Anne Stevenson

(1933 / Cambridge,)

Poem For A Daughter - Poem by Anne Stevenson

'I think I'm going to have it,'
I said, joking between pains.
The midwife rolled competent
sleeves over corpulent milky arms.
'Dear, you never have it,
we deliver it.'
A judgement the years proved true.
Certainly I've never had you

as you still have me, Caroline.
Why does a mother need a daughter?
Heart's needle, hostage to fortune,
freedom's end. Yet nothing's more perfect
than that bleating, razor-shaped cry
that delivers a mother to her baby.
The bloodcord snaps that held
their sphere together. The child,
tiny and alone, creates the mother.

A woman's life is her own
until it is taken away
by a first, particular cry.
Then she is not alone
but a part of the premises
of everything there is:
a time, a tribe, a war.
When we belong to the world
we become what we are.

Comments about Poem For A Daughter by Anne Stevenson

  • Kumarmani Mahakul (8/2/2016 8:17:00 PM)

    Congratulations to see your poem in list of modern poem of the day. This is very interesting, amazing and emotional piece of work. This child is always affectionate to mother. Motherhood explains the unlimited love for children....10 (Report) Reply

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  • Edward Kofi Louis (8/2/2016 1:24:00 PM)

    A mother to her baby! ! Nice work. (Report) Reply

  • (8/2/2016 11:16:00 AM)

    A womans life is her own
    until it is taken away
    by a first, particular cry
    Transformation of a woman into a mother with her child's birth marvelously unfolded. Thanks for sharing.
    (Report) Reply

  • Akachukwu Lekwauwa (8/2/2016 4:10:00 AM)

    a lovely birth poem, few things in life could be compared to the joy it brings. i once wrote one i titled 'I To Hera You Cry'...somebody may want to check it out (Report) Reply

  • Jasbir Chatterjee (12/21/2015 6:21:00 AM)

    congrats on being poet of the day today! Just like 'Carol of the Birds' this poem is also a great read. Loved this poem very much. Thanks for sharing. (Report) Reply

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Poem Submitted: Saturday, August 30, 2014

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