content that rendered hidden home, reproductive work seen and tangible. This alone amounted to a small revolution. The literary items I’ve chosen right here, written largely within the final three a long time of the 20th century, supply new insights into hidden areas. There are a lot of examples to select from and I’ve targeted on only a handful of essentially the most sharp-sighted observers.
Let me start with Inger Christensen’s poem ‘Alphabet’ (1981) and her reflections on the mundane enterprise of potato peeling, a routine family process which involves be progressively related to a imaginative and prescient of nuclear explosion. The presence of the atomic bomb haunts the poem from its opening traces, which invoke the picture of apricot bushes. The recent glow of the fruit, with its laborious ‘pit’ or core, conjures prompt connotations: apricots are ‘nuclear fruit’. Then, abruptly and inexorably, detonation turns into a stark actuality because the phrases Hiroshima and Nagasaki seem on the web page. Right here, the poetic fashion differs from different writings in Christensen’s Collected Poems.
‘Alphabet’ focuses unwaveringly on the bomb and its results, in language that describes occasions as soberly as a authorities White Paper. It makes no allowances, opens up no escape route because the lifeless are counted. The poet seems to embrace the concept that cool sobriety is important to understand the enormity of the struggling that has been prompted. Info should be confronted head on to be able to make actual each the agony of others and a level of violence far past something humanity has hitherto skilled. It’s an argument acquainted from Susan Sontag’s e book Concerning the Ache of Others(2003). ‘Alphabet’ articulates the case poetically within the startling deixis which follows the physique depend:
I’m in my kitchen
peeling potatoes; water operating from the faucet
virtually drowns the youngsters’s voices
within the yard.
Kids’s calls to one another
virtually drown the birds
singing within the bushes
and the songs of the birds
virtually drown the whispering of the wind
within the leaves.
The whispering of the leaves
virtually distracts from the stillness
of the glowing sky.
Its glowing gentle is
virtually a fiery aura
like that of the atom bomb,
no less than somewhat
The traces are paced with phrases like ‘virtually’, ‘no less than’, ‘somewhat’, because the poem makes a tentative connection between Hiroshima, Nagasaki, and the speaker within the kitchen peeling her potatoes. The language does nothing to trivialise the manufactured mass-murder machine that’s the atomic bomb. The hyperlink Christensen makes between the apricot-orange radiation emissions that illuminated the skies over Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and the expertise of that almost all commonplace of Nordic actions – potato peeling, quashes the notion of the bomb as one thing unreal or incomprehensible, making it all of the extra terrifying. It’s a wild political gesture to seek for traces of communication between potato-peeling, reproductive work that’s easy however life-sustaining, and the distinctive negation of all life that’s the atom bomb.
Reproductive or productive?
Any home labour that is perhaps termed ‘reproductive’ is all however absent from male-dominated, patriarchal literature, in addition to from writing targeted with regards to work on the whole. Even right now, caring duties corresponding to cleansing and cooking, being pregnant and beginning, or taking care of youngsters and aged individuals, are considered too uninteresting and ‘personal’ to benefit public consideration. When, within the Nineteen Sixties and Seventies, girls writers turned their consideration to labour within the dwelling, their narratives weren’t learn as accounts of correct work however reasonably as tales about private, particularly feminine experiences. Their literary testimonies had been accepted as moderately necessary, however dismissed as irrelevant within the grander context of historic occasions or class wrestle.
This devaluation introduced an issue that demanded severe evaluation. Mariarosa Dalla Costa and Selma James’ classical polemic The Energy of Ladies and the Subversion of the Neighborhood (1973) and Silvia Federici’s Wages in opposition to House responsibilities (1975) stand out as influential examples of writing on the topic. Their publications served as catalysts for the Worldwide Wages for House responsibilities Marketing campaign (IWFHC), a world community based mostly particularly in Britain, North America and Italy. Its key purpose is to attain equal charges of pay for each reproductive and productive work.
Reasonably, the intention behind the marketing campaign is to make girls’s work seen as actual work, as necessary as manufacturing vehicles. Ladies don’t need to be held to calculations of exactly how a lot to cost for caressing the cheek of a sick baby, or hoovering the sitting room. What issues them is the truth that division of labour has made their work invisible and marginalized. Homemakers and carers introduce a perspective on productive and reproductive labour that Karl Marx didn’t keep in mind. The normal, historic division of labour can’t be maintained perpetually, despite the fact that girls might stay the child-bearing intercourse.
