Rachel Field (1894 – 1942) was a National Book Award winning novelist and a Newbery Medal winner. Her plays were produced all over the country, and she was a sought-after writer in Hollywood by the time her life ended abruptly in 1942. But when interviewers asked her which of her writings she liked best, she always said it was her poetry. I have to agree and perhaps you will, too, after sampling these poems by Rachel Field.
It was Rachel Field’s poetry that first caught my interest when I moved into her old summer house on an island in Maine in 1994, partly because so much of her poetry referenced both interior and exterior island scenes that were intimately familiar to me. She lived eight months of the year in New York City, and her urban poetry sparkles with the same genuine delight as her verses about the seaside. Rachel’s reverence for beauty ran deep. Read More→
India is a rich mosaic when it comes to languages, cultures and states. This diverse selection keeps in mind the feminist angle as it journeys from the 12th century through the 21st. These classic Indian women poets are presented here in order of birth, from Akka Mahadevi (1130-1160) through Meena Alexander (1951-2018).
Though all have passed on, their voices and influence echo through the ages. Pictured at right, Kamala Das as a young woman.
A poet has the ability to bring to the light our most inexpressible fears and doubts. When the subject is aging – the subject most of us try to avoid – it is the poets we turn to find the comfort and the clarity we need. Grace Paley is one of the poets who can instruct the heart and mind on living with death, as evidenced by this selection of her poems on aging.
For the last ten years of her life, Grace wrote poetry on the complexities of living with death as we grow older. “Nature takes its course,” is how we have been instructed to perceive our passing, but what about our other contradictory emotions and realities. Read More→
Songs of the Elder Sisters were composed during the Buddha’s lifetime, about 2,500 years ago. These women renounced home life and society, and joined the group of nuns founded by the Buddha. This selection of 14 poems from the Buddhist text known as the Therīgāthā were translated from Pāli by Francis Booth. See more of this translation of Songs of the Elder Sisters on Issuu.
These poignant songs are about loss of beauty, wealth and family, balanced by the greater gains of peace and wisdom through enlightenment in old age. All the songs are ascribed to particular women, whose names we know. They speak as individuals, not as wives, mothers and daughters. Read More→
Renascence and Other Poems by Edna St. Vincent Millay (1917) was the first published collection by this eminent American poet. The book’s title reflects Millay’s 1912 poem of the same name, published when she was just nineteen, and still considered one of her finest. Here you’ll find the full text of this work.
From Dover, a recent publisher of this work that’s now in the public domain:
The poems of Edna St. Vincent Millay (1892–1950) have been long admired for the lyric beauty that is especially characteristic of her early works. “Renascence,” the first of her poems to bring her public acclaim, was written when she was nineteen. Now one of the best-known American poems, it is a fervent and moving account of spiritual rebirth. Read More→