Erasure Poetry – Yummy Mummy

For every inspiration
there is a yanked deception
all for your good, your own good, your very own good
Old Dobbin work horse, clothes horse,
fit in, fit in, or back to the bargain bin.
Black and white world views:
all men cheat, all women punish.
Snide remarks, alimony payments, guilt oh guilt.
Children? A boast, a blackmail,
nothing too tangly.
Oh, princess, princess, you’re too old,
your pink trousers far too rolled…
Life is to be endured
remembered with regret.
Jump in, drown, in perfect pool
of emoting gushingness – so like a woman!
Seductive but not a slut,
mother in bloom, household goddess with Cath Kidston apron,
organic, fragrant, don’t pop the balloon!
Stay average, stay you, stay submissive,
woo hoo,
how happy we are in our 4X4 car!

The School Run, from
The School Run, from

I’m linking this to Open Link Night over at dVerse Poets (doors open later tonight) – always a great opportunity to experiment and share. Admittedly, I cheated slightly and added a few bits, but relied mainly on the prose text I’d posted here. I chose a childish beat and repetition, to further emphasise the infantilisation of yummy mummies. Which version do you like best? I always tend to choose the more succinct and ambiguous, but am I right?

Point of clarification: I am neither for nor against Yummy Mummies. But I don’t envy them. Life circumstances have made me feel their pain – or what I imagine to be their pain. Luckily, I’m not yummy enough to quite enter their ranks. 

41 thoughts on “Erasure Poetry – Yummy Mummy”

  1. Oh, I love the images you share here, Marina Sofia. And ‘image’ is what it’s all about. Be and do certain things to play the part, no matter what one might really be like. Very well done.

  2. I prefer this one, but the tone is entirely different. The first one sounds angrier, more bitter – this one is more… mocking? Affectionate? Sympathetic?

    1. Do you think that could be a French thing? My natural Latin preference was for the prose too initially, but then the suppressed English side of me took over…

  3. Ha. Erasure poetry is quite fun. And I am glad you shared your inspiration as well. Life is to be endure – I have felt that way, but I hope it is a bit more. I read this all a bit tongue in cheek, especially toward the end there. Stay average – ha. Well it might not be all bad, but if you find yourself in a rut, I think a bit of spicing up is in order. I think people give submission a bad rap as well – because of the joke we have made of it.

    1. Yes, this one is more tongue-in-cheek than the prose piece, which was a lot angrier. Well spotted! Life is to be endured, though, that is a family saying and perhaps a deep-seated belief in my culture which I find nearly impossible to shake off.

  4. Found, black-out, erasure poetry is heaps of fun. I used to like to take paragraphs written by friends, & render them down to my line breaks & word order & spacings; it always amazed them & me. RoseAnne Barr always said, “I’m not a housewife, I’m a domestic goddess”. Stay at home Moms are rare these days (though my oldest daughter is one). As a baby boomer, I remember in the 50’s, more than half of the Moms were housewives, like my own mother.

    1. Not so rare over here in Geneva, where many ‘trailing spouses’ are not even allowed to work. Some are quite content with this lifestyle, while some seem frustrated.

  5. First of all, I like your erasure poetry a lot, and your addition of repetition, the use of rhyme gives a sense of the craziness of a nursery rhyme. I could not even understand how to live a life like that.. and I wouldn’t like a woman living like that either. 🙂

  6. I like both versions for different reasons. I had originally thought I liked this version better, as there were things to be read between the lines; but then I saw Gabriella’s comment and agree that one can get a lot more information in the earlier version. Perhaps it is writer’s choice — depending on what one wants to accomplish with the writing — poetry or imparting information.

    1. I thought initially the earlier version was the ‘raw’ one, where emotions hadn’t yet been fully digested. But then I realised – based on all your wonderful comments – that there is more of an empathetic, gently mocking tone in the second, and a much angrier ‘us vs. them’ feeling in the first. Just goes to show that sometimes we are not aware of what we write until we see its effect on the readers!

  7. This is such an interesting form 😀 loved the images presented here.. specially the lines:

    Jump in, drown, in perfect pool
    of emoting gushingness – so like a woman!

    A woman is such an epitome of admiration isn’t she 🙂
    Beautifully penned..!

  8. Erasure poetry is an interesting and challenging process ~ I admire your output, and the theme, well we all have our challenges ~ I can imagine how tough it would be, balancing between being a woman, and children & family ~ Yes, I am sympathetic to their situation smiles ~

  9. Interesting. I’m not sure which I like better. I got more out of the long version; it was less vague (not the word I really want here, but all I can come up with today). Anyway, I do think you’ve captured much of the original in the erasure version. Nicely done. Peace, Linda

    1. Yes, the second is perhaps more ‘ambiguous’ or open to interpretation (which is why it’s been read as being kinder, more gentle than the first, perhaps). Thank you for reading both and comparing, Linda. Much appreciated!

  10. I love these:

    “For every inspiration
    there is a yanked deception”

    “Oh, princess, princess, you’re too old,
    your pink trousers far too rolled”

  11. I’m not sure about Yummy Mummies but I do know Soccer Moms….probably the equivalent. I like the rhythm of poem – I can just see the pretentious things as she prances about in her yoga pants, ponytail bouncing and then back home to shower and dress in the most stylish thing she owns and at her kids to do the same…you nailed the pretentious princess without ranting. Good job!

    1. Yes, probably similar. In the UK I also lived in an area (Thames Valley, within easy commuting distance of London) where there were a lot of these privileged, immaculate mothers with posh accents and – invariably – Land Rovers or other 4X4, even though they never went anywhere cross-country.

    1. That’s a different kind of yummy, Anthony! Nothing against those strong mothers who are excellent role models to their children. Sadly, I feel too many yummy mummies succumb to society’s pressure to look good, not be too ambitious, do all of the ‘done’ things, keep up with the neighbours etc.

  12. This is not to be biased of Erasure/Found poems but I like this one bettet than the prose. You may not be yummy enough, but hey… I think you’re cool enough..and no yummy mummies can write like you do.. This is terrific and I can read this again & again.. actually, this poem sounds like a good performance piece.. just saying. Thanks for the poem!

  13. I read both versions and can appreciate the work you put in to “erase”. I do think this version speaks more boldly. Although I had not heard the term ‘yummy mummy’ before, I enjoyed the hint of sarcasm and mockery in this. Yes, I think I can identify a few of these women around town. What happened to just being a good mom? I was lucky to get a shower when my kids were babies. 🙂

    1. Thank you for reading both – not a quick and easy task! – and for commenting. I do feel sorry for those who feel they have to live up to an impossible standard – and wonder what will happen when they are traded in for a younger model.

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