The poems in our ongoing “Liberating Words” series were written in an interdisciplinary course for high school juniors at The Winsor School, an all-girls school in Boston, Mass. The course, “The Personal Is Political: An Interdisciplinary Look at Feminism,” is co-taught by Libby Parsley, a History teacher, and Susanna Ryan, an English teacher. The second unit of the course focuses on the history and literature of second-wave feminism—the women’s liberation movement of the 1960’s and 70’s. Students read a compilation of poems by women writers from that period and then wrote their own poems; the assignment asked them to represent an issue or problem they see as central to 21st-century women’s experience through the very personal genre of poetry.
by Jane Wrenn
I have a gorgeous best friend
Oh my god I love all her clothes!
I would follow her until the end
I’ll go wherever she goes.
We share secrets about the boys we like and
Her smile makes my heart tear
We make fun of the weird kids and dykes and
Her laugh hits me —well I can’t quite tell where.
She makes me want to scream
And break all the rules
Her hair smells like a Dunkin iced coffee with cream
And her boyfriend is such a fucking tool.
My friends say that I’m obsessed
Well I just feel depressed—
I can’t risk the exclusion
To feed this delusion
Our rigid social lines must not be transgressed!
Jane Wrenn is a junior at the Winsor School, an all-girls high school in Boston. She enjoys reading Kafka and spending time with her cats.