In her epoch-making examination of the persecution of witches, Caliban and The Witch (2004), Federici makes a connection between gender-determined division of labour and ‘unique accumulation’. In line with Federici, witch-hunts had been instantly linked to the transition from late feudal to early capitalist types of social construction. Capitalism as outlined by Marx (to whom Federici refers whereas amending his argument alongside feminist traces) begins with an ‘unique accumulation’ of capital and its subsequent correlates: the intensive privatization of arable fields and customary land corresponding to woods and wetlands. It goes hand in hand with the institution of buying and selling based mostly on cash reasonably than barter, with a waged labour power and, consequently, a ‘free market’ by which the basic rule is to purchase cheaply and to promote as expensively as doable.
‘Authentic accumulation’ introduced with it a division of labour and the limitation of copy to an outlined group – girls – who then grew to become topic to additional, draconian controls. Given the historic backcloth to the persecution of witches, the conclusion should absolutely be that witch-hunting was not a sudden outbreak of insanity, as is extensively believed. As a substitute, it ought to be seen as an early stage within the improvement of the capitalist-patriarchal order, in step with the purpose of controlling copy and waged labour in a system that may not solely cement the division of reproductive (unwaged) and productive (waged) work but additionally type the premise for brand spanking new patriarchal norms.
Ladies had been excluded not solely from the communal work-place but additionally from widespread, shared areas. As a substitute of having fun with entry to pure property, girls grew to become residing uncooked materials: items to be traded available on the market. In the direction of the tip of the seventeenth century, the method was full. Now, stereotypically wild and threatening ‘witches’ who wanted ‘taming’ had been changed by one other constructed illustration of femininity: the angelic housewife and mom, who gently fulfils her duties within the secure setting of the house. Though dominant, this picture clearly didn’t remove its dialectical counterpart, the demonic illustration of womanhood.
Broadly talking, this outlines the historic course of as systematised by Federici, in addition to the repressed background in opposition to which all of us wrestle to attain a change in our relationship with the planet. From an eco-feminist perspective, as defined by Vandana Shiva for instance, we ought to be demanding the de-capitalisation of agriculture in addition to a brand new strategy to the division of labour and the task of worth to completely different types of work. These are the keys that may assist us unlock a sustainable society.
Federici’s evaluation may be associated helpfully to Christensen’s writing, alongside different examples of ladies’s literature from the Nineteen Sixties and Seventies. The proposal to make reproductive work seen and allocate worth to it – giving it each monetary and social value – is radical, certainly revolutionary. It emphasises the unfairness of the present division of labour and methods by which it promotes inequality. In a 1971 assessment of Kirsten Thorup’s poetic prose It’s Daisy right now, the critic Hans-Jørgen Nielsen grasped this level, whereas additionally failing to know its implications.
Placing out the garbage
On the steps she spots a small damp cardboard lid
And bits of tomato and eggshell and he or she steps out into the road after which enters a gateway
simply subsequent to the principle staircase
and into an extended passage and arrives on the door to the yard and opens it and
she is within the yard and
all 3 bins haven’t obtained the lids on and are brimful and he or she leaves her bag
subsequent to 10-12 different paper or plastic luggage that lie subsequent to the garbage bins and he or she appears down on the luggage
The traces quoted above are drawn from a bit of It’s Daisy Right now entitled ‘Maria goes downstairs to the yard with a bagful of garbage’. They describe an exercise integral to the sphere of home work, endlessly recurring but invisible. The characters populating Thorup’s e book are equally devoid of particular traits. As a substitute, their identities emerge as static, even empty, virtually interchangeable.
‘On this assortment, all is externality, lifeless pores’, Nielsen feedback in his assessment of It’s Daisy Right now, written for the Danish newspaper Info. ‘Time fails to impart any actual order to the textual content.’ His remarks supply a wonderful perception into Thorup’s quick prose passages with their mixed-up foci and suspension of unity of time and place. It’s not clear the place we now have been positioned geographically – it may very well be Italy or Copenhagen. Nor do we all know whose voice we’re listening to: it may very well be Maria’s, Carlo’s, Rita’s or anyone else’s. Nielsen provides that the e book is a press release of ‘an outline of a situation’ and, in that context, notes its feminist mission:
The feminine characters and their world type the centre of gravity on this work. In our society, girls are considered issues by definition. They’re subjected to objectification twice over. This e book is about what this state looks like. Radical women who argue in favour of creating a department of psychiatry particularly for ladies could possibly discover extra on this e book than I’ve been in a position to present.
