Pity Wasted by Freda C Bond

So many pangs of the tender heart for those
Who work all day in city office or store,
Electric light their sun, their horizon a brick wall,
These do not feel the stir of the seasons, see
The green tide sweeping over the land or the fire
Of autumn burning the dusty remains of summer.
Their seasons are measured by changes in the menu
At the cosy Dining Rooms,
By the alteration
Of football pools and points for punters.

But where are the heart pangs for us,
Leisured suburban ladies, free to stand in the sun,
To withstand the shattering assaults of spring,
To feel life draining away with ebbing summer,
To know the angry tug of autumn winds?
Every dart of light from the sequin leaves of spring
Pierces our armour, billows of blue air surging
Between clipped hedges raise us in pluming crests,
As they would carry us – whither? We do not know.
The hairdresser at eleven, bridge at half-past three,
Prevents us from keeping our appointment with life.

Pity us: as for those other ones,
In the protective arrest of the city, eyes mercifully blind
To the immensity of wealth they cannot use,
I think you need not pity them so much,
Perhaps you need not pity them at all.

From: Dowson, Jane (ed), Women’s Poetry of the 1930s: A Critical Anthology, 1996, Routledge: New York, pp. 184-185.

Date: 1939

By: Freda C Bond (1894-1969)

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