How Like a Woman

Alice Duer Miller 1874 (New York) – 1942 (New York)

I WANTED you to come to-day­
Or so I told you in my letter­
And yet, if you had stayed away,
I should have liked you so much better.
I should have sipped my tea unseen,
And thrilled at every door-bell's pealing,
And thought how nice I could have been
Had you evinced a little feeling.

I should have guessed you drinking tea
With someone whom you loved to madness;
I should have thought you cold to me,
And revelled in a depth of sadness.
But, no! you came without delay­
I could not feel myself neglected:
You said the things you always say,
In ways not wholly unexpected.

If you had let me wait in vain,
We should, in my imagination,
Have held, what we did not attain,
A most dramatic conversation.
Had you not come, I should have known
At least a vague anticipation,
Instead of which, I grieve to own,
You did not give me one sensation.

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Submitted on May 13, 2011

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Alice Duer Miller

Alice Duer Miller was a writer from the U.S. whose poetry actively influenced political opinion. Her feminist verses made an impact on the suffrage issue, and her verse novel The White Cliffs encouraged U.S. entry into World War II. She also wrote novels and screenplays. more…

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"How Like a Woman" Poetry.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2020. Web. 14 Aug. 2020. <https://www.poetry.net/poem/1467/how-like-a-woman>.

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