Joan Larkin’s “‘Vagina’ Sonnet”
Tell me now, how do you not smile at this piece of poetry?
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.