The Possible Girl

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Ahenda, Leslie

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University of Guelph


The Possible Girl is a poem in five parts about beauty. Chronicling a decade in the life of a girl named Maggie, the poem investigates what it means to be beautiful, who decides, and what the consequences are for either achieving or falling short of its standards. Navigating the regulations imposed on her, Maggie moves through relationships with figures who seek to enjoy and exploit her beauty. The figures revolve around the Museum of the Most Exquisite, the institution at the center of beauty, creating and enforcing its vision. The figures — the sculptor, the curator, the museum director, and the accountant — each contribute to and benefit from Maggie’s ongoing subservience to beauty and order. She finds comfort, excitement, and ultimately power from the realm of the surreal; liberated from the strict confines of the world around her, she begins to discover the vast extents of possibility.



Poetry, women authors, canadian


Ahenda, Leslie Joy. "i could instead." Contemporary Verse 2, vol. 45, no. 1, 2022, p. 19.