marlene mountain
february 1983/9983


intraview: one woman's women's haiku


year of l8[sic]48 demanding women gather in seneca falls

One way women are reclaiming our heritage is by challenging the current, extremely political dating systems. Certainly B.C./A.D. is arbitrary (if not demeaning) to a great many people in the world. Also, to divide 'prehistory' from 'history' is to deny the importance of many profound cultures which have existed. Was not life recorded in painting, sculpture, architecture, pottery, and so on thousands and thousands of years before writing? While these two date divisions (B.C./A.D. and prehistory/history) are politically revealing, they jar continuity, veil time and place, and undermine rich sources of thinking and being in woman-defined cultures.

Merlin Stone has suggested that at the very least we recognize the Proto-Neolithic period, which includes the development of agriculture, as part of our significant past. She suggests within that time-frame the year 8000 B.C.E. (Before the Common Era--hardly an improvement over B.C.) as a likely date for the establishment of agriculture. Hence, 8000 B.C./B.C.E. is One A.D.A. (After the Development of Agriculture); 3000 B.C./B.C.E. (the approximate establishment of writing) is 5000 A.D.A.; and today is February 6, 9983. Rather than our approaching the year 2000, we are coming upon the year l0,000--and that's truly something to reflect upon. As we claim our past, we begin to reclaim ourselves.

By including '[sic]' after l8(hundred) in my haiku, I'm acknowledging that my earlier heritage has been obscured, and at the same time identifying with the recent past when those wonderful, demanding women who were not satisfied with the status quo (hardly the true meaning of the here and now) got together and did something about it.


haiku published in Frogpond 11:2 as a link in the one-line linked haiku,
'Invisible Umbrella.'
See Merlin Stone, 'Repairing the Time Warp and other related realities'
in Heresies Spring 1978.

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