by Genevieve Taggard
Like a sleek beast, or a worn one:
No slim and languid girl–not glad
With the windy trip I once had,
But velvet-footed, musing of my own,
Torpid, mellow, stupid as a stone.
You cleft me with your beauty’s pulse, and now
Your pulse has taken body. Care not how
The old grace goes, how heavy I am grown,
Big with this loneliness, how you alone
Ponder our love. Touch my feet and feel
How earth tingles, teeming at my heel!
Earth’s urge, not mine,–my little death, not hers;
And the pure beauty yearns and stirs.
It does not heed our ecstacies, it turns
With secrets of its own, its own concerns,
Toward a windy world of its own, toward stark
And solitary places. In the dark
Defiant even now; it tugs and moans
To be untangled from these mother’s bones.
About This Poem
After Genevieve Taggard moved to New York City in 1920, she started her own journal, the Measure, with several other young writers. That same year she married poet Robert Wolf and gave birth to her only child, Marcia. Her poem “With Child,” first appeared in the Liberator in 1921, and was later published in Taggard’s first book of verse, For Eager Lovers (1922), and then in the anthology May Days (1926).
Genevieve Taggard was born in Washington in 1894. When Taggard was two years old, her parents became missionaries and moved the family to Honolulu, Hawaii. As a young adult, Taggard moved to California and enrolled at the University of California, Berkeley, where she became an active member in the literary community. Taggard worked for a publisher in New York City prior to receiving a teaching position at Mount Holyoke College. She later taught at Bennington College and Sarah Lawrence College. She died in 1948.