101 Poems by 101 Women by Germaine Greer (editor)

101 Poems by 101 Women

Germaine Greer (editor)

This anthology presents a wide cross-section of women poets and there's bound to be something for everyone. It's arranged roughly in chronological order, from the 16th to the 20th century. I found the poems easier to read the further I got. All are written from a woman's point of view, and for this woman reader, it was heartening to see these sometimes obscure but diverse women's voices through the ages affirmed and given space on the page.

Extract


Taking us by and large, we're a queer lot
We women who write poetry. And when you think
How few of us there have been, it's queerer still.
I wonder what it is that makes us do it,
Singles us out to scribble down, man-wise,
The fragments of ourselves. Why are we
Already mother-creatures, double-bearing,
With matrices in body and in brain?
I rather think that there is just the reason
We are so sparse a kind of human being;
The strength of forty thousand Atlases
Is need for our everyday concerns.

from The Sisters by Amy Lowell

Parallels
  • The World Split Open: Four Centuries of Women Poets in England and America by Louise Bernikow (editor)
  • The Women's Library - www.thewomenslibrary.ac.uk
  • The Bloodaxe Book of Contemporary Women Poets by Jeni Couzyn (editor)