Edna Millay – I, Being Born a Woman and Distressed

collages from 2012 for blog illustration 009

(AW, collage, 2012)

This poem by Edna Millay I’ve admired for many years. I can sympathise with Edna Millay’s depiction of the nature of woman. I’m sure that not all women will recognise the predicament portrayed, however it would be dishonest of me not to identify with it. Not that I’m like that anymore of course, I’m a mature woman who never permits herself to be undone or possessed. For the record!

I, Being Born a Woman and Distressed

I, being born a woman and distressed
By all the needs and notions of my kind,
Am urged by your propinquity to find
Your person fair, and feel a certain zest
To bear your body’s weight upon my breast:
So subtly is the fume of life designed,
To clarify the pulse and cloud the mind,
And leave me once again undone, possessed.
Think not for this, however, the poor treason
Of my stout blood against my staggering brain,
I shall remember you with love, or season
My scorn with pity, — let me make it plain:
I find this frenzy insufficient reason
For conversation when we meet again.

Edna St. Vincent Millay