8 Iconic Poems by Elizabeth Bishop

Elizabeth Bishop (1911 – 1979) the noted American poet, was recognized with numerous awards during the course of her career, including the Pulitzer Prize. Here you’ll find 8 iconic poems by Elizabeth Bishop that are among her best known.

Not a particularly prolific writer, Bishop published only 101 poems during her lifetime. Her literary reputation has grown since her death, with  poems like “One Art,” “A Miracle for Breakfast,” “Sestina,” and “The Fish.”

As a poet, Bishop took great care to rewrite and revise her work. She didn’t give the reader much of a glimpse into her own life, but instead, her poems contained intimate observations of the physical world. She often expressed themes of loss and the struggle to find one’s place in the world in universal rather than personal way. Read More→

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13 Modernist Poems by H.D. (Hilda Doolittle)

Hilda Doolittle (1886 – 1961), known by her nom de plume H.D., was an American-born poet, novelist, translator, and essayist. Following is a selection of poems by H.D. that speak to her experimental and innovative approach to the craft. 

Modernism, psychoanalysis, and feminism were all influences on her work, as were the effects of World Wars I and II. H.D earned her place among iconic modernist writers including T.S. Eliot, Ezra Pound, Marianne Moore, and William Carlos Williams.

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10 Poems by Anne Spencer about Nature, Love, and Life

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.

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8 Poems by Rosario Castellanos on Life, Culture, and Religion

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. 

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. 

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. 

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6 Poems by Julia de Burgos about Love and Identity

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→

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