Women Poets

Women Poets

Throughout history women poets have left a significant mark on literature and society. For a list of Women Poets view: Female Poets

 

Women Poets throughout history

Poetry has often been an outlet and means of expression for women who often experienced constraints by society. One of the earliest women poets Sumangalamata expressed this sentiment through her poetry

“A woman well set free! How free I am,
How wonderfully free, from kitchen drudgery.
Free from the harsh grip of hunger,
And from empty cooking pots,
Free too of that unscrupulous man,
The weaver of sunshades.
Calm now, and serene I am,
All lust and hatred purged.
To the shade of the spreading trees I go
And contemplate my happiness”


One of India’s greatest saints and poets was Mirabai. Throughout her life she suffered from the approbation of her family who disproved of her devotional life. However Mirabai was unaffected by the displeasure of society and remained steadfast in her devotion to Krishna, her Beloved

” I do not care about social norms
Nor do I keep my family’s honour.
I cannot forget, even for a moment,
The beauty of my lover.
I am dyed in Hari’s colour. “

- Mirabai


Emily Dickinson was a women poet who during her life lived a sheltered and fairly anonymous life. Some felt that to live the life of a recluse was to live devoid of excitement and joy. However through her poetry Emily Dickinson reveals that she could offer a timeless reminder of the inner potentialities of the spirit.

“‘T is so much joy! ‘T is so much joy!
If I should fail, what poverty!
And yet, as poor as I
Have ventured all upon a throw;
Have gained! Yes! Hesitated so
This side the victory!  “

- Emily Dickinson


Contemporary Women Poets

These are the contemporary women poets available at Poetseers


 The Sun

by Mary Oliver

Have you ever seen
anything
in your life
more wonderful

than the way the sun,
every evening,
relaxed and easy,
floats toward the horizon

and into the clouds or the hills,
or the rumpled sea,
and is gone–
and how it slides again

out of the blackness,
every morning,
on the other side of the world,
like a red flower

streaming upward on its heavenly oils,
say, on a morning in early summer,
at its perfect imperial distance–
and have you ever felt for anything
such wild love–
do you think there is anywhere, in any language,
a word billowing enough
for the pleasure

that fills you,
as the sun
reaches out,
as it warms you

as you stand there,
empty-handed–
or have you too
turned from this world–

or have you too
gone crazy
for power,
for things?