This article examines the trope of withdrawal in the works of Li Yin (1616-85) and Huang Yuanjie (ca. 1620-ca. 1669), two women poets of the Ming-Qing transition period. It explores how the trope was constructed and constantly modified in literati discourses, and how women writers appropriated it for self-representation. The trope of withdrawal contributes to the poetic delineation of the writers’ life experiences, allowing the speaking-voice agency and new subject positions denied to them in reality, while closely relating to the writers’ fantasies, anxieties, self-introspection, and social critiques.