Se Mig

When I was in Sweden in 2004, I passed a movie theater playing the film Se Mig. With my rudimentary Swedish I translated this as “See Me” (the literal translation), although the English translation from the original French Film Comme une image is Look at Me.

The phrase “see me,” with a bare knowledge of the film (I didn’t see), stuck with me and became a way of expressing to myself how I felt overlooked at fundamental levels in my romantic relationships and academia, the two major mental/emotional realms for me at the time. It is difficult to put a fine point on this sense of being “overlooked,” although I think it is something that anyone who has been put in a “minor” position has experienced to some degree.

In my second blog post on women and poetry from six week ago, I observed that it seems like some men in poetry just don’t see their female counterparts. This would seem the only explanation for why, although there are many female bloggers, there is a discussion every six months or so in academic circles (conferences) or electronic ones (blogs) about how female poets don’t blog.*

Ron Silliman posted a link to an impressive (but not exhaustive) list of female bloggers— 33% of his total blog list– which should prove beyond a doubt that there are many female poet bloggers. This gives me hope that the pervading myth that female poets don’t blog will finally die.** The men who theatrically lament that women don’t blog, who have not done their research or who have simply overlooked us, have now been told by another man that there are female bloggers, and that man did his homework and has evidence of this amazing anthropological phenomenon. Maybe they will finally listen and move onto more interesting analyses of how blogging relates to, influences, unites and inspires poets, poetry, and poetry communities.

* Once, a few years ago, there was also a discussion about how female poets blogged differently than men– did they use fewer pictures or more? Fewer film/multimedia additions or more? The discussion seemed to be predicated on the Lacanian phallacy that women don’t have the same access to/use of language as men.  I don’t remember where this discussion took place or I would link to it.

** I have been blogging since 2005, and off the top of my head I can think of 10 other “major” female poetry bloggers (those who blog regularly and participate in a larger blog-network discussion with frequency and influence) who’ve been around since 2005 or before. Since my entry onto the blog scene I’ve seen this discussion of how there are no female bloggers emerge every few months, but I don’t think women defend themselves as much as they used to on this front. It seems to be pretty futile to argue with men about this– if they don’t see our blogs they probably don’t see our counterarguments either.


About Jessica Smith
This entry was posted in Contemporary Poetry, gender, metablog. Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Se Mig

  1. Hi Jessica,

    What is your sense of the proportion of men writing critically, as opposed to women?

    I know of a lot of women’s blogs who post their work but no critical writing, which disqualifies them from Silliman’s blogroll.

    If you know of people & have urls of female poets whose blogs include poetics talk, please do send them.

    Hope you’re well. I LOVE new new batch of 4square, and am sure it’s time for me to renew, which I’ll do soon.

  2. Hi Lynn,
    Thanks for maintaining Ron’s blogroll… you’re still the wizard behind that research, right?

    I’m not sure about women bloggers and poetics vs. poetry. Are those things different? Those genres are constantly getting mixed/overlapped (thinking here of traditionally published works of Hejinian, Spahr, Bernstein, Perelman…).

    There are a few subscriptions left for 4SQ, so whenever you want, I will set one aside for you.


  3. suzanne says:

    I’ve never been a believer in this
    pernicious myth
    I’ve blogged since 2003
    a year ago December last the site
    where I blogged was destroyed
    and while I have copies of my at least once a day entries the only way to repost them all at an operating site is
    to do it
    one by one
    (so I haven’t done it yet)
    I used to be on Silliman’s blogroll
    but recently was informed “no poetics,
    no listing”

    I am currently blogging at

  4. Pingback: Poetic Lives Online « Brian Spears

  5. Pingback: Rambling, Riverside, Etc « Anindita Sengupta

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