I will speak about women of letters, for I’m in the racket.
Our biggest successes to date? Old maids to a woman.
And our saddest conspicuous failures? The married spinsters
On loan to the husbands they treated like surrogate fathers…
Or the sad sonneteers, toast-and teasdales we loved at thirteen;
Middle-ages virgins seducing the puerile anthologists
Through lust-of-the-mind; barbiturate-drenched Camilles
With continuous periods, murmuring softly on sofas
When peotry wasn’t a craft but a sickly effuvium,
The air thick with incense, musk, and emotional blackmail.
– Pro Femina, by Carolyn Kizer