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In Honor of Birthing Person’s Day

In gratitude and thanks I bless the one
Who gave me life, who sacrificed each breath;
Whose love unbounded warmed me till their death.
I praise my dear, beloved birthing person.

I bless the day that I became their son.
For nine months I was nurtured in their womb;
They later grumbled at my messy room.
How I prize memories of my birthing person!

To them my moral growth was never done.
They held and nourished me at their warm breast;
They helped me study and to pass each test.
I daily miss my sainted birthing person.

Although sports came from my impregnating person,
Their partner was who taught me how to write,
And often sang me lullabies at night;
They held me close and tight—my birthing person.

We can’t say “dad” or “mom”—the woke will shun
And shame us, forcing our disbandment.
But still, let’s always follow the Commandment
To ever honor thy Impregnating Person
And always honor too thy Birthing Person.

.

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Brian Yapko is a lawyer who also writes poetry. He lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico.


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40 Responses

  1. David Watt

    Brian, your repetition of the term ‘Birthing Person’ in each of five stanzas succeeds in highlighting the ridiculousness of this term. Of course, ‘Impregnating Person’ is equally offensive to the ear. This a timely satirical piece, and applies more widely than just to Mother’s Day.

    Reply
    • Brian Yapko

      Thank you very much, David. “Offensive to the ear” is precisely the point.

      Reply
  2. Shaun C. Duncan

    Nice work Brian. I’m also glad you chose to respect your birthing person’s they/them pronouns – it saves me having to lodge a formal complaint with the Society. This time.

    Seriously though, juxtaposing a term like “birthing person” with heartfelt sentiment does a great job of highlighting how absurd and sinister this kind of ideological language really is. It’s easy to mock such lunacy but your poem reminds us that this line of thinking is inhuman and that we risk losing a piece of our soul if we tolerate it.

    Reply
    • Brian Yapko

      Thank you, Shaun! Your comment has me in stitches. And yes, this thinking is terribly inhuman. I hope people realize that — and soon!

      Reply
  3. Jeff Eardley

    Brian, I didn’t know that your “birthing person’s day” falls on May 8th.(Ours is March 19th) Satirical wit is the best way to treat this nonsense. This is a most enjoyable piece. Thank you.

    Reply
  4. Joseph S. Salemi

    It’s highly significant that the current left-liberal ideology wants the ordinary nouns “mother” and “father” excised from our vocabulary. At no other time in history have these simple and apolitical terms been a problem for anyone, anywhere. But in the novel “Brave New World” the terms are described as insulting and offensive in a society where everyone is conceived in a test tube, and sexual intercourse is purely a form of recreational entertainment.

    If you control language, you can control how people think. The left has seized upon this fact with a vengeance. That is why it is extremely important for all of us to use language in as many ways as we can to outrage and infuriate our opponents. If we don’t, they win by default.

    Reply
    • Brian Yapko

      How right you are, Joseph! The way the left is attempting to hijack our language and to cancel whatever words and terminology undermine their sick agenda is deeply disturbing. I’m reminded of the “mostly peaceful” protests that took place all through the summer of 2020. That anyone could think nouns like “mother” and “father” are wrong is corrupt and depraved.

      Reply
  5. Susan Jarvis Bryant

    Brian, firstly this much needed poem is beautifully conceived (do excuse the pun) and utterly hilarious. Secondly, and most importantly, it highlights the horrors of living in today’s world. The semantic alchemy is rife and it’s all to our detriment. This is highlighted perfectly in your poetic warning. Is this really the world we want to live in? All those who are engaging in the skewing of language are playing into this evil… do we really want to fuel this soulless ideology to create a world where human beings are reduced to sexless non-entities? If we don’t, now’s the time to celebrate exactly who we are… sovereign individuals who won’t give in to those who want to control every aspect of our lives including our bodies and minds.

    Brian, your multi-layered Mother’s Day masterpiece is perfect for today. Thank you very much indeed!!

    Reply
    • Brian Yapko

      Susan, I’m so pleased that you enjoyed my poem! I have to admit that when I first wrote it I erupted in laughter because it just seemed so outrageous. At some point I felt like I was channeling the Coneheads from Saturday Night Live. But the laughter has been short-lived. Real medical schools and physicians not only use but require use of the term “birthing person.” I find that deeply offensive. Thank you for your comment skewering “soulless ideology.”