It’s Daisy Right now poetically addresses the expertise of being a lady ‘subjected to objectification twice over’. On the one hand a lady is ‘considered a factor’ – somebody destined to hold out alienating work, as Karl Marx may need put it. Equally, she exists in a state of immanence – of being current as an unchanging ingredient – relative to the transcendence of males.
In Simone de Beauvoir’s basic evaluation of the patriarchal order The Second Intercourse (1949), the male holds the place of the transcendental topic due to his capability to beat physicality, and suppose each systematically and rationally. Therefore, he can have interaction in policy-making and philosophy. The feminine, in the meantime, is framed by the belief that she is trapped in her physique. She is managed by female reproductive biology and seen as incapable of appearing rationally to advertise the commonweal. Consequently, she is in no place to interact in philosophical discourse. That is the illustration on which the patriarchal order is based.
Thorup’s e book demonstrates one thing that transcends the ‘double objectification’ of ladies by making the truth of reproductive work absolutely seen. Within the passage which recounts how ‘Maria goes downstairs to the yard with a bagful of garbage’ the weather that make up the act of carrying a garbage bag down the steps are positioned paratactically facet by facet, linked by the recurrent conjunction ‘and… and… and… and… and’ – a tool that mimics the repetitiveness of reproductive work. The rhythmic repetition is affirmative, insistent and demonstrative, however above all provides a minutely noticed description of an unremarkable exercise. Bits of a tomato, damaged eggshells, and a sodden cardboard lid are given a lifetime of their very own and purchase the standing of ‘vibrant matter’. Whereas related to later, neo-materialist phases within the developmental historical past of feminist idea, in addition they stress the marginalized particular person’s sensitivity to things and life-forms on the peripheries of every day existence.
Writing about It’s Daisy Right now, Nielsen makes the purpose that it might be very properly to create a ‘present standing report’ on ‘alienation twice over’ however it is usually to purpose low:
In a critique of the ideological stance taken by the author, one may argue that captivity is described as a definitive state with no socially mediated escape route. However the poem ‘Spring in Peking’ which varieties a part of the textual content is straightforwardly utopian. The locality alone suggests the underlying message.
If we overlook the vistas opened up by pictures of spring days in Peking, It’s Daisy Right now fails to supply Nielsen any hope of one other world, or any pointers in direction of how capitalist rule is perhaps overturned. He finds it missing in any type of revolutionary agenda or hope. Regardless of his sympathies for Thorup’s venture, Nielsen finds nothing worthy of remark in it apart from the theme of alienation. He approves of the intent to make unseen, reproductive labour seen and tangible. He understands that it’s a actual, true and useful type of work. In his view, Thorup’s writing consequently deserves to be proven off as an upmarket e book issued by a well-established writer, prompting its reviewer to make beneficiant use of the numerous lengthy, overseas phrases he is aware of. However It’s Daisy Right now is revolutionary literature in the identical sense that the demand for correct wages for cooking and child-minding is revolutionary. A give attention to the repressive penalties of the present division of labour shouldn’t be restricted to these Nielsen categorized as ‘radical women who argue in favour of creating a department of psychiatry directed at girls alone.’
Out and about on the grocery store
We want meat for supper, and chilly meat for sandwiches, and eggs and a pair of tights, she stated and David thought he’d purchase a bottle of wine. Karla got here to a halt in entrance of the fruit & veg and he or she couldn’t keep in mind if she was supposed to purchase apples and so they walked alongside and David put a bag of prawns within the trolley. What about some ready-made meatballs and we prepare dinner them for supper tomorrow, they’re nicer scorching, Karla stated and seemed for some. How boring, David stated. He fancied a little bit of steak and rummaged within the cool counter.
‘So, we’ll have steak,’ Karla stated and he or she put a piece of beef within the trolley and a packet of sliced pork roll and a packet of sliced salami and seemed for mayonnaise and Frans stood subsequent to her. He was holding a bag of combined bonbons, and David put tinned pineapple within the trolley and, quickly afterwards, jars of pickled gherkins and cured herring, and a tin of chocolate milk and so they lastly joined a until queue. And Karla put a bar of hazelnut chocolate within the trolley.
