Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, FEMININE TALK, by MAXWELL BODENHEIM

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Classic and Contemporary Poetry

FEMININE TALK, by                 Poet Analysis     Poet's Biography
First Line: Do you share the present dread
Last Line: Within the usual tavern.
Subject(s): Women

First Woman. Do you share the present dread
Of being sentimental?
The world has flung its boutonniere
Into the mud, and steps upon it
With elaborate gestures!
Certain people do this neatly,
Using solemn words for consolation:
Others angrily stamp their feet,
Striving to prove their strength.
Second Woman. Sentimentality
Is the servant-girl of certain men
And the wife of others.
She scarcely ever flirts
With creative minds,
Striving also to become
Graceful and indiscreet.
First Woman. Sappho and Aristotle
Have wandered through the centuries,
Dressed in an occasional novelty --
A little twist of outward form.
They have always been ashamed
To be caught in a friendly talk.
Second Woman. When emotion and the mind
Engage in deliberate conservation,
One hundred nightingales
And intellectuals find a common ground,
And curse the meeting of their slaves!
First Woman. The mind must only play
With polished relics of emotion,
And the heart must never lighten
Burdens of the mind.
Second Woman. I desire to be
Irrelevant and voluble,
Leaving my terse disgust for a moment.
I have met an erudite poet.
With a northern hardness
Motionless beneath his youthful robes.
He shuns the quivering fluencies
Of emotion, and shifts his dominoes
Within a room of tortured angles.
But away from this creative room
He sells himself to the whims
Of his wife, a young virago
With a calculating nose.
Beneath the flagrant pose
Of his double life
Emotion and the mind
Look disconsolately at each other.
First Woman. Lyrical abandon
And mental cautiousness
Must not mingle to a magic
Glowing, yet deliberate!
Second Woman. Never spill your wine
Upon a page of mathematics.
Drink it decently
Within the usual tavern.

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