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Poems for Reflection and Class Discussion

By Josie Whitehead

Main Poetry Index 
     Reflective Poems

                  Secondary Schools

'To be born a woman is to know,

     Although they do not talk of it at school, 

           That we must labour to be beautiful.' -

                   Adam's Curse: William Butler Yeates.


By Josie Whitehead

True Beauty

Oh yes, it’s true, so true indeed

      What William Butler Yeates has said:

That we must labour day by day

     For beauty from our feet to head.


We look upon our body,

     And unhappy with its shape or size;

Not satisfied with breadth or height,

     We very soon start to despise.


We study magazines and books.

     We hunt and find our measuring tape.

We starve ourselves until we drop -

      Achieving what?  The perfect shape?


What do you mean by beautiful?

     You can’t mean only fat or thin.

Do you refer to what you see,

     Or other things below the skin?


True beauty lies within the filling,

    So delve below that outer case.

Don’t trust your eyes to give you truth

     From what appears just on the face.

Copyright on all my poems

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