Callas

by Ella Cunningham

Callas

(After Georgia O’Keeffe)

 

The Freudian theory that [O’Keeffe’s] flower paintings were actually close studies of the female vulva were first put forward in 1919 by Alfred Stieglitz, the photographer who first promoted O’Keeffe’s work and later became her husband. 

 

If I dream again of calla lilies
unfurling, smooth and pale
from their centres, pollen-rich
beckoning creatures to enter

 

If I dream of curving leaves
encasing buds, I’ll wake up
and recreate them on canvas
with oiled strokes of paint

 

If I dream of petals, deep
purples and pinks, saturated
pooling ink again and again
I do not dream of men

My name is Ella Cunningham- I am an English and Creative Writing graduate from University of Birmingham, and I am now studying for an MA in creative writing at Oxford Brookes University. I live in east Oxford with my girlfriend and our hamster, Morrie. I also work alongside my studies as a carer for elderly people in a residential home. My current writing focuses on my experience as a woman who identifies within the LGBTQ community, and my long term aim is for readers to see something of themselves in my poetry, and to feel represented.

Ella Cunningham

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