First World War Poetry Digital Archive

'Whereas most women . . .’

  Whereas most women live this difficult life   Merely in order not to die the death   And take experience as they take their breath,   Accepting backyards, travail, crusts, all naïf;   And nothing greatly love, and nothing loathe---   Others there are who seemingly forget   That men build walls to shelter from the wet,   For sustenance take meals, for comfort clothe.   These must embellish every act with grace;   These eat for savours; dress to show their lace;   Suppose the earth for gardens; hands for nard.   Now which you hold as higher than the other   Depends, in fine, on whether you regard   The poetess as nobler than the Mother.


“'Whereas most women . . .’,” by Owen, Wilfred (1893-1918). The Estate of Wilfred Owen. The Complete Poems and Fragments of Wilfred Owen edited by Jon Stallworthy first published by Chatto & Windus, 1983. Preliminaries, introductory, editorial matter, manuscripts and fragments omitted. via First World War Poetry Digital Archive, accessed February 20, 2024,

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