      Reply
  6. Jeff Kemper

    A wonderful satire, Brian, except that I was put off by your use of the antiquated and offensive term, “son,” at the end of the first line of the second stanza. Shouldn’t that have been rendered “potential impregnating person”? Furthermore, that would have counterbalanced the “impregnating person” at the end of the first line of the fourth stanza: line 1 of even stanzas ending with “impregnating person” while line 1 of odd stanzas ending with one-rhymes.

    Reply
    • Brian Yapko

      Jeff, thank you. Your comment is hilarious! As for my offensive use of the word “son” — how right you are! Mea culpa!

      Reply
  7. Margaret Coats

    Bad meter makes good humor in this one, Brian. We know that “mother” and “father” can cause a little trouble for traditional rhyme and rhythm, but isn’t it fascinating that the ugly neologisms are so much worse that they seem specifically crafted for free verse? Still, “birthing person” (like “mother”) is easier than “impregnating person” or “father,” showing that bumbling novel language is still in severe labor pains, having done absolutely nothing to achieve equality. You, however, have produced something to infuriate newspeakers!

    Reply
    • Brian Yapko

      Margaret, thank you so much for this fantastic comment! Do you know how hard it is to write bad meter? Let alone rhyme “birthing person” or “impregnating person”? I knew I wanted to write a poem which skewered the left on its refusal to say “mother” but when I put to pen paper it was invariably rough. Once I embraced that awkwardness the poem finally made sense. That ridiculous awkwardness therefore became the whole point! As for infuriating leftists… I like to think that every time a leftist newspeaker is left sputtering in rage an angel gets his wings.

      Reply
  8. Cynthia Erlandson

    I second all of the above accolades! Paul and I both had a good laugh at this delightful satire. We have to keep our sense of humor somehow, even in this infuriating world (and people of our persuasions are apparently much better at it than the angry SJW’s); and you’ve helped us with that today, Brian. Thanks!

    Reply
    • Brian Yapko

      Cynthia, I’m delighted that you and Paul enjoyed my poem. Thank you! We do have to keep our sense of humor. Plus satire has the potential of being a most powerful tool!

      Reply
      • Jan Darling

        Thank you Brian. You’re keeping excellent company with both George Orwell in 1949 and Dostoievsky, some time before Feb 9th, 1881 – who made two prescient comments on the future: “Tolerance will reach such a level that intelligent people will be banned from thinking so as not to offend the imbeciles” and :”The best way to keep a prisoner from escaping is to make sure he never knows he’s in prison”. The media will take care of that.
        Long live satire!

      • Brian Yapko

        Thank you very much, Jan! I appreciate the company you’ve placed me in! Long live satire indeed.

  9. Paul A. Freeman

    ‘For nine months I was nurtured in their womb;
    They later grumbled at my messy room.’

    This couplet in particular had me chuckling.

    To be honest, yes, ‘birthing parent’ is ludicrous, but as far as I can see it’s just a minority of people who are insisting we use this term and soon it will be recognised as ridiculous and become obsolete. Unfortunately, a mountain is made out of a molehill over issues like this (they’re sideshows) – which distracts us from the bigger issues of today.

    Another example is ‘Happy Holidays’ It dates back to the 1860s and referred to the holiday season around Christmas. However, right wing pundits are trying to ban people from saying it on some misapprehension or the other. Go figure!

    Anyhow, time to tell my son to tidy up his room.

    Thanks for the read, Brian.

    Reply
    • Brian Yapko

      Thank you very much for your appreciation, Paul! Let me explain why the term “birthing person” is so ominous. Taken on its face value, the phrase is funny — truly like a Conehead expression from Saturday Night Live. But it is not being used just as slang or by a whacky minority of people. It is the U.S. medical establishment that is now pushing its use — from large medical facilities to medical schools. This is a term that is being taught to young medical students and is being brought into textbooks as necessary modern usage. As insane as this term is, it is becoming mandatory in so many establishment contexts. I’ve read of medical school professors being fired if they don’t use it. So this isn’t slang like “groovy” or “far-out” with an obvious expiration date. It’s new mandated terminology in more and more contexts. That’s what makes it so ominous.

      I don’t mind “Happy Holidays” per se. What I do mind is that Happy Holidays is used to crowd out “Merry Christmas” to the point where “Merry Christmas” is frowned upon as exclusionary and Christian-privileged.

      Reply
    • Joseph S. Salemi

      The Bolsheviks and the Nazis were once “just a minority of people.”

      Is there anything liberal-left fanatics do that Paul won’t find something to say as a palliative or a defense?

      Is it a mountain or a molehill when medical textbooks and young doctors are being compelled to use these absurd phrases?

