Thursday, April 7, 2016
Claudette Sigg features 4/11/16
4/11/16 Claudette Sigg hosted by Jim
Having reached the ancient age of 81, I could reduce my existence to the statement, “I was born, I lived a while, and, no doubt, I shall die”—with far more years behind me than what I still might accumulate in the future. I could reduce my childhood to my mother’s lament about how my jeweler father could put pearls around her neck in the 1930s but scrounged week-old string beans from the grocer’s discard bin so his family could eat. Being a jeweler’s daughter back in those days meant not a luxurious existence of entitlement but working my way through college with secretarial skills that I discarded once I earned my teaching credential. Being a young woman then meant not knowing how to hold a hammer or to drive a truck or to manage a bank account: these were things that females were genetically unsuited to do—according to the men in my family. Becoming a feminist meant becoming me, myself, and I with all the beauty marks and warts that a free woman might possess. Being me has included many different existences: a wife for a while but never a mother, a dancer with the wrong body type but balletic inspirations, and now a docent at the Oakland Museum of California sharing my view of California ecology, history and art with both children and adults. And through all these roles I’ve played, I’ve been the poet whose work has appeared in such publications as Natural Bridge, the Atlanta Review, The Comstock Review, Common Ground Review, The Journal of the American Medical Association, Colere, Pinyon, Trajectory, and Earth’s Daughters, as well as in the anthologies, Sierra Songs & Descants, Rough Places Plain: Poems of the Mountains, 75 Poems on Retirement, and Cradle Song.