Today: Two American poets honor LGBT Pride Month

Walt Whitman: A Glimpse


A glimpse through an interstice caught,

Of a crowd of workmen and drivers in a bar-room around the stove

            late of a winter night, and I unremark’d seated in a corner,

Of a youth who loves me and whom I love, silently approaching

            and seating himself near, that he may hold me by the hand,

A long while amid the noises of coming and going,

            of drinking and oath and smutty jest,

There we two, content, happy in being together, speaking little,

            perhaps not a word.


Judy Grahn: A History of Lesbianism


How they came into the world,

the women-loving-women

came in three by three

and four by four

the women-loving-women

came in ten by ten

and ten by ten again

until there were none that you could count


            they took care of each other

            the best they knew how

            and of each other’s children,

            if they had any.


How they lived n the world,

the women-loving-women

learned as much as they were allowed

and walked and wore their clothes

they way they liked

whenever the could. They did whatever

they knew to be happy or free

and worked and worked and worked.

The women-loving-women

in America were called dykes

and some liked it

and some did not.


            they made love to each other

            the best they knew how

            and for the best reasons


How they went out of the world,

the women-loving-women

went out one by one

having withstood greater and lesser

trials, and much hatred

from other people, they went out

one by one, each having tried

in her own way to overthrow

the rule of men over women,

they tried it one by one

and hundred by hundred,

until each came in her own way

to the end of her life

and died:


            The subject of lesbianism

            is very ordinary; it’s the question

            of male domination that makes everybody



Source: The Penguin Book of Homosexual Verse, edited by Stephen Coote.


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