Bowing Out, poem by Rosie Garland

‘Bowing Out’ – a poem written and read by Rosie Garland, from her Nine Arches Press poetry collection, What Girls Do in the Dark (2020).

A poetry film created by Helen Dewbery.

‘Bowing Out’ is about saying no to the status quo of boy-meets-girl, and all the false ‘safeties’ that follow. It’s about choosing a different path to the safe and the known. It’s about choosing to leave, to keep going and to eventually break out and away.

I decided on a concept of moving through a gallery of installations and famous paintings, which contrasted representations of what women are expected to do at the start – dressing nicely, cooking, ironing – with women who do something different to step out and away, towards the end and eventually stepping out of the ‘gallery’ entirely. At that point, the poem speaks of one way through and out.

The film contains sound from NASA: radio emissions from Saturn and Enceladus.