The power of words
The Peacock's Feet is marking a milestone this year. This undergraduate literary and creative arts journal publishes fiction, nonfiction, poetry, art and music every spring and this spring is its 43rd edition.
In order to be featured in The Peacock’s Feet, students must submit their work to a unique tiered rating process, going from general editors to head editors, followed by the submissions chair and the editor-in-chief.
Sophomore Kat Capstick, a double major in English literature and political science is featured in this year’s edition with her powerful poem, “Boys Will Be Boys.”
Capstick said she has enjoyed writing since she was a kid, and in middle school, it became a strong passion. It was when Capstick faced difficulty in her life that writing began to serve as a form of expression, teaching her how to communicate and examine her own thoughts.
Her inspiration for writing comes from the people she loves, especially the women in her life.
“My mom, who raised me and loves and supports me endlessly, is my biggest inspiration,” Capstick said. “My grandmother, who has shown strength of character and grace all her life. My sister, who is one of the most incredible mothers I’ve ever seen and whose dedication to her family is absolutely awe-inspiring.”
She also finds inspiration among her friends and sorority sisters, who remind her of the power of women who know their own worth and want everyone else to know it, too.
Capstick said she typically tries to fight writer’s block by listening to songs, watching movies or reading poetry that she connects with. Her writing process often revolves around an idea that comes out of the blue and gives her an “I have to write about this” feeling.
Capstick’s poem, “Boys Will Be Boys,” was inspired by the Harvey Weinstein story breaking news and the #MeToo movement gaining momentum.
“I was amazed at the bravery of the survivors who came forward, and are continuing to do so, and was horrified to see how widespread and well-known the abuses and predators were,” Capstick said. “Of course, immediately following the courage displayed by the survivors who told their stories came the disappointing and vicious responses of people who said they must be lying.”
Due to this response, Capstick felt the need to express her feelings through her writing which led to the creation of “Boys Will Be Boys.”
“I would describe it as an attack on the mentality which relieves men of responsibility and blames assault on the victims,” Capstick said. “I would call it a call to action for us to be better and demand better of the people around us, to be active bystanders and do our part in unraveling abusive power structures and gender roles which promote violence and the dehumanization of others.”
Editor-in-Chief Lauren Seymour described the voice in Capstick’s piece as powerful, the poem itself held together by the repetition.
“Her poem evokes emotion(s) from a reader all while forcing he/she/them to confront the topic of sexual assault,” Seymour said.
One of the staff members of The Peacock’s Feet, Hallye Lee, a senior English major, noticed how enthralled people in attendance were by Capstick’s piece.
“She commanded the room with her piece ‘Boys Will Be Boys,’ weaving a story within her poem that is all too real and applicable in today’s society,” Lee said. “It was a sobering poem and an ultimate reminder of how far society still has to go to erase the stigmas that burden sexual assault survivors.”