Published on Academy of American Poets (

With Child

Now I am slow and placid, fond of sun,
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. 


This poem is in the public domain.


Genevieve Taggard

Genevieve Taggard was born in Waitsburg, Washington, in 1894. She is best known as a biographer of Emily Dickinson, authoring The Life and Mind of Emily Dickinson (Alfred A. Knopf, 1930). She also wrote several poetry collections, including For Eager Lovers (Thomas Seltzer, 1922) and Not Mine to Finish: Poems 1928–1934 (Harper & Brothers, 1934). She died in New York City in 1948.

Date Published: 1921-01-01

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