“I got past childhood somehow”

“I got past childhood somehow. I never understood why people sing such paeans to childhood. Childhood exemplifies restrictions and deprivations. When one grows up one acquires positions from which one can fight injustice. […] A lack of equality is found not only among the rich and the poor; it exists in a more intense form in the power relationship between men and women.”

— Ismat Chughtai, “A Life in Words: Memoirs” (Penguin, 2012)

“I, Being Born A Woman and Distressed”

I, being born a woman and distressed
By all the needs and notions of my kind,
Am urged by your propinquity to find
Your person fair, and feel a certain zest
To bear your body’s weight upon my breast:
So subtly is the fume of life designed,
To clarify the pulse and cloud the mind,
And leave me once again undone, possessed.
Think not for this, however, the poor treason
Of my stout blood against my staggering brain,
I shall remember you with love, or season
My scorn wtih pity, — let me make it plain:
I find this frenzy insufficient reason
For conversation when we meet again.

Edna St. Vincent Millay

Edna St. Vincent Millay