      Reply
      • Paul Freeman

        Fortunately, I don’t obsess enough on the Internet to fall victim to algorithms that reinforce fake, skewed or exaggerated news.

      • Joseph S. Salemi

        When you can’t answer a question, just blither on about “algorithms,” and “fake, skewed, and exaggerated news.” A great forensic ploy.

      • Paul Freeman

        When you click on a site that’s adjudged right of left leaning, your computer remembers this and will start recommending similar sites and articles, gradually going more to the left or more to the right until that’s all your seeing and reading.

        This is particularly worrying when kids do research on say Hitler or Stalin, and then the ‘stealth’ bombardment starts.

        On a lighter theme, I was dealing with a person on Outlook whose name is Danish (pron. Dan-ish). Now, on Yahoo Mail, I keep getting adverts for Danish cheese.

        Anyhow, that’s what I mean by algorithms.

    • Brian Yapko

      Paul, I appreciate your concerns about news sourcing. Here are some unassailably mainstream journals which document the “birthing person” usage as well as discouraging use of the controversial word “mother.” The following, respective, are articles from Newsweek Magazine, the National Library of Medicine, the Christian Post, and the International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, as a sampler. This is a change that is happening in the mainstream and not on the fringes of society. At least American society.

      https://www.newsweek.com/biden-admin-replaces-mothers-birthing-people-maternal-health-guidance-1598343

      https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8026807/

      https://www.christianpost.com/news/harvard-refers-to-women-as-birthing-people-to-be-inclusive.html

      https://obgyn.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/ijgo.13938

      Reply
      • Paul Freeman

        I must say, I still wince when a guy says, ‘We’re pregnant’, though it seems to have become normalised.

      • Brian Yapko

        Thanks for the algorithmic explanation, Paul. And I agree about the pregnant “we.” There are some experiences that are unique to the individual. Pregnancy is surely one of them.

      • Joshua C. Frank

        I agree about the pregnant “we” as well. This is not that Arnold Schwarzenegger movie, people! How about, “We have a child, minus x months old,” where x is 9 minus the number of months the woman has been pregnant?

  10. Joshua C. Frank

    Hey, aren’t the terms “birthing person” and “impregnating person” offensive to adoptees? What are we supposed to call the people who raised them? And what are we supposed to call the nonbiological parent in a same-sex couple raising the other one’s biological child?

    It’s just nuts, that’s what it is.

    Reply
    • Brian Yapko

      I actually made up the term “impregnating person” (at least I think I did!) because it typified the insanity of woke terminology. But your point is very well taken. It is totally nuts! Thank you for reading, and commenting Joshua.

      Reply
      • Joshua C. Frank

        I couldn’t tell the difference. It’s getting so crazy, I can’t tell the parodies from the real thing anymore!

  11. Lannie David Brockstein

    Hey Brian,

    Is the Left supremacist imposition of “Language Change”, which your “In Honor of Birthing Person’s Day” satirizes, any different than what the French revolutionaries did during their infamous Reign of Terror? https://www.britannica.com/list/the-12-months-of-the-french-republican-calendar

    Regarding the fourth and fifth lines of its fifth stanza, the speaker says:
    “To ever honor thy Impregnating Person
    And always honor too thy Birthing Person.”

    However, in terms of grammar, “thine” is used when the following word begins with a vowel, whereas “thy” is used when the following word begins with a consonant.

    Did the thpeaker uth “thy” rather than “thine”, in accordanth with Language Change, becauth to uth the word “thine” in one line and “thy” in the next would be offenthive to thoth who do not have a lithp?

    From Lannie.

    Reply
    • Brian Yapko

      Thank you for reading and commenting, Lannie! You taught me something interesting and disturbing about the French Revolution. I did not know that even the calendar was ripe for condemnation! I suppose this is a process that has gone on many times through history, but as Dr. Salemi observes in his comment, I doubt that there are times when the very words “mother” and “father” were deemed too offensive to retain. Such terms go to the very heart of the family — I can’t imagine a more insidious linguistic attack on our culture.

      On the “thy” – “thine” front, I’m content to leave the poem as not strictly grammatically correct because it was important to me to invoke the Ten Commandments and, specifically, the Fifth Commandment which says “Honor Thy Father and Thy Mother.” In an ideal world I would have been able to fit “Birthing Person” and “Impregnating Person” into one line so the same possessive pronoun would have worked just once, but the terms were too ungainly to make that happen. And if I had said “Thine impregnating person” it would have sounded archaic but the parallel structure to the usage in the King James Bible would have been lost or eroded since what comes to mind is “honor thy father…” That was my thinking and, as I reread the work, it remains so. But thank you for giving me the chance to explain my decisions on that part of the poem!

