Archive for June 12th, 2019

Wednesday, 12 June 2019

Other Fabrics, Other Mores! by Anna Maria Malmstedt Lenngren

‘When I was young,’ said Aunt to me,
‘Women then, about the year
Seventeen-thirty, Betty dear,
Dressed in decent linsey-woolsey!
No painted faces would find,
Nor flimsy gowns on womenfolk.
The fairer sex possessed a mind
Of sturdy fabric, like her cloak.
Now all is different in our lives–
Other fabrics, other mores!
Taffetas, indecent stories
Of young girls as well as wives!
The path of lust they boldly walk;
Shameless manners, daring ways,
Make-up, muslins, brazen talk
Go hand-in-hand with modern days.’

From: Cosman, Carol; Keefe, Joan and Weaver, Kathleen (eds.), The Penguin Book of Women Poets, 1978, Penguin Books: London, p. 251.

Date: c1780 (original in Swedish); 1975 (translation in English)

By: Anna Maria Malmstedt Lenngren (1754-1819)

Translated by: Nadia Christensen (19??- ) and Mariann Tiblin (19??- )