Premenstrual Syndrome

Nelson, Sharon

Primary Category: Literature / Poetry

Genre: Poem

Annotated by:
Squier, Harriet
  • Date of entry: Oct-07-1997


The narrator of this poem describes all the kinds of things that disrupt your life when you experience PMS (premenstrual syndrome): impatience, dissatisfaction, irritability, temper, feeling overwhelmed. You notice that others avoid you, your doctor tries to treat your symptoms, and everyone sympathizes with those around you for how difficult you are making their lives. In the end, though, how does a woman know that her PMS-related perceptions aren’t really the accurate ones, that her temporary unhappiness isn’t really justified, or that her everyday comforts aren’t illusions?


At first this poem seems to be a lighthearted recounting of all the irritating characteristics of PMS that affect women and men either directly or indirectly. As the poem ends, though, the premise of the poem suddenly changes, and we are asked to question what the "real" view of the world actually is. It would be an interesting discussion to ask male readers if they would put up with the kinds of daily chores and responsibilities that many women do, and if it is reasonable to expect women to not be irritable as a result of them.

Primary Source

The Work of Our Hands


The Muses' Company



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