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If a Woman Should Be Messiah

by Laura Riding

If a woman should be Messiah
It might not be an impressive drama,
It would be but a slight event and unsignaled
 It could not but be beautiful.
Such a woman would surely say very little
Of morals and religion.
Such a woman would surely never travel
Or inspire a gospel.
She would live at peace shyly
With a local lake and on certain days
Intrude some nearly divine distress
Upon it, with a most feminine caress
As of weeping spotlessly over it
In tears no more wonderful
Than any other woman's.
She'd have no unnatural hungers,
No fewer lovers,
Do no evangelical tricks
With stones and sticks,
Even employ the innate art
To win the ordinary heart
Of an ordinary man,
As any wilful woman can.
And, as with any other woman,
Her self-confession would be kept
Close to her kerchief, under the pillow where she slept.
She might be adored of her household.
She could never deny them her faults.
She would pamper her private follies,
Talk too much of her dreams,
Pray to a personal God,
Deal unhistorically with facts,
Be sweet in marriage and motherhood.
Who'd be aware of her quiet work?
Who'd call her a savior or even a saint?
Who'd trouble her with a cross or a church?
No one would.

Laura (Riding) Jackson

The Person I Am
A Mannered Grace
The Failure of Poetry, The Promise of Language
Anarchism Is Not Enough
Essays from Epilogue
First Awakenings
Four Unposted Letters To Catherine
Progress of Stories
Rational Meaning
The Laura (Riding) Jackson Reader
The Poems of Laura Riding
A Selection of the Poems of Laura Riding
The Telling
The Word Woman
Under The Mind's Watch
Sample Letters of Laura (Riding) Jackson
Web Page updated February 2018



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