Woman Alone by Naomi Mitchison

A woman comforts a man, staring
Beyond his pillowed head, thinking
Of other things, of needful cooking and sewing,
Of flowers in a vase, of the idea of God.
She is giving only her body.
But the man is comforted, he does not know,
Blinded by customary eyes, lips, breasts, tender hands,
That woman’s mind is faithless
It is not with him
Nor with any man, for to her all men are children.
She has been sucked by baby men, giving them her body
As she now gives it.
Suckling, she thought of other things,
Staring out gently over small, breast-pillowed heads, thinking
Of necessary things.
The woman alone.

From: Dowson, Jane, Women’s Poetry of the 1930s: A Critical Anthology, 1996, Routledge:London and New York, p. 81.

Date: 1935

By: Naomi Mitchison (1897-1999)


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