Selections from Songs of the Elder Sisters (the Therīgāthā)

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→

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Renascence and Other Poems by Edna St. Vincent Millay (full text)

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→

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10 Spring-Themed Poems by Edna St. Vincent Millay

This year, as spring approached I took on the perspective of Emily Dickinson and slowly, tentatively, began to believe that hope — “the thing with feathers, that perches in the soul” — is real and possible. The poet that I instinctively read, and read again, was Edna St. Vincent Millay (1892 – 1950) and her observations on the spring season.

This bouquet of spring poetry that I culled from Millay’s poems seems to have a common thread: She is annoyed at spring’s exuberant beauty coming yearly, and becomes indifferent and slightly angry since nature’s exuberant beauty arrives when her heart is under torment once more and is experienced as something of an intrusion upon her grieving. Read More→

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10 Poems by Kamala Das, Confessional Poet of India

Kamala Das (1934 – 2009), the renowned Indian writer, wrote poetry and prose both in her mother tongue, Malayalam, and in English. Here, we’ll explore a sampling of poems by Kamala Das, who became known as a confessional poet.

Born Kamala Surayya, she was also known by her pen name, Madhavikutty, though her widest recognition was achieved as Kamala Das, her married name. She was known in her home state of Kerala for her short stories and autobiography, and in the rest of India, for her English poetry.

Her controversial autobiography, My Story, originally written in Malayalam, gained her much fame and notoriety. Later, it was translated into English. PoemHunter.org observes of her work: “Her open and honest treatment of female sexuality, free from any sense of guilt, infused her writing with power, but also marked her as an iconoclast in her generation.” Read More→

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10 Poems by Elinor Wylie 

Elinor Wylie (1885 – 1928) was a popular American poet and novelist in the 1920s and 1930s. Also widely known for her tumultuous personal life, many of her works offered insight into the difficulties of marriage and the impossible expectations that come with womanhood. 

Though Wylie is no longer widely read, she was a celebrated author in her lifetime, with a cult following in her pinnacle years. She was known for her passionate writing, fueled by ethereal descriptors, historical references, and feminist undertones. Read More→

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