gershon hepner

Rookie - 10 Points (5 3 38 / leipzig)

Sisters' Letters - Poem by gershon hepner

Reading letters written by
her sister, Nazneen learns that life
can be romantic, and will try
to play the role of cheating wife,
but as mistress her routine
becomes no more exciting and
she stays with Chanu till the scene
where he flies to his native land.

Sisters’ letters may inspire
a wife, like Madame Bovary,
to kindle an erotic fire
like hormones of the ovary,
but women who are wise remain
with husbands who are often better
than lovers who become a pain
when they don’t match a sister’s letter.

Inspired by the movie “Brick Lane, ” A.O Scott writes in the NYT on June 20,2008 “A Prisoner of Normalcy Finds Ways to Escape”) :
At the center of “Brick Lane, ” a modest new film directed by Sarah Gavron, is a woman for whom modesty is not just a defining character trait but also a moral principle. Nazneen (Tannishtha Chatterjee) , who came to England from Bangladesh as a teenager for an arranged marriage, moves through her East London neighborhood as if determined to attract as little attention as possible. Pulling her sari tightly around her small frame and delicate face, she hurries home with her groceries; once inside her cramped apartment, she ministers quietly to the needs of her husband, Chanu (Satish Kaushik) , and their two daughters. Nazneen takes in a lot — Ms. Chatterjee’s ever-widening eyes may be her most notable feature — but gives away very little. If she mourns the death, many years earlier, of her infant son, or experiences boredom or frustration with her daily routines, these feelings stay far below the surface. Nazneen quotes a saying of her mother’s: Life is to be endured. Her uncomplaining passage from one day to the next bears out the truth of this fatalistic wisdom. But the dramatic crisis in “Brick Lane” arises when, quietly and by accident, she discovers the limits of her endurance. Like Emma Bovary, literature’s most famous prisoner of normalcy, Nazneen uses reading as a means of escape. Rather than novels, she pores over letters from her sister, who stayed in their native country and whose life seems to be full of incident, intrigue and romance. Even after years in Britain, Nazneen, whose English is sometimes halting, does not regard it as home. When she has sex with Chanu, she lies back and thinks of Bangladesh.


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Poem Submitted: Tuesday, July 1, 2008

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