I, Being born a Woman and Distressed (Sonnet XLI) by Edna St Vincent Millay, circa 1931 When I read this as a teenager, my eyes nearly popped out of my head. How outrageous for a female voice to take on the sonnet. Instead of declarations of eternal love and lyrical descriptions of cheeks and lips, it is a gorgeously efficient, pragmatic, startling dismissal of a lover. SO unladylike. Wow.