Josephine Miles

American poet and literary scholar (1911-1985)

Josephine Miles (June 11, 1911May 12, 1985) was an American poet and literary critic.


  • They deny good luck, love, power, romance, and inspiration
    From La Jac Brite ointment and incense of all kinds,
    And condemn in writing skin brightening and whitening
    and whitening of minds.

    There is upon the federal trade commission a burden of glory
    So to defend the fact, so to impel
    The plucking of hope from the hand, honor from the complexion,
    Sprite from the spell.

    • "Government Injunction Restraining Harlem Cosmetic Co." (1941) St. 2–3; Collected Poems, University of Illinois Press, 1983
  • Death did not come to my mother
    Like an old friend.
    She was a mother, and she must
    Conceive him.

    Up and down the bed she fought crying
    Help me, but death
    Was a slow child

    • "Conception" (1974) st. 1–2; Collected Poems, University of Illinois Press, 1983
  • "In the roots of grammar, the stems of logic and the flowers of rhetoric take their being."
    • "Style and Proportion The Language of Prose and Poetry"(1967) Little Brown and Company (INC.)

Quotes about Josephine Miles

  • Josephine Miles, who traveled with her wheelchair/around the country to read poems,/said, Don't make your poem a neat package with a/bow tied at the end. She also said,/It's hard to help.
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