Phyllis McGinley

Phyllis McGinley Poems

Where are the ribbons I tie my hair with?
Where is my lipstick? Where are my hose -
The sheer ones hoarded these weeks to wear with

In spring when maple buds are red,
We turn the clock an hour ahead;
Which means, each April that arrives,
We lose an hour out of our lives.

his paper propped against the electric toaster
(nicely adjusted to his morning use),
Daniel at breakfast studies world disaster

She said, If tomorrow my world were torn in two,
Blacked out, dissolved, I think I would remember
(As if transfixed in unsurrendering amber)

I wish I owned a Dior dress
Made to my order out of satin.
I wish I weighed a little less
And could read Latin.

The first thing to remember about fathers is, they're men.
A girl has to keep it in mind.

The other day I chanced to meet
An angry man upon the street —
A man of wrath, a man of war,
A man who truculently bore

Intimations of Mortality
on being told by the dentist that this will be over soon

Summer, adieu
Adieu gregarious season.
Goodbye, 'revoir, farewell.
Now day comes late; now chillier blows the breeze on

Phyllis McGinley Biography

Phyllis McGinley (March 21, 1905 - February 22, 1978) was an American writer of children's books and poet about the positive aspects of suburban life.[1] McGinley was born in Ontario, Oregon. At age 3, her family moved to Colorado, and on to Ogden, Utah after her father died. She studied at the University of Southern California and the University of Utah in Salt Lake City, graduating in 1927. She then taught at a junior high school in New Rochelle, New York for one year, until her career as a writer and poet took off. Her poems were published in the New York Herald Tribune and The New Yorker, among others. She also wrote the lyrics for a musical revue, Small Wonder, in 1948. In 1955, she was elected a member of the National Academy of Arts and Letters. In 1961 she won the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry; in 1964 she was honored with the Laetare Medal by the University of Notre Dame (described as 'An honor to a man or woman who has "enriched the heritage of humanity"'). She also holds nearly a dozen honorary degrees - "including one from the stronghold of strictly masculine pride, Dartmouth College." (from the dust jacket of Sixpence in Her Shoes (copy 1964)). McGinley died in New York.)

The Best Poem Of Phyllis McGinley

Sunday Poetry: Ballade Of Lost Objects

Where are the ribbons I tie my hair with?
Where is my lipstick? Where are my hose -
The sheer ones hoarded these weeks to wear with
Frocks the closets do not disclose?
Perfumes, petticoats, sports chapeaus,
The blouse Parisian, the earrings Spanish -
Everything suddenly up and goes.
And where in the world did the children vanish?

This is the house I used to share with
Girls in pinafores, shier than does.
I can recall how they climbed my stairs with
Gales of giggles on their tiptoes.
Last seen wearing both braids and bows
(And looking rather Raggedy-Annish),
When they departed nobody knows -
Where in the world did the children vanish?

Two tall strangers, now I must bear with,
Decked in my personal furbelows,
Raiding the larder, rending the air with
Gossip and terrible radios.
Neither my friends nor quite my foes,
Alien, beautiful, stern and clannish,
Here they dwell, while the wonder grows:
Where in the world did the children vanish?

Prince, I warn you, under the rose,
Time is the thief you cannot banish.
These are my daughters, I suppose.
But where in the world did the children vanish?

Phyllis McGinley Comments

Barbara Dinerman 16 May 2018

I'm trying to find McGinley's poem about mothers - how they hand you life, like fruit, on a plate. Anyone know the title?

5 0 Reply
marie 19 December 2021

Barbara, look for 'The Adversary' -- starting with 'a mother's hardest to forgive...'

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Ahmad 23 June 2018

please give me criticle analysis of poem “The Adversary“

0 3 Reply
Jim Lindstrom 08 September 2018

Bright verse, just right to light a quiet mind- mine.

0 0 Reply
Jean nuss 12 December 2021

I looking for a poem about a woman who was so busy with her housework that she had no time to follow the wise men.

0 0 Reply
Lori Dula 04 January 2020

I'm looking for a poem, I think about girlhood and what she wants to be; last line goes something like this: " pondered sainthood's possibility" Does anyone know this poem or its title?

0 0 Reply
Mary Ellen Stiegemeier 21 December 2019

looking for the poem The Doll House

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Helen Williams 17 February 2019

Looking for a McGinley poem about a English Royal knitting, which has the line " and the Prince of Wales took up needle and thread.......

1 0 Reply
Ila Bates Austin, Texas 12 February 2019

I need to locate a poem by Phyllis McGinley that starts.." Annabelle Lucy is my very best friend. She lives at the end of the block. We walk to school each day

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Charlie 26 December 2021

You are looking for Boys are awful.

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Phyllis McGinley Quotes

Of course we women gossip on occasion. But our appetite for it is not as avid as a man's. It is in the boys' gyms, the college fraternity houses, the club locker rooms, the paneled offices of business that gossip reaches its luxuriant flower.

Frigidity is largely nonsense. It is this generation's catchword, one only vaguely understood and constantly misused. Frigid women are few. There is a host of diffident and slow-ripening ones.

Our bodies are shaped to bear children, and our lives are a working out of the processes of creation. All our ambitions and intelligence are beside that great elemental point.

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