Yay for Uterus!

Anne Sexton

Here is a poem by Anne Sexton. Girlfriend is KA-RAZY– crazy talented, that is. This poem was written in 1966. Oh, and here’s last year’s Anne Sexton poem, if you’re interested. (Question: What part of your body do you hate the most, and what is actually good about it?)

In Celebration of My Uterus

Everyone in me is a bird.
I am beating all my wings.
They wanted to cut you out
but they will not.
They said you were immeasurably empty
but you are not.
They said you were sick unto dying
but they were wrong.
You are singing like a school girl.
You are not torn.

Sweet weight,
in celebration of the woman I am
and of the soul of the woman I am
and of the central creature and its delight
I sing for you. I dare to live.
Hello, spirit. Hello, cup.
Fasten, cover. Cover that does contain.
Hello to the soil of the fields.
Welcome, roots.

Each cell has a life.
There is enough here to please a nation.
It is enough that the populace own these goods.
Any person, any commonwealth would say of it,
“It is good this year that we may plant again
and think forward to a harvest.
A blight had been forecast and has been cast out.”
Many women are singing together of this:
one is in a shoe factory cursing the machine,
one is at the aquarium tending a seal,
one is dull at the wheel of her Ford,
one is at the toll gate collecting,
one is tying the cord of a calf in Arizona,
one is straddling a cello in Russia,
one is shifting pots on the stove in Egypt,
one is painting her bedroom walls moon color,
one is dying but remembering a breakfast,
one is stretching on her mat in Thailand,
one is wiping the ass of her child,
one is staring out the window of a train
in the middle of Wyoming and one is
anywhere and some are everywhere and all
seem to be singing, although some can not
sing a note.

Sweet weight,
in celebration of the woman I am
let me carry a ten-foot scarf,
let me drum for the nineteen-year-olds,
let me carry bowls for the offering
(if that is my part).
Let me study the cardiovascular tissue,
let me examine the angular distance of meteors,
let me suck on the stems of flowers
(if that is my part).
Let me make certain tribal figures
(if that is my part).
For this thing the body needs
let me sing
for the supper,
for the kissing,
for the correct
yes.

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6 thoughts on “Yay for Uterus!

  1. Ok, this poem is cool. I’m 100% certain I don’t *really* get it, but that’s OK, I like it. 🙂 I don’t have an answer to your question, though. There are plenty of things I don’t like about my body, (nothing I would say I hate) but I think more than that, I just feel like the things I don’t like are really the things that I could change if *really* cared that much. You know? My uterus is quite amazing though. 🙂

  2. I didn’t really get an “I hate my uterus” feeling from this. Maybe I should have clicked the link to last years poem. It seemed like she was defending her not functioning so well uterus and maybe pointing out how it connects all women wherever they are or whatever they do.

    I agree with Kim, anything I dislike about my body I feel could be changed with some effort on my part. Except maybe my feet, I don’t dislike them, I just wish more shoes were made in their size.

    The beginning of this poem led me off on a tangent of hysterectomy and the question of surrogacy (possibly also brought on by some Today show guests). I’ll spare you my thoughts on children.

    1. I don’t think the author hates her uterus, either. If anything, I think she’s responding to a feeling some women might have about hating being a woman. So she’s celebrating her womanhood, I think.

      I wish more shoes were made in your size, too. You have very cute feet!

  3. I have a friend who (1) likes to remind herself that her thighs are fearfully and wonderfully made and (2) often says that if she could change one part of her body it would be the part of her brain that makes her think some part of her body needs changing. I guess I would steal both of those sentiments. 🙂

  4. 1) I really like this poem
    2) I have always really hated my nose– the bump in middle, it’s size– it simply has always seemed misshapen to me, (reinforced by many school-aged children throughout my life, and the terrible nickname of Pinocchio) in reality, my nose is wonderful. It’s the same nose that our grandpa has. Not only that, but it functions perfectly well. I have no idea what I would do if I didn’t have my sense of smell! Lol! Also, Ryan loves my nose. He says when we have kids he hopes they have all of my nose. 🙂

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