WORDS & Women Poets

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Post copyright by Doris McCraw/Angela Raines-author

As promised, more poems and poets as a continuation of National Poetry Month.

We are writers, we use words. Words are our tools to make our imaginations come to life, be they prose, poetry or fiction. For many, poetry is not easily understood. Yet, for the poet, the picture story they paint with their words is golden. Poetry like painting is using brushstrokes of words to cover the canvas of paper. Also like painting, not everyone understands. But poets and poetry have been around almost since the beginning of time. Both women and men have used the form to tell their stories. Just look at the list of women poets and you will be amazed. Here is a list compiled on a Wikipedia site: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_female_poets It does not include everyone, but it is still pretty impressive.

Other than Helen, there have been women poets whose work brings out a corresponding response from me. I share with you some of these favorites and their works.

Leticia Elizabeth Landon – 1802 to1838. Google Books has her work “The Zenana, and minor poems of L.E.L” available for free download. She wrote in beautifully simple language, yet manages to touch your heart with her thoughts.

Sara Teasdale.gif
Sara Teasdale from en.wikipedia.org

Sara Teasdale – 1884 to 1933. Her poem “Soft Rains Will Come” speaks to the sadness I sometimes feel about humans. Twelve lines, yet the words so powerful.

There will come soft rains and the smell of the ground,
And swallows circling with their shimmering sound;
And frogs in the pools, singing at night,
And wild plum trees in tremulous white,
Robins will wear their feathery fire,
Whistling their whims on a low fence-wire;
And not one will know of the war, not one
Will care at last when it is done.
Not one would mind, neither bird nor tree,
If mankind perished utterly;
And Spring herself, when she woke at dawn,
Would scarcely know that we were gone.

Dorothy Parker – 1893 to 1967 well known for as a founding member of the Algonquin Round Table. Also known for her caustic wit, a trait that is a double edged sword. Hitting the truth in few words, but sometimes that truth is painful as in her poem “Résumé”

Razors pain you;
Rivers are damp;
Acids stain you,
And drugs cause cramp.
Guns aren’t lawful;
Nooses give;
Gas smells awful;
Might as well live.

Emma Lazarus from en.wikipedia.org

The final poet I leave you with is Emma Lazarus – 1849 to 1887. Her poem “The New Colossus” is part and parcel of America in the nineteenth century. I’m sure you will recognize the words.

Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.

“Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!” cries she
With silent lips. “Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

As you can see, we may curse when we can’t find the correct word. We can shout for joy as the muse sends them to us, but words are our stock and trade. As these women have shown, words are powerful, use them wisely.

Enjoy my haiku and photos at: http://fivesevenfivepage.blogspot.com

Angela Raines is the pen name for Doris McCraw. Originally from the mid-west, Doris now calls the Rocky Mountains her home. Doris is a writer, historian, actor,and teacher. An avid reader Doris loves to spend time in history archives looking for the small, unknown pieces of history. Many times these pieces end up in her stories or poems.  Like her author page to stay on top of her work.  http://amzn.to/1I0YoeL

“One Christmas Knight” Medieval Anthology

“Angel of Salvation Valley”




27 thoughts on “WORDS & Women Poets

  1. I love Dorothy Parker. And I knew Emma Lazarus, but Ms. Teasdale was a revelation to me. Her poem is simply haunting, isn’t it?


    1. Joe, you and me both on Parker. Teasdale’s work along with Landon’s have that haunting quality. I chose the ones that resonated with me, but the lovely thing about poetry is they affect each person differently. To me that’s the beauty of poetry. Thanks for stopping by to read and comment. Doris

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Love the Sarah Teasdale poem, and the others as well. Thank you for sharing these and giving us the opportunity to look up poets we may have never heard of. It’s always time to find a new favorite, isn’t it?


