Poetry

Note to Professors: Never Flunk a Charming Female Student

Date
1906

"After the Exam" is a poem about a male student being taken by a female student's charms after class one day. On this particular day they had taken an exam and the female student tells the male one that she had flunked the exam today. The male student cannot believe what kind of Professor would "flunk such a winsome lass? Her smile would be worth an "A" to me." He further states that he would have passed her in an instant, if he were the Professor, even if she had only given him the slightest nod.

Soliloquy of a Co-Ed

Date
1900

"The Soul of the Violet or Soliloquy of a Co-ed" is a poem written in the 1900 Microcosm about unrequited love. It is written from the perspective of the woman, whose love was not returned from the man she loves and so is forever haunted by the flowers he had once given her. All day she thinks about the violets, even when she must "muse in drear Ladies' Hall", she is constantly reminded.

What's Legal Doesn't Meet Our Needs, What's Fun Is Tagged Taboo

Date
October 28, 1960

A poem by Carla Russ (Class of 1964) in The Dickinsonian addressed the lack of activities for female students. Entitled A Pertinent Poem, it begins "Mary, Mary quite contrary, what did you do tonight?" The poem uses four names as inspiration for rhyme schemes (Mary, Jeanie, Pammy, Joanie), posing a question to each character. Their responses are all variations on the same theme, and the last section, which addresses Joanie, complains, "What's legal doesn't meet our needs,/ What's fun is tagged taboo!"

Poem Published by Female Student in Microcosm

Date
1894

Emma V. Harry was one of the first women to have their literary works printed in the Microcosm. Her poem, "The Old College Bell", is printed amongst fellow male classmates' works.

Poem of Co-Ed Coupling

Date
1892

"To Whom It May Concern" is a poem written in the 1892 Microcosm about co-ed romance. The poem talks about a male student who has reformed all his devious ways for his "darling Archibald," a Sophomore. The poem concludes that the girl he is in love with is a co-ed, and that their romance is unknown to their parents.