A Kind of Soliloquy: the Gasconade

Frank Hubney at the d’Verse Poets Pub  asked us to write a soliloquy with the option of selecting a poem we’ve already written.  I usually go write new poems for every challenge, but as it happens I feel very strongly about the gasconade because at a very low moment in my life, writing this boast really helped me empower myself.

crowing

The bourgeoisie frowns on boasting – especially for girls.  Good girls hide their light under a bushel.  Nice girls are modest.  We’re taught it’s impolite, vulgar, embarrassing and foolish to blow our own horn. (Though not those of the less fair sex!)  You probably think I’m referring to my generation, but no.  This kind of brainwashing still goes on.

Stifling the ancient art of boast is a fairly recent development.  Boasting has a long venerable history dating back to the long long ago campfires of our most ancient ancestors.  It still survives today in Rap and Performance Poetry.  Fiction writers often use the Badass Boast as a literary device to let the characters defy, taunt, bully, or bluff their opponents.  However, good guys may also boast.  Secretly, we love a good boast.  It calls up the rebel, empowers and cheers flagging spirits, inspires action and makes us grin.

Davy Crockett used his boasting skills to get into congress.  One of the most famous davy CrockettRoarers of his day he claimed to be “half horse and half alligator,” boasting that he owned “the roughest rocking horse, the prettiest sister, the surest rifle, and the ugliest dog” in the country.  Norse warriors in Beowulf count boasting as a necessary skill, a competitive art form used to establish their place in the pack and Isolated vector illustration of Viking Winged Helmet with crossed axeraise adrenaline during long inactive winters.  Victorian men roared boasting songs back and forth across the pubs of Victorian England, but for real boasting it’s hard to beat an Irishman.

Irishman

The boast is a soliloquy on steroids.  I suggest we bring it back.  Make your soliloquy a gasconade and then read it aloud at the top of your lungs – with feeling and preferably outside.  Don’t lie – that can come later when you really get into the spirit of the thing!  Crow about your skills, claim your talents, and turn your vices into virtues, your flaws into something to crow about.  Spin your life positive and see how good it feels…

The Boast

Lovers of leaving

caravaneers

nomads!

Come!  Hear my boast.

For on a night like this

when ghosts prowl the edge of the light circle

only a boast will firm your jelly knees

and warm the back you have turned to the cold.

 

I, Christine

can walk an extra mile

to the edge of the abyss

and dare a leap.

 

I can suckle children and grown men

and love in the face of loneliness.

 

I will walk head up, time after time

into the lodges of unfamiliar tribes

and hold my own.

 

I can make a home of tent, trailer,

tenement, cave, cabin,

mansion, automobile.

 

I can learn new ways,

adjust to novel patterns,

drop old habits,

and retain integrity.

 

These skills are mine.  Tell me yours.

 

 

This entry was posted in Herstory, Poetry, Women, Writing and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

11 Responses to A Kind of Soliloquy: the Gasconade

  1. I know how easy it is to boast among guys… I definitely remember falling into that trap, and maybe it is not always a bad thing… at least it can take you a long way.

  2. Glad you chose this poem, Christine. A soliloquy on steroids! Love it.

  3. Margaret Elizabeth Bednar says:

    So enjoyed the background and the boast poem itself!

  4. rothpoetry says:

    I really like this! Yes, boasting is a shot in the arm or others places for us to move on and be all that we can be. How many times we have heard for someone close to us…”You are not going to do…” .
    Don’t listen! Follow your heart! Great soliloquy!

  5. sdtp33 says:

    Absolutely Brilliant….great fun and original! …”the lodges of unfamiliar tribes”….love it!
    JIM

  6. Fabulous post. I’m glad you chose this one. And glad you claim it for women too! Here’s one of my favourite women who knows how to poet, boast, and much more: https://holliepoetry.com/poetry-videos/

  7. Lynnette Eldredge says:

    Great poem and wise, I take it personally, it almost seems written for me, although of course a good poem will usually find resonance within its reader. I’m going to have to think about it, and really should write my own self-affirmative boast. Something convincing to the random receiver as well as myself? That’s a tall order, I hope I’m up to it (there I go again).

  8. Frank Hubeny says:

    I agree that a boast is a soliloquy on steroids. I had not heard of the term gasconade before but that word sounds like a good way to describe it. You described many skills we all should have. The ones that stood out for me were “love in the face of loneliness” and retaining integrity when habits are dropped and novel patterns appear.

  9. Anonymous says:

    I remember this boast, Christini Beani. I say its a good one indeed! I’m still working on mine.

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