Hilda Doolittle (1886 – 1961), known by her nom de plume H.D., was an American-born poet, novelist, translator, and essayist. Modernism, psychoanalysis, and feminism were all influences on her work, as were the effects of World Wars I and II. Following is a selection of poems by H.D. that speak to her experimental and innovative approach to the craft.
H.D has earned her place among iconic modernist writers including T.S. Eliot, Ezra Pound, Marianne Moore, and William Carlos Williams.Read More→
Anne Spencer, born Annie Bethel Bannister (February 6, 1882 – July 27, 1975), was an African-American poet, teacher, librarian, gardener, and civil rights activist. She’s best remembered as a prominent figure in the Harlem Renaissance. In this sampling of poems by Anne Spencer, we experience her affinity for nature, love, and life itself.
Spencer’s literary career began as she was a student in Virginia Seminary with her first poem, “The Skeptic.” After creating this poem, she continued to write on any surface she could find to record her thoughts, including the walls of her home and random scraps of paper. She was an outspoken advocate for women’s rights, civil rights, and granting the right of respect to everyone.
Rosario Castellanos (born Rosario Castellanos Figueroa; May 25, 1925 – August 7, 1974), author, poet, and diplomat, was one of Mexico’s most influential literary voices of the twentieth century. Presented here are eight poems by Rosario Castellanos in both in their original Spanish (poemas de Rosario Castellanos) and in English translation, exploring, among other themes, her views on religion and critique of cultural constraints.
After losing both parents in 1948, Castellanos was left to fend for herself. This tragic event along with the poem Endless Death by José Gorostiza marked the start of her career as a writer and cultural critic. Soon after, she enrolled in UNAM (National Autonomous University of Mexico) to study law, philosophy, and literature.
Castellanos’ work dealt with issues of culture and gender in her home country, and went on to become a significant influence on contemporary Mexican feminist theory and cultural studies.
Julia de Burgos, born Julia Constanza Burgos Garcia (February 17, 1914 – July 6, 1953), was a Puerto Rican poet, feminist, and civil rights activist for women and African/Afro-Caribbean writers.
After Burgos was awarded a scholarship to attend University High School in 1928, her family moved to Rio Piedras, which would influence her later on to write her first work, Rio Grande de Loiza. The writings of Luis Llorens Torres, Clara Lair, Rafael Alberti, and Pablo Neruda were among some of the people who influenced her career as a young poet.
By the early 1930s, Burgos had already become a published writer in journals and newspapers and she traveled all over Puerto Rico to give book readings. Much of her work contained a collection of the intimate, land, and social struggles of those oppressed on the island as well as her work personal struggles concerning her complicated love life. Read More→
Sara Teasdale (1884 – 1933) was well known in her time for lyric poetry that celebrated the beautiful things in life, even as she herself struggled with perpetual illness and loneliness. Born in St. Louis, Missouri, she was the daughter of wealthy parents.
In her young adult years in St. Louis, she was part of a group of creative, talented young women who called themselves the Potters. They hand-printed a magazine called The Potter’s Wheel, where Sara’s early poems were first published. This led to the publication of her first book, Sonnets to Duse and Other Poems in 1907. She was twenty-three at the time of its publication. Read More→