Karla outlets for meals she believes to be wholesome, time-saving and cheap: apples and ready-made meatballs. David goes by no matter appeals to him, with out troubling himself about vitamin content material, cooking instances or price. He buys wine, prawns, steak, chocolate drink. Karla offers in. She is seduced by a chocolate bar – which should absolutely be a purchase order she fancies, reasonably than one which’s in step with her family funds or any intention to drop some pounds.
The passage illustrates exactly an issue inherent within the gendered division of labour: the battle of curiosity between women and men as they relate to reproductive work, even when it’s assumed to be a joint enterprise. The excerpt quoted above is about purchasing and cooking, nevertheless it may simply as properly have been child-minding or cleansing. In Child, Thorup conveys recognizable on a regular basis scenes, whereas the paratactical itemizing of the commonplace (although not random) parts that form her verbal imagery, produces an virtually tactile, sensory or haptic impact. Karla and David are shoppers reasonably than producers, trapped within the late-capitalist, consumerist-driven cycle.
From the Nineteen Sixties onwards, notably within the writings of Vita Andersen and Sonja Åkesson, the theme of the reproductive sphere was more and more dominated by its late-capitalist, consumerist context which readers typically discovered laborious to acknowledge as implicit social critique.
Within the Seventies, Vita Andersen’s poetic anthology Security addicts, and her assortment of quick tales Shut it, simply look cute, had been talked down for his or her alleged lack of lyricism and give attention to banalities that ought to stay personal. Torben Brostrøm described Andersen’s writing as ‘no line break prose’ whereas Dan Turell wrote pejoratively about ‘menstrual poetry’. Each ignored the reference to pop artwork methods attribute of each Andersen and Åkesson’s writing, and the reducing precision with which they expose an engine of consumerism designed solely to generate need. Here’s a quick extract from a basic Andersen textual content: ‘She appears good’:
She walks alongside the road in her lunch break
no coat on simply carrying her purse
she appears at herself within the store home windows
she appears good
the tight denims match completely around her bum
she desires to purchase one thing
she thinks that when she will get again dwelling
she and the children could have a pleasant night
and he or she’ll perhaps have a go at repainting the corridor
it’s so darkish
she had painted it Hawaii yellow
to make it look brighter
she’ll repaint sooner or later when there’s time
she has seen a corridor like that
in Higher Residing
One doable studying of Andersen’s poem is that it’s about an enslaved lady in thrall to the male phallic gaze, whereas held captive by late-capitalist market methods geared toward frightening a compulsion to purchase issues. Later, we study that she is lonely, and resorts to ingesting port and consuming a Mars bar as soon as her youngsters are asleep. It will be mistaken to decrease the disappointment felt by Andersen’s characters. Their unhappiness is actual; they’re burdened, alone, depressed, deserted and determined for love.
But it’s the phrase ‘Hawaii yellow’ that brings this poetic passage to life, together with the ‘Mars bar’. Each are pop artwork constructs that encapsulate the poet’s sense of the buyer’s ambiguous place. Mass-produced objects, used every day and never supposed to be seen as artwork, emerge with graphic readability and influence, reflecting the conflicted needs that drive the late-capitalist financial system. The lady is clearly ‘held captive’ by the ability of promoting, however her need to evolve and take part is real. These tight-fitting denims are as cool as they’re attainable and, within the West, anybody should buy a Mars bar or a pair of denims – even when it’s on credit score.
Acquisition and the quiet life
Sonja Åkesson’s Worth is a set of poems about gendered consumerism, constructed round newspaper and journal cutouts that are juxtaposed to explain a shopper society that’s, in Jenny Tunedal’s phrases ‘directed on the housewife, anticipated to handle the kitchen, prepare dinner properly and stake her all on love. She ought to disguise her curlers underneath a cute lace cap, dispense with that unattractive martyr’s halo and cease troubling her little head with politics’.
One key poem within the e book is entitled ‘Fantasy Sausage’. It’s an prolonged montage of slogans, promoting and quotes from magazines – witty, sarcastic and enjoyable. But it communicates a way of intense claustrophobia and attracts consideration to the efficiency standards that bombard the housewife in shopper capitalist circumstances. The format, with its damaged traces and use of capitals, is paying homage to Gertrude Stein’s e book of prose poetry Tender Buttons (1914) – the primary work in world literature common across the equipment of the feminine world. In a manner paying homage to Thorup and Andersen’s writing, Åkesson’s on a regular basis objects emerge in shapes which can be each tactile and modern:
Girl needs male boss
Pig desires companionship.
