Inspirational poetry from some of our favorite non-binary and female poets, including Carol Ann Duffy, Maya Angelou, and Sylvia Plath.
"Portrait of Eve as Anaconda" by Safiya Sinclair
Aguardianmost anticipated book of 2020,cannibalsis the exciting debut of Safiya Sinclair. Watch Safiya perform a poem, "Portrait of Eve as the Anaconda" below, and read more about the entire collection of hers and Safiya's inspiration behind this poem in her own words here.
'cannibalsis an exploration of home, Jamaican femininity, linguistic exile, and decolonizationStormquestioning what it means to be "wild".
Audre Lorde believed that poetry is not only firmly rooted in some kind of female erotic power, but that poetry in its most basic sense is always paramount. "Portrait of Eve as Anaconda" began with a historical fact: Victorian women were prohibited from practicing botany because men thought cross sections of flowers looked too much like female genitalia; that our anatomy was considered too vulgar. She wanted this poem to inhabit vulgarity, to find beauty in it. One night, wanting to return to the paradise of my body, I began to imagine Eva's voice, or was it the serpent? He wanted to cultivate a new poetics of the tropics. A heliopoetic. Something that sounded like the carnal music of the Jamaican countryside where nothing is polished. If nature is vulgar, let us also be vulgar in this body. Let's be rude.
"To the Hill We Climb" by Amanda Gorman
Amanda Gorman captivated audiences around the world with her moving rendition of her inspirational poem "The Hill We Climb" at the inauguration of Joe Biden. Gorman is a poet and activist whose work focuses on oppression, feminism, race, and exclusion, and she was named America's first National Youth Poet in 2017, at just nineteen years old. your collection of poemsThe hill we climbed and other poemsIt will be released in September 2021.
Hotel Art, Barcelona de Rachel Long
Rachel Long is a poet and director of the Octavia Poetry Collective for Women of Color, formed in response to a lack of inclusion and representation in the world of poetry. Shortlisted for the 2014 London Young Poet Laureate, her work has appeared in The London Magazine, Magma, & Filigree: An Anthology of Contemporary Black British Poetry. Here she introduces herselfMy love of lions, and the first poem in the collection, 'Hotel Art, Barcelona'.
My love of lionsIt's a collection of poems about childhood, home, hair, sex, shame, race, class, and Barbie men in fast cars.
It's about desire and disappointment, not about what should be in the bag but about something different, something unexpected but really beautiful.
'Hotel Art, Barcelona' is the first poem in the collection because it is about a moment that is most like a climax, a state of being totally in love, holding your breath the whole time (remember that?), not me, not totally (except through this poem, poems usually know and remember things better than you do). The poem is both a memorial and a doorway to understanding yourself, both before and after, through the lens of being in love with someone else.
We ate roses on a roof. The Mediterranean below us.
Again they serve clouds, I say.
Are they fluffy or black?
The waiter does not answer.
All the tables are white except ours.
We sit on a bare block of wood. Ancient;
There is enough age difference here,
they must have added up to 200 years?
The razor blades arrive in a straight line.
What's going on?
We talk about children. maybe it's the wine
or why my stomach starts to clench
against the bones of my dress. You say,
I don't think I identify with a brown child.
pour your sparkling water.
You only notice your steak.
I spin it three times in the bathroom mirror.
I decide that I will not stay like this forever.
I don't look like that now.
Dessert is air from a porcelain pump.
And if he has your eyes?I dare,
after another glass.
Back in our borrowed bathroom, I'm throwing up rose foam
A blade of grass. who saysThatnot a daughter
I'll meet you on the porch. you hold me from behind
lean in, count. 🇧🇷 🇧🇷
We have as many floors as our age difference.
Why do you always have to...
Psst.You lift up my dress, I have my legs shoulder width apart
this is not love - Grabbing a fence in the sky.
"Hope Is That Thing With Feathers" by Emily Dickinson
Emily Dickinson spent much of her life in isolation, corresponding almost exclusively with pen pals. Although she was a prolific poet, fewer than a dozen of her poems were published during her lifetime, and it was only after her death that the breadth of her work became known. She today she is considered an important American poet. Her inspirational poem "Hope is the thing with feathers" is one of her most popular.
"Hope" is what has feathers -
What stays in the soul
And sing the melody without the words –
And it never stops - never -
And the sweetest thing - in the storm - is to listen -
And the storm must be painful -
That could embarrass the birdie.
That kept so many warm -
I heard it in the coldest land -
And in the strangest sea –
But never, in extreme cases,
It required a crumb—from me.
taken byShe's Wild: Poems of Brave, Courageous, and Beautiful Women
"Still I Rise" by Maya Angelou
The incredibly prolific and inspiring American poet, author of seven autobiographies, actress, civil rights activist, producer, and director passed away in 2014, leaving behind a body of work that celebrates black beauty, the power of women, and the human spirit. In 2017 she celebrated her life in the documentaryMaya Angelou: And I still get up, which included interviews with Oprah Winfrey, Hilary Clinton, Quincy Jones and Maya Angelou herself. Still I Rise is an inspirational poem for women around the world.
"You can shoot me with your words,
You can cut me with your eyes
You can kill me with your hate
But still I will rise like the air.”
taken byShe's Wild: Poems of Brave, Courageous, and Beautiful Women
Hear Serena Williams reading Maya Angelou's "Still I Rise" in the video below, which was recorded before Serena won the 2016 Wimbledon women's tennis final, her 22nd Grand Slam, tying Steffi Graf's all-time record.
