Anne Stevenson – Happy Birthday.

Happy Birthday to Anne Stevenson. I remember her as the wonderful lady I met at York University in the mid-eighties (she was visiting poet for an Open University Summer school) and have never forgotten. I have not read as much of her poetry as I should have.


‘Poems 1955-2005’

                  Fool’s Gold*
                  (A Saturday Night Sonnet)

                  Girls in their nervous freedom, heeled and painted,
                  Swarm out in teams – oh, bold pursuit of passion!
                  Geared for the sexual snatch, they seem acquainted
                  With all the ways and means of public fashion.
                  Who has not seen them, arm in arm, come rolling,
                  Midriffs agape but fending off all gazes,
                  Haughty and cool, forbidding yet controlling;
                  Each breast inflames us, every hip amazes.
                  Girls, were these parts for other girls created?
                  Walking exposed, you shrug aside our doting.
                  Or has the art of dressing been defeated
                  By skilfulness in wearing nearly nothing?
                   If so, put on your clothes and tease our pleasure.
                    Bared flesh is fool’s gold, wealth’s a buried treasure.

*Modelled on Shakespeare’s Sonnet, number 20.


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