Would you prefer to have us as Christmas prezzies?
I spy with my little eye
The trolley is enjoyable. And so useful.
A chair for the water – essential,
IMAGINE YOURSELF WEARING THESE BOOTS
Åkesson additionally wrote graphic, concrete poetry however that isn’t the explanation why her work has attracted curiosity lately. Ladies writers from the Seventies had been subjected to extremely damaging scrutiny from critics who collectively failed to understand the importance of literature created inside areas the place reproductive duties had been carried out. That is true even of Åkesson, among the finest writers of this style, who successfully spells issues out for her readers. Her breakthrough got here with the necessary poetry assortment Home Peace (1963) which incorporates the poem ‘A query of marriage’, now thought of a basic. Listed below are the opening traces:
Be White Man’s slave.
Generally White Man good, sure certain factor,
vacuum flooring and play card video games with youngsters
White Man lose his Fucking mood
He swear use dangerous phrases
White Man can’t stand untidy.
White Man can’t stand fried Meals.
White Man can’t stand Silly sentence.
White Man into horrible Match
Detect youngsters’s boots.
Right now, equating slavery with humiliations inflicted by a white home tyrant on his white housewife is sure to look ethically questionable. However the poem’s unflinching irony exposes, in a sequence of consecutive scenes, the overall marginalization of reproductive work. Humour does nothing to detract from the influence.
The potato and the self
Åkesson’s Home Peace additionally features a piece entitled ‘Autobiography: A Response to Ferlinghetti’, which is a piece as private as Lawrence Ferlinghetti’s acclaimed poem ‘Autobiography’. Åkesson was an amazing admirer of Beat poetry, however her ‘response’ – which may be learn as hypertext – is not at all uncritical of the American author’s celebrated work. It’s value evaluating the opening traces of Ferlinghetti’s poem with Åkesson’s. Ferlinghetti begins as follows:
I’m main a quiet life
in Mike’s Place daily
watching the champs
of the Dante Billiard Parlor
and the French pinball addicts.
I’m main a quiet life
on decrease East Broadway.
I’m an American.
I used to be an American boy
Åkesson’s depiction of her personal life subtly dents the underlying complacency of the speaker within the unique poem:
I lead a quiet life
Spending my days at dwelling
in Drottninggatan 83A.
Blowing youngsters’s noses
Sharpening flooring and copper pots
Cooking sausages and mash
I lead a quiet life
not removed from the underground station.
I used to be introduced up in Sweden.
‘Mike’s Place’ turns into an handle in Stockholm. Watching billiard video games and pinball machines is changed by the cleansing of flooring, washing up pots and pans, cooking sausage and mash, and wiping youngsters’s noses. ‘Decrease East Broadway’ has turn into a road ‘not removed from the underground station’. The type of the 2 poems is virtually similar, however unproductive residing has been exchanged for the reproductive variety, exposing Ferlinghetti’s self-absorbed sophistication.
Essentially the most eye-opening and radical show of the power inherent in introducing the reproductive sphere into poetry comes later in Åkesson’s poem. The tone ceases to be playful and cheerfully ironic, and turns into filled with ache:
I ran out into the early nightfall
And longed to succeed in via the sky
with my hand
However hurried again dwelling
In case the potatoes burned.
I see a similarity
between me and potatoes.
These groping shoots
Within the faint cellar gentle
However thoughts, protect them from blows
Defend them from the chilly.
Right here is within the corresponding passage in Ferlinghetti’s textual content:
I marched up Fifth Avenue
blowing on a bugle in a decent platoon
however hurried again to the Casbah
on the lookout for my canine.
I see a similarity
between canines and me.
Canine are the true observers
strolling up and down the world
through the Molloy nation.
Åkesson’s first noteworthy change is a reversal of the ‘similarity’. Within the traces ‘I see a similarity / between me and potatoes’, she has inverted the emphasis in Ferlinghetti’s ‘I see a similarity / between canines and me’. The canine catches Ferlinghetti’s eye first, then he considers himself. Åkesson appears at herself, then contemplates the potato. The start line and the goal of the analogy are switched. In Ferlinghetti’s poem, the male speaker makes an commentary in regards to the canine from his personal perspective. ‘Canine are the true observers’: in different phrases, canines are just like the narrator. In distinction, Åkesson’s model permits the potato to inform us in regards to the ‘I’ who longs to succeed in out to the sky however as a substitute hurries dwelling, remembering the potatoes may burn.
