Slowly: a plainsong from an older woman to a younger woman

By Judy Grahn Judy Grahn
am I not    olden olden olden
it is unwanted.

wanting, wanting
am I not    broken
stolen    common

am I not crinkled cranky poison
am I not glinty-eyed and frozen

am I not    aged
shaky    glazing
am I not    hazy
guarded    craven

am I not    only
stingy    little
am I not    simple
brittle    spitting

was I not    over
over    ridden?

it is a long story
will you be proud to be my version?

it is unwritten.

writing, writing
am I not    ancient
raging    patient

am I not    able
charming    stable
was I not    building
forming    braving

was I not    ruling
guiding    naming
was I not    brazen
crazy    chosen

even the stones would do my bidding?

it is a long story
am I not proud to be your version?

it is unspoken.

speaking, speaking
am I not    elder
berry
brandy

are you not wine before you find me
in your own beaker?

Judy Grahn, “Slowly: a plainsong from an older woman to a younger woman” from love belongs to those who do the feeling: New & Selected Poems (1966-2006). Copyright © 2008 by Judy Grahn. Reprinted by permission of Red Hen Press.

Source: love belongs to those who do the feeling: New & Selected Poems (1966-2006) (Red Hen Press, 2008)

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Poet Judy Grahn

POET’S REGION U.S., Western

Subjects Living, Growing Old, Time & Brevity, Relationships, Family & Ancestors, Social Commentaries, Gender & Sexuality

 Judy  Grahn

Biography

Poet, activist, and scholar Judy Grahn was born in Chicago and grew up in New Mexico. She joined the Air Force but was discharged at 21 for being openly gay. A central member of the west coast feminist poetry movement of the 1970s, Grahn received a PhD from the California Institute of Integral Studies. In a 2009 essay for the Boston Review on the poetry of the women’s movement, poet Honor Moore spoke of hearing Grahn read her . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Living, Growing Old, Time & Brevity, Relationships, Family & Ancestors, Social Commentaries, Gender & Sexuality

POET’S REGION U.S., Western

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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