Lisel Mueller

(February 8, 1924)

The Laughter Of Women Poem by Lisel Mueller


The laughter of women sets fire
to the Halls of Injustice
and the false evidence burns
to a beautiful white lightness

It rattles the Chambers of Congress
and forces the windows wide open
so the fatuous speeches can fly out

The laughter of women wipes the mist
from the spectacles of the old;
it infects them with a happy flu
and they laugh as if they were young again

Prisoners held in underground cells
imagine that they see daylight
when they remember the laughter of women

It runs across water that divides,
and reconciles two unfriendly shores
like flares that signal the news to each other

What a language it is, the laughter of women,
high-flying and subversive.
Long before law and scripture
we heard the laughter, we understood freedom.

Submitted: Monday, January 13, 2003

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Comments about this poem (The Laughter Of Women by Lisel Mueller )

  • Rookie - 212 Points Patricia Clark (3/8/2015 4:44:00 AM)

    Prisoners held in underground cells
    imagine that they see daylight
    when they remember the laughter of women
    Those three lines are so perfect. The man I care for loves my laugh more than anything, he laughs when he hears me laugh and always says, Oh my I love your laugh. Laughter is an aphrodisiac and as you state so well here, also a cure for so many things. Well done! Trish- I also really like this line: wipes the mist from the spectacles of the old. (Report) Reply

  • Rookie - 37 Points Colleen Courtney (5/17/2014 5:46:00 PM)

    An interesting piece although not one of my favorites so far. (Report) Reply

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