      Reply
      • Lannie David Brockstein

        Hey Brian,

        It is actually a chilling pillar of Plato’s classical philosophy that all children must be raised by the state, and not by their parents.

        Although Plato himself was limited to having theorized about a state where such a thing did actually happen, we can surmise that in practice any Platonic state would be a place where the words “mother” and “father” are prohibited, and no differently than how the Left supremacists in today’s day and age want for society to be.

        Sadly, the nefarious practice of a state raising children who are not orphans, was literally what the White supremacist governments in Europe did during WWII, whenever their troops found blond hair and blue eye children in the towns and cities they conquered.

        https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1111170/Stolen-Nazis-The-tragic-tale-12-000-blue-eyed-blond-children-taken-SS-create-Aryan-super-race.html

        In using history as our guide, it begs the question: Do the Left supremacist governments intend to kidnap and raise all non-vaccinated children?

        From Lannie.

      • Brian Yapko

        I’m not sure about non-vaccinated children, but the point is almost moot — public schools with a leftist agenda are already taking over the raising of all children by instilling values, rewriting history, engendering hatred of those who oppose their agenda, forcing detachment from religion and a host of other things that should not be within their purview. Actual physical custody is becoming academic.

    • Joseph S. Salemi

      It is not absolutely required to use “thine” when the following word begins with a vowel. In “Hamlet” Shakespeare writes:

      Nymph, in thy orisons be all my sins remembered.

      And sometimes an archaizing poet will use “mine” before a vowel, as in “Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord.” Today, “My” would be the accepted form.

      However, the forms “thine and “mine’ are absolutely required when the possessive pronoun is used post-positively:

      Those books are mine.
      The authority is thine.

      Reply
      • Brian Yapko

        Makes sense. Thank you very much for explaining the proper usage of these archaic forms, Joseph.

      • Lannie David Brockstein

        I commend you on having found that needle of a line in Shakespeare’s haystack.

        What more can be said in reply to that, other than the words of a devil’s advocate?

        Yes, th’argument that thou hast put forth is logical. However, not everything about th’English language is logical! Some things about it are quite silly, many of which are mentioned in “The Chaos” (1920) by Gerard Nolst Trenité: https://www.monologues.co.uk/004/Chaos-The.htm

        Speaking of silly, is it not remarkably silly for a line by Shakespeare, whose publications during his lifetime that he himself might not have supervised, to be cited as a solid example of grammatical correctness? Is it not possible that “thy orizons” in the earliest known copies of Hamlet is an error by its earliest actors, editors, or printers, and that “thy orisons” is an error of its later editors?

        It is not as though there is a known handwritten manuscript of Hamlet that Shakespeare himself did scribe. It is not as though he had the modern day opportunity of self-publishing his plays and poems onto a decentralized blockchain, such as Hive, Blurt, Steem, or Scorum, or the IPFS (InterPlanetary File System), or Filecoin, whose ledger is near to impossible to cancel, censor, change, or delete.

        “What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas”. Likewise, whatever is posted onto a decentralized blockchain stays on that decentralized blockchain.

        In part for the sake of posterity (since it is a pernicious practice of Left supremacist programming for all non-Leftist literature to be canceled, censored, changed, or deleted from the internet), I hope for The Society of Classical Poets to consider the importance of mirroring onto decentralized blockchains the content it publishes and has published.

        As for what has survived of Hamlet since the days of Shakespeare, when you mentioned “Nymph, in thy orisons be all my sins remembered”, you cited a modern day copy of Hamlet, rather than any of its earliest known copies.

        Regarding the earliest known copies of Hamlet, their facsimiles reveal that line has almost as many variants as Fauci’s Frankenvirus:

        Quarto 1 (1603) *note: I was not able to find a facsimile of its page that allegedly features this line:
        “Lady in thy orizons, be all my ſinnes remembred.”

        Quarto 2 (1604):
        “The faire Ophelia, Nimph, in thy orizons”

        First Folio (1623):
        “The faire Ophelia ? Nimph, in thy Orizons”

        Second Folio (1632):
        “The faire Ophelia? Nimph, in thy Horizons”

        Third Folio (1663)
        “The fair Ophelia ? Nymph, in thy Horizons”

        Fourth Folio (1685):
        “The fair Ophelia ? Nymph, in thy Horizons”

        That line is not exactly the same in any of the first five of the six earliest known copies of Hamlet.

