The poem I have chosen for inspiration today is by one of the most celebrated African American poets, Gwendolyn Brooks. Her poem “We Real Cool” has been widely read. If you haven’t, do read it. It will be worth your 30 seconds. It is fetchy catchy with a direct message that hits hard. However, the poem from Gwendolyn which I have chosen today is “Sadie and Maud”.

Sadie and Maud


Maud went to college.
Sadie stayed at home.
Sadie scraped life
With a fine-tooth comb.

She didn’t leave a tangle in.
Her comb found every strand.
Sadie was one of the livingest chits
In all the land.

Sadie bore two babies
Under her maiden name.
Maud and Ma and Papa
Nearly died of shame.

When Sadie said her last so-long
Her girls struck out from home.
(Sadie had left as heritage
Her fine-tooth comb.)

Maud, who went to college,
Is a thin brown mouse.
She is living all alone
In this old house.

Source: Poetry Foundation

The poem is the story of two sisters, Maud who follows the societal norms and Sadie who lives life to the fullest on her own terms. It highlights the double bind that society poses on women. I agreed with this interpretation of this poem best. The feeling of ’damned if you do, damned if you don’t” inspired my poem.


she struts around in her short short shorts.

Whore! rape her! rape her!

she hunches with oiled hair and jasmine flowers,

yet another ignorable village mutt

she is dark

how dare she turn down ‘a man’?

she earned an MBA and a PhD.

she will die single someday

she decided to be a housewife.

What a waste of her time

she wanted to go to work.

Get a grip on your home first.

she worked and played and mothered

No wonder the husband disappeared

she got a nanny

Why did she have any children

she went back to work after a break

Pay her pennies

she does yoga, lunch dates, and laughs loudly

she has no responsibility

she spoke her mind

Rude! uncultured!

she lived heartily, advocating choice

They choked in their own vomitgossip, by day and by night.

Love to know what you think of the work here. Do drop your link to any particular post you would like me to visit.

G for Gwendolyn Brooks, my poem: They #AtoZChallenge #BlogchatterA2Z #NaPoWriMo
Tagged on:     

19 thoughts on “G for Gwendolyn Brooks, my poem: They #AtoZChallenge #BlogchatterA2Z #NaPoWriMo

  • April 10, 2019 at 2:44 pm

    It’s true that we can never please everyone. We will be judged for everything we do. Loved both the poems!!

  • April 8, 2019 at 4:47 pm

    No matter what, you will always always be judged. You have done a brilliant job, Namratha. One of your best in this series.

  • April 8, 2019 at 1:01 pm

    Such a sad truth. Glad you are introducing us to such beautiful poets and their creations

    • April 9, 2019 at 12:17 am

      I have found this newfound habit of reading poetry so illuminating and soul enriching. I intend to share my love for poetry through spreading the work of other poets in this series. Thanks Rashi for reading

  • April 8, 2019 at 1:01 pm

    Society will always judge you. No matter what you do. I always love your poems Namy. This one is also great. Brooks is my favourite and good to see her poem here.

    • April 9, 2019 at 12:18 am

      True Balaka. Missing you in this AtoZChallenge

  • April 8, 2019 at 12:51 pm

    You have written a powerful poem. Great going.

  • April 8, 2019 at 8:29 am

    Such a beautiful poem. Has a hauntingly sad tone. Sounds soothing to ear as if someone is singing.

  • April 8, 2019 at 6:23 am

    Your poetry is so deep. Both the facts mentioned are sad but the truth of the society and I doubt if it could change

    • April 9, 2019 at 12:19 am

      It is the truth of society. It can change. It is already changing in many ways. That is why it is important to keep writing and talking about it

    • April 8, 2019 at 8:50 am

      You’re welcome. Will check out your blog


I would love to know your thoughts! Speak to me


Get the latest posts delivered to your mailbox:

%d bloggers like this: