WEP AUGUST: FREEDOM OF SPEECH

Hello Readers

Welcome back! Today I am here to share my entry for the Write Edit Publish (WEP) August prompt.

First about the WEP. It is a supportive writing community where creative people submit to a bloghop every second month. Writers and other artists receive and provide feedback to as many bloghop entrants as possible. I joined the community in December 2019 and it is an integral part of my writing journey and of my learning. To join read here.

This month’s prompt is called “Freedom of Speech” based on the artwork of Norman Rockwell an American artist and illustrator, widely known for his illustrations for the Saturday Evening Post. This particular artwork – The Freedom of Speech, was created as a part of a series called The Four Freedoms based on a wartime speech given by FDR. The painting depicts a young, working-class man standing up and expounding his ideas to a group of older, white-collar men. (from the WEP site)

Image from the WEP site

My perception of “Freedom of Speech”.

A popular proverb that has been handed down to us says, “Speech is silver, silence is golden”.  In other words, silence wears the cloak of wisdom and the wise choose this sagacity over words. In a culture where keeping peace is given priority over speaking for oneself silence is handed over, particularly to women, as a means to creating (seemingly) happy homes. In a larger context, I feel, dressing up silence in the more expensive metal is a way to trap people into believing that it is the abundance we seek. On the contrary, we all know that bounty is a well-dressed lie. I challenge the proverb today and have attempted to compare silence and freedom of speech metaphorically in a poem as a response to the prompt.

Of Silver and Gold

Filigree patterns on golden muzzles

Tussore threads in glossy blues

Bountifully crochet, to seal the lips

in an insane hurry.

Rubies and sapphires lie

in icy-cold eyes,

And a tiny butterfly sits

on the tip of my tongue

A patchwork of its clipped wings

adorns regal tapestries.

Silence dresses up

in its dystopian gown

with nowhere to go.

A notch below they say

lies the silvering speech

Its deep stillness

bursting at the seams.

The eyes of steel

a whirlwind hold,

Vastness of open fields

Blow hot or cold.

The anatomy of

your pretty little system

I tear apart,

When Freedom of Speech

I decide to uphold.

***

Total Words: 109 (FCA). I am accepting a full critique. Your valuable comments will help improve my craft.

39 thoughts on “WEP AUGUST: FREEDOM OF SPEECH”

  1. Thank you Sonia for your beautifully painted poem. Was most impressed by your dress metaphor and organic feel of words, touch and smell. Well done. Happy WEP week.

  2. Beautiful imagery Sonia, illustrating the thoughts you had about women, their adornment and how they are encouraged to keep the peace instead of speaking up.

  3. Hello Sonia. Maybe that is where the saying: children should be seen and not heard comes from. Maybe if children are silenced they will grow into silenced adults. Well thought out, Sonia. Thank you.

  4. Hi,
    I sometimes wonder about the effectiveness of speaking out or keeping silence. I think both are misunderstood. We have forgotten the true principles behind speaking and silence and in many ways use both as tiny hammers to destroy.
    Nice poem. It made me think.
    Shalom aleichem

    1. Hi Pat. I do agree about the smudged lines between silence and speech. But honestly, there’s such a thin line that you never know when you overstep. Thank you.

  5. The imagery in your poem is beautiful! Silence has its place and time, but extolling it as a virtue can in fact silence many voices that need to be heard. What a wonderful take on the prompt!

  6. Hi Sonia – what an interesting very appropriate take on the prompt – thought provoking too … fascinating to think about. A clever take on the prompt – all the best – Hilary

  7. Very well presented, Sonia, the case for the silver speech. What a powerful slogan, I choose to uphold, Freedom of speech! Liked your imagery, yes, even if it is not gold, or even silver, but iron, a saying in Hindi, hundred strikes of a jeweller, and one strike of an ironsmith! A free speaker smiths rebellion, love, poetry, power!

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