Poetry

Nets to Catch the Wind by Elinor Wylie (1921) – full text

Elinor Wylie (1885- 1928) was an American poet and novelist who had her heyday in the 1920s and 1930s. Her poetry was considered by some a modern successor to the romantic poets, and she was compared favorably with John Donne and Percy Shelley. Following is the full text of Nets to Catch the Wind (1921), her first officially published collection.

In her lifetime, she was celebrated nearly as much for her ethereal beauty and charm as for her talent. Her love life was marked by heartbreak, multiple marriages, and affairs.

Born Elinor Morton, she was stalked for years by the much-older Horace Wylie, a married attorney and father of three. Given her ultimate renown under the name Elinor Wylie, she might have echoed the immortal line by Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre “Reader, I married him” — but with greater scandal. Read More→


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10 Poems by Gertrudis Gómez de Avellaneda on Faith, Feeling, and Romance

Gertrudis Gómez de Avellaneda y Arteaga (March 23, 1814 – February 1, 1873), a Cuban-born Spanish writer, was considered one of the greatest romantic poets of the nineteenth century. Presented here are ten poems by Gertrudis Gómez de Avellaneda, both in their original Spanish (poemas) and in English translation, exploring her views on religion and romance.

Much of the themes in Avellaneda’s work focuses on her experiences living in a male-dominated society. She also wrote about themes of love, feminism, an evolving world, and her experience being exiled from Cuba.

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11 Poems by Angelina Weld Grimké on Love, Longing, & Race

Angelina Weld Grimké (1880 – 1958) was an American playwright, poet, and educator best known for being a figure in the Harlem Renaissance of the 1920s. Following is a selection of poems by Angelina Weld Grimké on love, race, nature, and other subjects that preoccupied her.

Born in Boston, Massachusetts, Grimké was part of a family of biracial civil rights activists, and in earlier generations, abolitionists. Her father served some time as the Vice-President of the NAACP. Her great-aunts (including the similarly named Angelina Grimké Weld) were well-known abolitionists and advocates for women’s rights in the 19th century. They were significant influences for Grimké’s use of literature as a propagandist tool. Read More→


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10 Classic Latina Poets to Discover and Read

There are so many more classic Latina poets to discover (or rediscover) than is possible to list in one post. But for those just getting acquainted with this area of Spanish literature, you’ll find a good starting point here. Shown at right, Rosario Castellanos.

Presented here is a sampling of poets whose works have been fairly extensively translated into English, or whose achievements in their home countries were significant. The Latina poets listed following represent Cuba, Puerto Rico, a number of South American countries, Mexico, and Spain.

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A Few Figs from Thistles by Edna St. Vincent Millay (1921)

Presented here is the full text of A Few Figs from Thistles: Poems and Sonnets by Edna St. Vincent Millay (1892 – 1950). A Few Figs from Thistles was her second collection, published in 1921. 

As a poet, Millay is considered as a major twentieth-century figure in the genre. Wildly popular, and actually famous as a poet in her lifetime, she’s no longer as widely read and studied, though still well regarded in the field of poetry.

The poetry in this collection explored love and female sexuality, among other themes. In the poems, including the oft-quoted “First Fig,” Millay both celebrates and satirizes herself. Read More→


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