"Disagreements" by Wendy Cope
A true national treasure, Wendy Cope's poetry is one of Britain's most accessible and beloved poets. She is perhaps best known for her sense of humor. However, her poetry contains an element of feminism and a political commitment that is often misunderstood.
"The Planet Spins"
"Little Red Hood" by Carol Ann Duffy
Award-winning Scottish poet Carol Ann Duffy was the first openly gay poet to be named the UK's Poet Laureate. Although her poetry often has a strong feminist bent,the woman of the worldin particular, it is classic feminist poetry in which Duffy gives voice to the wives of famous historical and fictional heroes.
"I leave the forest with my flowers, singing, alone."
Buy the woman of the world
"Beasts" by Jackie Kay
The Poetry Collection of Scotland's National Poet Jackie Kayexhibitsis the story of the search for his birth parents in Nigeria and the Highlands and an in-depth investigation of all forms of human friendship. Filled with Scottish and Igbo languages, it is also a fascinating account of the formation of self-identity.
Oh hair, it's not silver, no,
or go away for a while,
But we had a whirlwind and a bombshell girl
through the scorching winter, through the spring, through the summer.”
"What are these times?" by Adrienne Rich
One of America's leading public intellectuals, widely read and enormously influential, Rich's career spanned seven decades. A lesbian and radical feminist, Rich has devoted her life's work to exploring the relationship between poetry and politics.
"Why do you keep listening, because at times like this
for you to hear it is necessary
to talk about trees.
The woman that boy became Kae Tempest
An award-winning rapper, poet, author, and playwright, Kae Tempest is known for her intense and haunting live performances. Her poetry reflects contemporary life with an incomparable voice.
"You could tell it wasn't from
the same place as the rest
"Mathematics" by Hollie McNish
Wise, forceful, insightful, and utterly unique: Hollie McNish's poetry spans her personal experiences from childhood to motherhood and friendship to soccer, all included in her 2017 collection.plum🇧🇷 Her performances were viewed by millions on YouTube and she was considered the most important spoken word artist of her generation.
"What happens if I meet these paper requirements
That of each new thing that arrived
Take your daily wage
I want desperately to scream
Your math is stuck in elementary school.
"Progress," by Rupi Kaur
Rupi Kaur explored topics such as feminism, body image, violence, and her experience as a first-generation immigrant, and began posting her poetry and illustrations to Instagram in her early twenties. your debut collectionmilk and honeybecame a New York Times Best Seller when it was published in 2014. Rupi Kaur's new collection of poems,The sun and its flowers.It will be released in October 2017.
'our work must provide,
the next generation of women
"Progress," by Rupi Kaur
"Interview" by Dorothy Parker
Acclaimed poet, short story writer, critic, and Academy Award-nominated screenwriter, Dorothy Parker's trenchant wit made her a legend, but also concealed her battle with depression. Her poetry reveals both the splendor and the darkness of decadent New York in the 1920s and 1930s.
"Admiring women's men, I heard
I would shudder at a bad word.
"Lady Lazarus" de Sylvia Plath
Although she only published one collection of poetry in her lifetime, Sylvia Plath is one of the defining voices of 20th century poetry.
"Coming from the ashes
I wake up with my red hair
And as men like the air.
If you're looking for more inspiration and want to dig into new poetry, check out our Book Break episode celebrating new poetry, includingshe is fiercea collection of bold, beautiful and courageous poems written by women.
Photo credit Safiya Sinclair: ©Nadia Albano
Photo credit Rachel Long: ©Amaal Said
- Still I Rise by Maya Angelou.
- Sonnet 18 by William Shakespeare.
- O Captain! My Captain! by Walt Whitman.
- The Raven by Edgar Allan Poe.
- Do not go gentle into that good night by Dylan Thomas.
- i carry your heart with me by e.e. cummings.
- Power by Audre Lorde.
- The Road Not Taken by Robert Frost.
- Sappho, The Lyric Poetess.
- Elizabeth Barrett Browning And Romanticism.
- Elizabeth Bishop, The Travelling Poet.
- Gwendolyn Brooks, A Poetic Genius.
- Maya Angelou, The Heart Of Modern America.
- Sylvia Plath.
- Emily Dickinson.
- Rupi Kaur.
Women are portrayed as toys in her poems, and she expresses her own self- deprecation. The female form appears in her work as a skeletal skeleton. A woman's ideas and feelings have been effectively conveyed by Kamala Das in her portrayal of a woman's mind and emotions. Poet of love Kamala Das is the best.Is Maya Angelou a feminist poet? ›
Maya Angelou is one of woman writers who uses feminism approach in her work. In her poems, Angelou expresses about the woman during racial discrimination, segregation, and male domination.What are some meaningful poems? ›
- Sir Edward Dyer, 'My Mind to Me a Kingdom Is'. ...
- 2. Walt Whitman, 'Song of Myself'. ...
- Emily Dickinson, '“Hope” is the Thing with Feathers'. ...
- W. E. Henley, 'Invictus'. ...
- Rudyard Kipling, 'If—'. ...
- Max Ehrmann, 'Desiderata'. ...
- Langston Hughes, 'Dreams'. ...
- Philip Larkin, 'Coming'.
- William Carlos Williams, “The Red Wheelbarrow” ...
- T. S. Eliot, “The Waste Land” ...
- Robert Frost, “The Road Not Taken” ...
- Gwendolyn Brooks, “We Real Cool” ...
- Elizabeth Bishop, “One Art” ...
- Emily Dickinson, “Because I could not stop for Death –” ...
- Langston Hughes, “Harlem”