In her very breath, she’s womanly:
Soft and calm; refined and elegant.
But beneath the soft, a strength of steel;
Intelligent, kind, clever, and relevant.
Indeed, her words may pierce or caress;
A sharp-edged tongue with a velvet underside;
It’s not a deceit, but a complexity;
A duality of form, undefined.
And while she nurtures, she is fierce;
Ready to defend; equally to solace.
While she is loved, held most dear,
She’s not liked by all, and hardly flawless.
The depth of her life contradicted by beauty;
The surface denying what lies underneath;
The softness of voice, that sounds so gentle
Deceiving in every vocal upbreathe.
For under the soft exterior shell,
lies the heart of a lioness, strong and resilient.
As what is all soft cannot fully exist,
The harshness of life creates a balance that’s brilliant.
When you go to judge by a beautiful face,
A beauty that’s elegant; decorated with grace,
Remember that softness belies a great strength,
A gentle exterior with an iron base.
Background for this Poem:
I was thinking about the conundrum of duality in women, and how we are often judged as weak, inferior, or lacking in strength because we are beautiful and appear to be frail in comparison to men. When I think of some of the women who have influenced my life, I cannot see any true frailty, only gentleness and a strength of steel hidden beneath their delicate beauty. My own grandmother was one such woman. She was kind and gentle, soft-spoken, elegant, and a lovely person. And inside her was a strength you might never suspect would be encased in such a delicate form. She met every opposition in her life with her chin held up and her shoulders squared. She did not flinch from life’s hardness or its cruelties, but accepted them as a part of life, and wherever she could, she turned them into something good. She made opportunities to show kindness to others. And there are many other people in the world who function in the same way, kindness over a firm foundation of strong will and spirit. This is woman’s dual nature.
Amarine Rose Ravenwood writes poetry and fantasy fiction for children, preteens, and teens. She has been writing since her early teens. As well as being an author and poet and the owner, manager, editor, and publisher of The Literary Librarian journal, Amarine is also a freelance fiction editor for Night Sky Book Services and also provides services as a poetry editor for Poetry Passions Editing Services. Amarine’s poetry joins the hosted poems of The Literary Librarian’s Pantheon of Poesy as just another poem, and Amarine abides by the same guidelines The Literary Librarian has set up for all poetry submissions to this site, as just one more member of a larger writing community.
Find More By Amarine at:
“A Mother’s Treasure,” “The Free Spirit,” and “A Grandmother’s Promise” in Voice of Eve, Issue 2, pages 50-56:
“The Fairy Queen” poem in the Cadence anthology by Clarendon House Publications
Amarine’s Facebook Author Page
Amarine Ravenwood’s Magical Realm (WordPress blog)
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