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Joan Larkin’s “‘Vagina’ Sonnet”

May 1, 2009

Tell me now, how do you not smile at this piece of poetry?

‘Vagina’ Sonnet
by Joan Larkin

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.

7 Comments leave one →
  1. May 1, 2009 2:39 pm

    Fantastic! I love Joan Larkin’s poetry–I once took a workshop with her, which changed my writing life. She’s wonderful. Thanks for the poem.

  2. Anonymous permalink
    November 19, 2011 7:25 am

    what the fuck?

  3. Samuel Viner permalink
    April 19, 2017 7:25 pm

    It’s very well done. A sly sideways glance at the bare necessities of life. Humorous and basic. This lass has a brain.


  1. Joan Larkin’s “‘Vagina’ Sonnet”
  2. The sound of ‘vagina,’ … Jessica Mason McFadden reads poetry by Joan Larkin | Joe Perez Blog - Integral. Nondual. Spirituality. More.

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