Poetry

The poetry of Christina Rossetti: A 19th-century analysis

This appreciation and in-depth analysis of the poetry of Christina Rossetti (1830–1894), the esteemed English romantic poet, is excerpted from Essays by Arthur Christopher Benson, published by William Heinemann (London), 1896.

Rich in insights and references to other poets of the period, this essay and the book from which it came are in the public domain. Read More→


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Enough Rope: Poems by Dorothy Parker (1926) — full text

It’s almost a cliché to say that Dorothy Parker (1893–1967) was known for her acid wit, but that’s an accurate way to describe her acerbic style. Enough Rope: Poems by Dorothy Parker (1926) was her first published collection of verse. This collection includes the much-anthologized verses “Résumé” and “One Perfect Rose.”

In addition to verse, Parker wrote short stories, essays, and reviews. She was one of the founding members of the Algonquin Roundtable, an exclusive group of eminent New York City writers in the early twentieth century.

Published by Boni and Liveright (NY) in 1926, Enough Rope is dedicated “To Elinor Wylie” a highly regarded poet of the era. A credit line reads: “The verses in this book were first printed in LifeVanity FairThe New Yorker, and The New York World.” Read More→


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Second April by Edna St. Vincent Millay (1921) – Full text

For Edna St. Vincent Millay, 1921 proved to be the year she broke through. A Few Figs from Thistles, her first major collection after Renascence and Other Poems (1917), explored, among other themes, love and female sexuality. It was soon followed by Second April, also published in 1921. 

Second April, which is in the public domain, is presented here in full. The poems dealt with love, heartbreak, nature, and death. These 1921 publications catapulted her to superstar status, something rarely achieved by a poet, before or since.

Throughout the 1920s — call them The Roaring Twenties or the Jazz Age — Vincent, as she was known by those closest to her, recited to enthusiastic, sold-out crowds during her many reading tours at home and abroad. Read More→


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The Early Poetry of Gabriela Mistral (Lucila Godoy Alcayaga)

Born in poverty, Lucila Godoy Alcayaga could never have predicted the lofty global reputation she would achieve as the Nobel Prize-winning poet Gabriela Mistral (1889–1957). Presented here are several of Gabriela Mistral’s early poems that appeared in regional Chilean publications, primarily from 1905 and 1908, when she was in her teens.

Though there was a gap in her published poetry from 1906 to 1907, she continued to write, contributing prose pieces to local publications, particularly La Serena.

These poems presented here in are in Spanish only, as it’s unclear whether they have ever been professionally translated into English or other languages until now. Perhaps someone will discover them and undertake this worthy task.

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The Harp-Weaver and Other Poems by Edna St. Vincent Millay (1922)-full text

1923 was a banner year for Edna St. Vincent Millay. She won the Pulitzer Prize for poetry for her fourth volume of poems, The Harp-Weaver and Other Poems (published in 1922).

She was only the second person to receive a Pulitzer for poetry, and the first woman to win the prize. Following is the full text of this collection.

That year, Vincent also embarked on an unconventional marriage with Eugen Jan Boissevain. The handsome Dutch importer was a kindhearted man twelve years her senior, and she married him when, as her erstwhile lover Edmund Wilson saw it, “she was tired of breaking hearts and spreading havoc.” Read More→


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