  3. Love the Sarah Teasdale poem especially, but there are many poets who have the ability to leave one contemplating the meaning of the work. I love poetry – thank you for making us aware of National Poet’s Month and for sharing some of your favorites and giving us links to enjoy them ourselves.


    1. It is stunning, isn’t it Linda? I’m glad you have enjoyed my offerings for this special month. My goal has been to bring to light some of my favorites, not necessarily those that everyone knows. Thanks Doris


  4. The Sara Teasdale poem is poignant and I love it. Really puts us humans in our place doesn’t it? Loved all the poems, learned something about the poem on the Statue of Liberty also, hadn’t realized or researched where those beautiful words came from before. Really enjoyed your post.


    1. Thank you Neva, Sara Teasdale’s poem has always struck a chord with me. I had remembered the poem by Lazarus, but not the whole. So glad you enjoyed these amazing poems and the poets who wrote them. Doris


  5. Very interesting choices, Doris. I hadn’t read the Emma Lazarus one before but it was easy to work out what she referred to. Impressive imagery.


  6. I have to agree with everybody else. Sara Teasdale poem is hauntingly beautiful. Going from rain to a statement about humanity’s lack of importance in the real world still rings true. Thank you, Doris.


    1. You are welcome Travis. Most of Sara Teasdale’s work hits you that way, but this one is my favorite of hers. Glad you enjoyed the post. Doris


  7. Wonderful post, Doris, and an amazing selection of poets and their poignant words! I tried poetry again today with first graders — didn’t go over very well, even though I had them writing about something I thought they’d like: the school’s therapy dog. SIGH…! I meet with 2nd and 3rd graders on Friday — that school also has a therapy dog; maybe they will like the activity better (I can only hope!) Thanks for a great post!


    1. You are so welcome! I’m glad you can also appreciate what amazing works women authors use.
      Sometimes kids get poetry and sometimes they don’t. When working detention, some of those kids wrote such beautiful and heartbreaking haikus. Here’s to a good 2nd & 3rd grade days. Doris


  8. There’s a Ray Bradbury story titled “There Will Come Soft Rains” that was in a textbook I taught from years ago in high school English. Part of the poem is quoted in it, but I missed the connection with Sara Teasdale. Thank you. My favorite of hers is “Morning Song”:

    A diamond of a morning
    Waked me an hour too soon;
    Dawn had taken in the stars
    And left the faint white moon.
    O white moon, you are lonely,
    It is the same with me,
    But we have the world to roam over,
    Only the lonely are free.


    1. Kathy, I’m glad you were able to make that connection to the Bradbury story. “Morning Song” is also a winner in my book also. There are so many women poets that seem to get lost between the cracks. Doris


  9. I guess it’s great that it’s national Poetry month. Without thinking aboit ot, I have written several poems thus month, and read even. I love poetry, and I love the way you pit yours wutg photos. Cher’ley


    1. Cher’ley, I think there is something about the coming of Spring that brings out the poet in all of us. Like you, I’ve read and written more than usual. Doris


  10. Wonderful post, Doris. Always good to remember that so many images of America we hold dear came from poems. For years I had a Ray Bradbury book of a short stories and poems, I believe it was a high school era gift.


    1. Mike, Ray Bradbury was a treasure. What a gift to have. I think what most people forget is in the 18th & 19th centuries, poetry was so immensely popular. Any author worth their weight wrote poetry. We are the recipents and what gifts they left us. Doris


  11. Doris, I don’t read much poetry but I enjoyed your post. Like everyone else, I found Sara Teasdale’s poem to be so beautiful yet sad. And I have to admit, I learned something by reading this and the comments. I didn’t know Ray Bradbury wrote poetry. And I love Ray Bradbury.


    1. Sarah, I do know Bradbury was one of a kind. Most of Teasdale’s work is so haunting, but I do love her use of language. I have an writer/editor friend who encourages writers to write poetry. She feels it helps language use.

      Thanks for stopping and reading some poetry. (Smile) Doris


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