This poem, first published by feminist author Joan Larkin in 1975, seemed especially relevant this week. Read more about it on Ms. blog.
Is “vagina” suitable for use
in a sonnet? I don’t suppose so.
A famous poet told me, “Vagina’s ugly.”
Meaning, of course, the sound of it. In poems.
Meanwhile, he inserts his penis frequently
into his verse, calling it, seriously, “My
Penis.” It is short, I know, and dignified.
I mean of course the sound of it. In poems.
This whole thing is unfortunate, but petty,
like my hangup concerning English Dept. memos
headed “Mr./Mrs./Miss”–only a fishbone
in the throat of the revolution–
a waste of brains–to be concerned about
this minor issue of my cunt’s good name.