Gudrun Mouw Posts

Click on Paradise Canyon to watch a reading Gudrun did from her new book at her book release party.

 

 

A Video

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Wife of the House is a book of poetry I wrote during a time when it wasn’t cool, in reply to the question, “What do you do?” to say, “I’m a housewife.” The poems became, at times, a defiant response to the blank expressions that sometimes greeted me when I gave such an answer. I am happy to see the women’s movement has evolved to the point that a person’s individual choice to work outside the home as a young mother, or to work at home is considered to be a matter not to be pre-judged by others.housewife2

The book’s title poem, “Wife of the House,” depicts the kind of prejudice in the market place against the so-called “unemployed” wife that is thankfully less prevalent in today’s plastic money age. On the other hand, such a poem can also serve as a reminder that there are still a number of areas where change is needed in order to promote fairness and equality for women.

There are modern family issues reflected in the Wife of the House poems that continue to be negotiated in every new generation. There are issues of personal freedom within family structures, the yearning for creative expression and solitude, or how one can transition from ideas to manifestation. I am still processing some of these issues of self-realization, and by being willing to continue the work I began so many years ago have uncovered a renewed optimism and enthusiasm.

Gudrun

The Process of Writing

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The earliest poems in Wife of the House were written 30 years ago when I was a young wife, IMG_2327stay-at-home mother and stepmother. The poems helped me work through being, at times, overwhelmed and frustrated in the process of trying to balance personal and spiritual needs with the needs of my family. Even though a number of the poems have been individually published previously, when Raincloud Press asked to bring the book out, I hesitated and thought, why go back?

Editing the book created an emotional impact that was surprisingly strong. I am now a raja yoga, meditation and hatha yoga instructor, and my current lifestyle does not easily mingle with some of the raw struggles depicted in Wife of the House. For example, when faced with the fierceness of a poem such as “An Unwanted Visitor” (especially when the unwanted visitor, in this case, was anger), my current self was at first somewhat shocked, even embarrassed.

I have been reminded, once again, in preparing Wife of the House for publication, that my quest flowerfor love, peace, harmony, is a continuing journey. I remind myself not to be complacent. Wisdom practice asks me to be willing to face all aspects of my humanity, so that it seems foolish to be ashamed of who I am or have been, because every experience is potential fodder for growth.

 Gudrun

Forthcoming Work

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