The poetry and prose of caring: a tribute to women

They let life go and they get life going,
they live to give love and they love to let live.

Finding the right words is not always easy.   For many women caring is such a natural part of daily life they do not stop to put what they are doing into words.  We went to the Scottish Poetry Library for inspiration.

Among shelves and shelves of books, there are poems by women from all over the world and we will display at least a few of them at the Leith Open Space event for women, Who Cares for the Carers on Saturday 14 March. 

One poem in particular catches the eye. Tug of War by Dinah Hawken, a New Zealand poet, captures that feeling of being pulled in different directions; touching the universal emotions of  loss, gain, grief, love and laughter in the gift of caring.

The Tug of War

They love to let go and they love to get going:
they get themselves going and they let themselves go,
They let love go and they get love going:
they get others going and they let others go.
They let life go and they get life going,
they live to give love and they love to let live.

Dinah Hawken (1943–)

From Small Stories of Devotion (Victoria UP 1991)

Plain prose has its uses too.  The aim of Who Cares for the Carers is to bring together women from many cultures to share ideas, knowledge and experiences of caring for all kinds of needs.

At the end of the day’s discussion in Pilmeny Youth Centre we will gather the main findings to prepare a report to send to everyone concerned with improving support and services for carers.  In particular, we hope to add weight to Scotland’s  2009 report to the UN Convention on Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination against Women (or CEDAW for short).

As a member of the Convention Scotland is bound to submit a four yearly report on what it is doing to ensure  women have equal access to all their human rights and fundamental freedoms,  “in the political, economic, social, cultural, civil or any other field.” The latest report is due this year.

Come to Who Cares for the Carers and help us add meaning to the words.


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