        Furthermore, the words “orison” and “horizon” are not even the same word with the same meaning, let alone with the same accentuation.

        Yes, “orisons” rather than “orizons, Orizons, or Horizons” is a logical modern day speculation, but it is a stubborn fact that not one of the six earliest known copies of Hamlet features “oriſons” or “orisons” in that line.

        An example of Shakespeare specifically having used “oriſons”, rather than “orizons” appears in the earliest copies of Henry V, Act 2, Scene 2:

        Quarto 1 (1603):
        “Alas, your too much care and loue of me
        Are heauy oriſons gainſt the poore wretch,”

        First Folio (1623):
        “Alas, your too much loue and care of me,
        Are heauy Oriſons ’gainſt this poore wretch:”

        Second Folio (1632):
        “Alas, your too much love and care of me,
        Are heavie Oriſons ’gainſt this poore wretch :”

        Third Folio (1663):
        “Alas, your too much love and care of me,
        Are heavy Oriſons ’gain’ſt this poor wretch :”

        Fourth Folio (1685):
        “Alas, your too much love and care of me,
        Are heavie Oriſons ’gainſt this poor wretch :”

        I put forth the argument that the Quartos and Folios show that “orisons” being used in modern day copies of Hamlet is an error. If Shakespeare meant to have used “orisons” then why didn’t he use “oriſons” as he did in Henry V? Because he made a spelling mistake? If he made a spelling mistake, then why shouldn’t it be surmised that he also made a grammatical mistake in his having used “thy” rather than “thine”?

        Because that line in the earliest copies of Hamlet was altered so many times (with not one of them having changed “orizons” to “oriſons” or “orisons”), and because every dictionary defines “thine” as being used instead of “thy” when “thy” is placed before a word whose first letter is a vowel or h, it begs the question: Did that line in Hamlet as Shakespeare originally wrote it actually feature “thine” rather than “thy”? Was it changed from “thine” to “thy” by its earliest actors, editors, or printers?

        It is for more than one reason that the line in question from Shakespeare’s Hamlet is as problematic as a ballot from the 2020 U.S. presidential election! I accuse it of being ineligible to be cited as a solid example of grammatical correctness!

        As for “thy” and “my”, it is a fact that every dictionary defines both “thine” and “mine” as being used instead of “thy” or “my”, whenever “thy” or “my” is placed before a word whose first letter is a vowel or h.

        Yes, it is also a fact that modernists use “my” before a word whose first letter is a vowel or h.

        But that does not necessarily mean it is kosher for classicists when using “thy”, which is an archaic word, to have it remain as “thy” if placed before a word whose first letter begins with a vowel or h.

        Yes, it would be logical to do so, but logic is not necessarily the name of the game when observing the English language, as every dictionary also defines the plural of “goose” as “geese” and the plural of “moose” as…“moose”!

        What a silly language the English language sometimes is!

        If changing the definition of “thy” whereby it can be used before a word whose first letter is a vowel or h, then why not also change the plural of “moose” to “meese”?

        A key difference between “thy” and “my”, is that the former is always accented, whereas the latter is not necessarily accented. If it is now kosher for classicists to use “thy” before a word whose first letter is a vowel or h, then why shouldn’t “thy” be further changed whereby, like “my”, it also does not necessarily have to be accented?

        If so, then why shouldn’t every dictionary also change “mother” to “impregnated person”? Where does the Left supremacist narrative of Language Change end—when all humans have become mute, as portrayed in the original Planet of the Apes movie?

        Besides Shakespeare’s Hamlet, do you happen to know of any examples where a classical playwright or poet of antiquity who supervised the publication of their work used “thy” before a word whose first letter is a vowel or h?

        Also, do you happen to know of any examples from antiquity where a writer used “my” in the modern manner by means of their having placing it before a word that begins with a vowel or h? Did Shakespeare himself do that?

        When Brian wrote “To ever honor thy Impregnating Person”, was that actually an example of grammatical correctness, or was it really an example of him having exercised his poetic licence? Was he being objective or subjective? Was he being serious or silly?

        It might be that the argument you put forth is an objective argument. But without there being additional evidence presented that shows one or more classicists of antiquity who supervised the publication of their work having used “thy” before a word whose first letter is a vowel or h, it is a speculative argument that might also turn out to be a silly argument if we are using the greatest English language writers in history as our guide.

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