Today is National Poem in Your Pocket Day. I love the idea! I don’t write poetry (except for the occasional silly haiku) but I’m often inspired by other people’s work. So I’m sharing a poem by a poet I just discovered: Genevieve Taggard. Ms. Magazine did a piece on her last week. In it, Julie Enszer notes that Taggard (who was born in 1894) was “fierce feminist” and her writing, like the poem The Quiet Woman, sometimes “exposes the physical and sexual degradations that women endure as well as offering visions of feminist futures.” I’m carrying this piece in my pocket today. It reminds me of the universality of women’s experiences across space and time. It moved me.
The Quiet Woman
I will defy you down until my death
With cold body, indrawn breath;
Terrible and cruel I will move with you
Like a surly tiger. If you knew
Why I am shaken, if fond you could see
All the caged arrogance in me,
You would not lean so boyishly, so bold,
To kiss my body, quivering and cold.