Friday, March 19, 2021

Women's History Month: Friday, March 19, 2021: Margaret Saine's poems "Women of Women Born" and "Female Birds Sing"


Woman of Woman Born


La femme n’a d’amis que ses songes.

A woman’s only friends are her dreams.

      Jules Michelet



We were not thought of

we were despised

disposed of and

pushed into corners

mental and otherwise

No bonus of being

a woman of woman born

quite otherwise

We forged then were forced

to forget the womb

all the dreams we had

We were not given the facts

we were given stories

older than Methusalah can remember

of Snow White, Rapunzel, Sleeping Beauty

tied, tried and true

to extricate from them

what women were

might be, or become

We were allowed to puzzle out

our often dire fate

with Pythia Cassandra and Ariadne

Like ignorant poets

and lazy kings

we [being neither lazy nor ignorant]

were forced to invent our lives out of

not whole and not new cloth

but from a stale barnstorm of spiderwebs

snowed-in like dandelion fluff

[dandruff fluff]

snowed out of our lives

in difficulty of our self-birth

our becoming


And we made it

we are in the making

© 2021 Margaret Saine 


Female Birds do Sing




female birds

what is it about them

we thought they couldn’t sing

Darwin said so

only males sang

male song was only

to attract females


And we women poets

covered our heads in shame

feeling like usurpers

while male poets

painted us into a corner

their corner

as muses

silently coaxing out

their male poems


It is nice

to serve as a midwife

for male poems

--any poem really is

an improvement of human life—

but we women wanted

to have our own voice


And then they told us

that female birds don’t sing

But now we know better

Female birds sing birdsong

just as males


Hello male poets!

Here we come!

Women poets!

© 2021 Margaret Saine


Margaret Saine was born in Germany and taught Hispanic literatures in California. She writes and translates in five languages. Books in English are Bodyscapes, Words of Art, Lit Angels, Gardens of the Earth, and A Book of Travel. Saine published four poetry books and a childhood memoir in Germany. In 2021 a book of Spanish poems will come out in Spain, French poems in Montreal. Two Italian books are to be published. Her poems have been translated into Arabic and other languages. She is an editor of The California Quarterly. Since 2008 she has written over 5 600 haiku.


  1. I loved both the poems especially the second one.. luv

  2. Thank you, Margaret, for saying what needs to be said.