For if that which is done away was glorious, much more that which remaineth is glorious

Sunday, 24 March 2019

To a Modern Girl

I wrote this poem To a Modern Girl eleven years ago in my late 20s, as a private joke in an e-mail. A friend had suggested to me in a wonderful piece of spontaneous alliteration that men want a girl to be model, minx, muse & matron all at once. This poem was my reply to him. Since I am posting a few poems here I thought I would dig this out and was surprised to find that I still had it stored in my sent mail box.


Girl, Woman yet lissom-limbed, bring home the long,
The dark ripe fruit, the low hung apples of posterity,
In the volum'nous skirts of femininity.  In one be divers.
Be model, stalk out repulsing all possession, pulsing hauteur,
O leopardess, concede no wanton curve in your spartan geometry,
Unless an arch look soon pulled taut.  But stop not there.
Be muse, dight too the fashion of an ancient age, up-gather
Softer tresses, that your bright Beàtrician head may kneel
O'er lyre, and gentler lips pierce by clean flightéd notes
From their enamell'd chastity: and of me worshipped be.
But be elder yet.  Before a damsel of Apollo, you were in the streets,
A minx.  Let loose hair teasing kiss brown shoulder (the artlessly
Half-naked one), and o'er it, in a glance, show you would ease
An ache fore night: then (curse you) twist that lithe body, play
A pouting game, and make us wait all day.  But lest I weary
Of all these: be eldest of them all, primaeval Eve, a matron be.
Hands beautiful from labour; as Dian many-breasted; thy womb
Like Nature's teeming.  I to thee by Mother Earth of our one clay
Bound, thou to me by fast oaths fastened on heaven's floor
Bound, in one creaking well-worn bed, a comfortable hearth,
And daily bread.  So - be a Gucci model, slave-girl Fotis be,
And fair Mnemosyne.  But more be Rachel, Leah and
O most! Penelope.

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