Howard Nemerov

Here you will find the Poem Young Woman of poet Howard Nemerov

Young Woman

Naked before the glass she said, 
?I see my body as no man has, 
Nor any shall unless I wed 
And naked in a stranger?s house 
Stand timid beside his bed. 
There is no pity in the flesh.? 

?Or else I shall grow old,? she said, 
?Alone, and change my likeliness 
For a vile, slack shape, a head 
Shriveled with thinking wickedness 
Against the day I must be dead 
And eaten by my crabbed wish.? 

?One or the other way,? she said, 
?How shall I know the difference, 
When wrinkles come, to spinster or bride? 
Whether to marry or burn is bless- 
ed best, O stranger to my bed, 
There is no pity in the flesh.?