By Josephine Miles 1911–1985 Josephine Miles
When I think of my kindness which is tentative and quiet
And of yours which is intense and free,
I am in elaboration of knowledge impatient
Of even the patientest immobility.

I think of my kind, which is the human fortune
To live in the world and make war among its friends,
And of my version, which is to be moderately peaceful,
And of your version; and must make amends

By my slow word to your wish which is mobile,
Active and moving in its generous sphere.
This is the natural and the supernatural
Of humankind of which I grow aware.

Josephine Miles, “Kind” from Collected Poems. Copyright � 1983 by Josephine Miles. Reprinted with the permission of the University of Illinois Press.

Source: Collected Poems 1930-83 (1983)

Discover this poem’s context and related poetry, articles, and media.

Poet Josephine Miles 1911–1985


Subjects Relationships, Social Commentaries

Poetic Terms Rhymed Stanza

 Josephine  Miles


Lifelong California resident Josephine Miles distinguished herself as an educator, spending her entire academic career at the University of California, Berkeley, where she was the first woman to be tenured in the English department. She is remembered as the editor of anthologies and critical texts, as an author of books on poetic style and language, and as an award-winning poet who produced over a dozen books of poems. Her . . .

Continue reading this biography

Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Relationships, Social Commentaries


Poetic Terms Rhymed Stanza

Report a problem with this poem

Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

This poem has learning resources.

This poem is good for children.

This poem has related video.

This poem has related audio.