d’Verse Poetics – Gender Bender Poetry

Kelly is our guest pubtender today. She wants us to do a poem that is a gender bender – for the women to write from the male perspective and the men to write from the female. A couple of years ago, I created a fictional character, a Samurai – Mashashi Kenata. This is a poem about the first anniversary of his marriage to Hoshiko (child of the star). Please come and join us for this very interesting and intriguing prompt.

Onnabugeisha - free wiki image

Onnabugeisha – free wiki image

One Sharp Sword
One year.
The first year.
Masashi had not wanted to marry but he had to.
It was arranged.
The youngest daughter of four,
her father the shogun of the prefecture.
His father had made an excellent bargain for his second son.
Masashi was the second son of the shogun’s number one Samurai –
a perfect merging of class and bloodline.
He remembered the first time he saw her on their wedding day
and how relieved he was at her loveliness.
Her gentle demeanor disguised her true self.
Her quick intelligence – sometimes bawdy humor and
her education, actually better than his.
In their marriage bed she was aggressive and left him
shaken to his core.
He was not surprised when she told him she was carrying
their first child.
He was frightened at first and then proud.
Her loveliness on their wedding day was nothing
to her loveliness now.
She was as glowing and beautiful as the reflection of the moon
on dark still water.
But he was never as surprised when, large with the baby inside her
she told him he would never equal his father in prowess with a sword,
that he was clumsy and flat footed and swung his sword
as if he was swinging a scythe and harvesting rice.
But then, she takes the katana from him
and begins to go through the fighting forms –
light on her feet, strong in her swing,
and quick despite her heaviness.
But when she swung his katana at him and he felt his
kimono belt drift to the floor,
he was most surprised.
She laughed and resheathed the katana in his shi.
Close your mouth husband or you will swallow a fly.

28 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Björn Rudberg (brudberg)
    Sep 29, 2015 @ 14:54:57

    Ha.. I think this one was quite funny, a lesson that many men would need.. somehow I think you told the female perspective and male quite different to what you normally would find. A very nice little story..

    Reply

  2. Mary
    Sep 29, 2015 @ 14:57:35

    I apologize for not knowing a lot about Japanese culture. Some of the wording went right over my head. Seems like all ended happily in the end. Smiles.

    Reply

    • kanzensakura
      Sep 29, 2015 @ 15:25:18

      Yes, it did. He discovered his wife not only was smarter, but better with a sword! In those days of yore, many of the upper level Samurai women were trained in the art of war and many times, fought beside the men. A “female Samurai” is called onnabugeisha.

      Reply

  3. kelly
    Sep 29, 2015 @ 14:59:11

    Ha, yes, a fabulous smile at the end… for a moment I thought you were taking us to a much darker place 🙂 And a very interesting take on the prompt, I’m loving seeing what each person brings to their response. Lovely work!

    Reply

  4. Grace
    Sep 29, 2015 @ 15:42:48

    I read this with interest and like the way you brought humor to the man and his heavily pregnant wife ~ That is some lesson I am sure he will never forget ~ Like Kelly, I thought there was some wild stuff coming along, smiles ~

    Reply

  5. Glenn Buttkus
    Sep 29, 2015 @ 15:44:16

    Incredible history tale; lovely insights into women’s roles in the past, in Japan. I had read that some female samurai fought bare breasted because when men became distracted for a moment, it was the death of them.

    Reply

    • kanzensakura
      Sep 29, 2015 @ 15:49:59

      I’ve never heard that but have seen many paintings and some old photographs where they were in full armor like the men read histories of many onnabugeisha.. When the men discovered the soldier who had just slaughtered several men was a woman, it was more of an impact than the bare breasts. Some of the onnabugeisha fought using the armor of their dead husbands. Amazing how the women kept the books, managed the workers, paid the bills, raised and educated the children….and practiced fighting in the “spare” time.

      Reply

  6. Kathy Reed
    Sep 29, 2015 @ 16:11:27

    Amazing story! A humor of the situation became the highlight..so I learned something new today about these women.

    Reply

  7. Sanaa Rizvi
    Sep 29, 2015 @ 17:03:08

    Ah.. behind every successful man there is a woman 😀 such a lovely poem!!

    Lots of love,
    Sanaa

    Reply

  8. Candy
    Sep 29, 2015 @ 21:20:47

    wonderful story with a little surprise at the end

    Reply

  9. Bodhirose
    Sep 29, 2015 @ 22:04:36

    I love this story! It brought me back to when I read “Shogun.” I swear I “became” Asian while I read it…everything in it resonated somehow within me. And so with your fictional couple. I felt bad that she shamed him with the comparison to her father and then was so adept with the sword herself…double shame? Poor guy, but maybe this will just show him another beautiful side to his most accomplished wife.

    Reply

    • kanzensakura
      Sep 30, 2015 @ 16:53:10

      She was a smart woman. In another poem, we find out how smart she was and how she helped her husband to become a better man, fighter, and a loving father whose daughter he loved so much, one of her dimples could not be bought for all of the gold in the kingdom. I think he was more surprised than shamed. I know this “couple” well. I enjoy sometimes writing about them.

      Reply

  10. http://vivinfrance.wordpress.com
    Sep 30, 2015 @ 02:47:34

    Not so much a gender bender: more a gender blender! Despite the different chaacteristics of male and female, we also also have many traits in common.

    Reply

  11. justjoyfulness
    Sep 30, 2015 @ 05:35:32

    Loved the humour in this and the playful back-and-forth. And also, the details about Japanese history. I guess, women of every age and culture are multi-talented and versatile.

    Reply

  12. claudia
    Sep 30, 2015 @ 06:16:15

    hahah oh my – she sounds like quite the character – he will surely never be bored with her..smiles

    Reply

    • kanzensakura
      Sep 30, 2015 @ 13:03:13

      Unfortunately, after this, I’m afraid he will not be surprised by anything she does! smiles. I think she will keep him guessing and he will always be wondering.

      Reply

  13. whimsygizmo
    Sep 30, 2015 @ 16:43:45

    Ha! That last line is just wonderful.

    Reply

    • kanzensakura
      Sep 30, 2015 @ 16:53:11

      🙂 thank you! It was similar to the remark I made when I pulled out my wakizashi for the first time. He said he wished he could learn the katana as opposed to else or saber. When I brought out my form and, this is how…his mouth truly dropped open. A funny moment for sure. LOL. Be careful what you wish for!

      Reply

  14. Let's CUT the Crap!
    Oct 02, 2015 @ 10:22:27

    I love strong women. Goes to show you cannot tell a book by it’s cover…to borrow a phrase. This female is not only stunning but knows how to stun her husband. 😀
    😀 😀

    Reply

  15. macjam47
    Oct 05, 2015 @ 08:55:20

    I was not expecting the ending. LOL.

    Reply

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