This thesis explores the politics of the tongue in Gertrude Stein's Tender Buttons (1913) and Caroline Bergvall's Fig (2005). By comparing and contrasting these two poets and their poetry, I investigate the interconnections between the sensual and the cerebral, the political and the corporeal, the intimate and the public matter that is language. My approach is phenomenological; inspired and instructed by Maurice Merleau-Ponty s Phenomenology of Perception. The discussion is structured into thee chapters: In the first, I argue that Stein s Food-poems call attention to the dual significance of taste; taste as a sense that is occupied by savouring food and language, and taste as in taste and manners; the tongue as a social marker that chooses to obey or break grammatical and other rules. In Chapter 2, I study the politics of the mouth in Bergvall s Fig; the politics of pronunciation, articulation and stuttering, what Bergvall calls slips of the tongue or of the culture . In the final chapter, I consider the ways in which Stein and Bergvall write to and from marginal positions, creating a poetry and poetics of strangeness that stimulate their readers to write back and participate in the language game.