I don’t mind the human race.   
I’ve got pretty used to them   
In these past twenty-five years.   
I don’t mind if they sit next   
To me on streetcars, or eat   
In the same restaurants, if   
It’s not at the same table.   
However, I don’t approve   
Of a woman I respect
Dancing with one of them. I’ve   
Tried asking them to my home   
Without success. I shouldn’t   
Care to see my own sister   
Marry one. Even if she
Loved him, think of the children.   
Their art is interesting,   
But certainly barbarous.   
I’m sure, if given a chance,   
They’d kill us all in our beds.   
And you must admit, they smell.

  • Kenneth Rexroth, “Discrimination” from The Collected Shorter Poems. Copyright © 1966 by Kenneth Rexroth. Reprinted with the permission of New Directions Publishing Corporation, www.wwnorton.com/nd/welcome.htm.

  • Source: The Collected Shorter Poems (1966)

Poet Bio

What People are Saying

"I learned to enjoy older poems. At first, I hated the requirement that I had to choose a poem that was pre-20th century. However, as time went by, I began to enjoy the poems more and more. My favorite pre-20th century poet is now Emily Bronte. "
Eseme Segbefia
2018 NY POL Champ