In no way is this a poem about any feminist debates about trans

No, really not. It is another of my occasional Hans Christian Anderson poems. Honest.

The Emperor’s Nightingales

‘Your feathers were torn out of someone’s side
left blood behind, and were then dipped in gold.
They’re dead things, can’t protect you from the cold,
and you’re dead too,’ the angry songbird cried.

‘Your music’s dead – a string of cog-wheels whir
inside you, and pluck strings. You can’t replace
real song, of which there’ll never be a trace
in you. The soul-less blind artificer

who thought with you to steal our songbirds’ soul
has failed. You’re a pathetic stupid thing
too dead to know that you can’t even sing.
No part of music. While we are the whole.’

And while the palace garden harshly rang
with nightingale complaints, the toy bird sang


About rozkaveney

Middleaged, trans, novelist, poet, activist
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3 Responses to In no way is this a poem about any feminist debates about trans

  1. I love that story. Thank you.

  2. Fuck the transphobic feminists; they have no idea what they’re talking about. There is no such thing as a failed acorn. Just because society wanted you to be one thing, and you want to be another, doesn’t make you a failure. As I’ve learned to recite: “I’d rather be a living son than a dead daughter”.

    I really like the last stanza. Make your own kind of music – even if nobody else sings along!

    • cmcmck says:

      Very well put (both Roz and your goodself that is :o)

      Sadly, my folks would, it seems, rather have had a dead son than a living daughter- I still await a reaction almost forty years on :o/

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