The imperilled potatoes additionally flip the which means away from the speaker’s worry of failing to supply a household meal in direction of broader implications of the picture. These may be grasped solely by these conversant in the predispositions and organic responses of the potato – which signify essential information for housewives. My very own understanding of potatoes relies not on rising, storing or cooking them, however on cookery books that set out intimately how incorrect dealing with can hurt this susceptible, although seemingly strong, root vegetable.
The potato is likely one of the most simply unsettled, and doubtlessly most toxic, meals we eat. If uncovered to gentle, it turns inexperienced and begins to synthesize poisonous alkaloids. Ingesting a small amount of those will provide you with abdomen ache and bigger portions may be deadly. If a potato is saved in brilliant gentle or in a spot that’s damp, it should additionally produce toxic shoots. If reduce away, the rising factors proceed to retain some toxicity. All elements of the potato plant to be discovered above floor are extremely toxic. The tuber is exceptionally delicate and reacts to any blow with the looks of blue-purple blotches beneath the pores and skin. Potatoes should be saved in cool, darkish locations – but when it will get too chilly potato starch turns to sugar, which alters each texture and style. All in all, it’s a miracle that folks and potatoes have fashioned such a detailed relationship.
If we apply all we learn about potatoes to the speaker in Åkesson’s poem, we find out about her dilemmas. She feels trapped and longs to be elsewhere, as when a ‘faint gentle’ touches a potato within the cellar resulting in the looks of its ‘groping shoots’. Regardless of the encircling darkness, the self begins to develop within the faint gentle however its shoots are fragile, break simply and are unsure about what they search. The self within the poem is prone to bruising until ‘shielded from blows’ and, because the speaker later reveals, modifications consistency and flavour within the chilly. Add to this the truth that the potato is a species of toxic plant with ‘rhizomic’, horizontal rootlets: it spreads in each path whereas selectively absorbing its vitamins. And it’s low cost: a meals for the poor, initially introduced from the colonies. When you clear and peel too many tubers, your palms redden and roughen. It’s possible you’ll properly develop soreness and bruising. All in all, potatoes ought to be handled and cooked with care.
The potato analogy opens up a fancy subtext referring to reproductive labour, which harbours an understanding of how issues perform that’s fairly as insightful because the know-how of the productive world. However manufacturing belongs to the capitalist sphere: what issues is reasonable shopping for and gainful promoting. Within the productive world, the recognized is just not ethically mediated. Right here, monetary reward is the measure of sustainability. Within the hunt for revenue, we extract fossil fuels, fell bushes and exterminate the soil’s micro-organisms. The query whether or not merchandise are environmentally sustainable is irrelevant. Finally, we’ll destroy biodiversity in habitats planetwide – as a result of all the things has a value.
Let me now return, as soon as once more, to Inger Christensen’s poem ‘Alphabet’. In an astonishing poetic juxtaposition of the commonplace and the distinctive, the speaker stands at her kitchen sink peeling potatoes whereas considering nuclear devastation. But the poem’s opening sections are sculpted progressively across the incessant repetition of the phrase ‘exists’.
‘Alphabet’ is a piece of indeniable magnificence, typically lauded for its ‘affirmative’ qualities. However extra placing nonetheless is its chilling and horrible imaginative and prescient of the long run. The speaker’s ideas stray to the destruction of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, as she toils over her potato peeling, whereas one other part of the poem closes with the next traces:
a flock of kids search for shelter in a hole whereas a hare silently watches them
As if nonetheless youngsters in a childhood journey, they take heed to the wind telling them
Of the naked singed soil however they’re not youngsters
No one carries them any longer
As soon as no person is left to hold youngsters, life is over. Reproductive work is completed – for its essence is to nurture and maintain. It’s pushed by primary, life affirming wants; it doesn’t eat extra assets than obligatory; it’s pushed by moderation not extra. As she peels her potatoes within the kitchen, Christensen’s speaker involves signify all that makes life doable. Her labour intrinsically challenges the murderous know-how of arms manufacture. Peeling potatoes is a revolutionary act.
The poetic writing of Christensen, Thorup, Andersen and Åkesson renders unseen reproductive care each seen and tangible, giving full recognition to its effectiveness and worth as actual work.
And likewise, as proven in ‘Alphabet’: work whose reverse is demise.