Vox Populi

A Public Sphere for Poetry, Politics, and Nature

Arlene Weiner: Advice to a Daughter


A man is like the United States.


He is stronger than you

but less flexible.

He is impatient.


He expects you to smile.

He forgets easily.

He is sensitive to insult.


Even when he is helpful

and well intentioned

he may be dangerous.

[Author’s note: I realized after I wrote Advice to a Daughter that it uses a similar device to an African poem I read years ago,” A baby is a European.” I looked for it on the web. I found a couple of sources that said it was traditional Ewe and one passage in a book that may attribute it to a poet named Kafu Hoh. I always took “European” to mean “white person” [in Africa] even if settled.

A baby is a European he does not eat our food: he drinks from his own waterpot.
A baby is a European he does not speak our tongue: he is cross when the mother understands him not.
A baby is a European he cares little for others: ….]

Copyright 2015 Arlene Weiner


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This entry was posted on October 27, 2015 by in Poetry, Social Justice, War and Peace and tagged , .

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