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THE WOMEN S MOVEMENT OF THE 1960s 70s AND 80s generated an extraordinary outpouring of poetry that captured an age of expectancy of defiant purpose and exuberant exploration Here brought together for the first time are the poems that gave voice to a revolution including works by Sylvia Plath Adrienne Rich Muriel Rukeyser Anne Sexton Sonia Sanchez Lucille Clifton May Swenso THE WOMEN S MOVEMENT OF THE 1960s 70s AND 80s generated an extraordinary outpouring of poetry that captured an age of expectancy of defiant purpose and exuberant exploration Here brought together for the first time are the poems that gave voice to a revolution including works by Sylvia Plath Adrienne Rich Muriel Rukeyser Anne Sexton Sonia Sanchez Lucille Clifton May Swenson Alice Walker Anne Waldman Sharon Olds and many others THE WOMENS MOVEMENT OF THE 1960s 70s AND 80s generated an extraordinary outpouring of poetry that captured an age of expectancy of defiant purpose and exuberant exploration Here brought together for the first time are the poems that gave voice to a revolution including works by Sylvia Plath Adrienne Rich Muriel Rukeyser Anne Sexton Sonia Sanchez Lucille Clifton May Swenson Alice Walker Anne Waldman Sharon Olds and many others THE WOMENS MOVEMENT OF THE 1960s 70s AND 80s generated an extraordinary outpouring of poetry that captured an age of expectancy of defiant purpose and exuberant exploration Here brought together for the first time are the poems that gave voice to a revolution including works by Sylvia Plath Adrienne Rich Muriel Rukeyser Anne Sexton Sonia Sanchez Lucille Clifton May Swenson Alice Walker Anne Waldman Sharon Olds and many others


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THE WOMEN S MOVEMENT OF THE 1960s 70s AND 80s generated an extraordinary outpouring of poetry that captured an age of expectancy of defiant purpose and exuberant exploration Here brought together for the first time are the poems that gave voice to a revolution including works by Sylvia Plath Adrienne Rich Muriel Rukeyser Anne Sexton Sonia Sanchez Lucille Clifton May Swenso THE WOMEN S MOVEMENT OF THE 1960s 70s AND 80s generated an extraordinary outpouring of poetry that captured an age of expectancy of defiant purpose and exuberant exploration Here brought together for the first time are the poems that gave voice to a revolution including works by Sylvia Plath Adrienne Rich Muriel Rukeyser Anne Sexton Sonia Sanchez Lucille Clifton May Swenson Alice Walker Anne Waldman Sharon Olds and many others THE WOMENS MOVEMENT OF THE 1960s 70s AND 80s generated an extraordinary outpouring of poetry that captured an age of expectancy of defiant purpose and exuberant exploration Here brought together for the first time are the poems that gave voice to a revolution including works by Sylvia Plath Adrienne Rich Muriel Rukeyser Anne Sexton Sonia Sanchez Lucille Clifton May Swenson Alice Walker Anne Waldman Sharon Olds and many others THE WOMENS MOVEMENT OF THE 1960s 70s AND 80s generated an extraordinary outpouring of poetry that captured an age of expectancy of defiant purpose and exuberant exploration Here brought together for the first time are the poems that gave voice to a revolution including works by Sylvia Plath Adrienne Rich Muriel Rukeyser Anne Sexton Sonia Sanchez Lucille Clifton May Swenson Alice Walker Anne Waldman Sharon Olds and many others

30 review for Poems from the Women's Movement (American Poets Project)

  1. 5 out of 5

    Kimber

    It's very likely that the women's movement truly began in literature and poetry for when women had the power and ability to put pen to paper is where we began to get free. The famous lines by Muriel Rukeyser, "What would happen if one woman told the truth about her life?" (Foretelling the words "me too" by Turana Burke in 2006) Answer: "the world would split open"

  2. 4 out of 5

    Elevate Difference

    It’s debatable whether collections of work by “women poets” (or, shudder, “poetesses”) are legitimate groupings. I tend to regard these types of collections with a raised eyebrow, imagining a group of women having an outdoor party, having been shut out of some stuffy jackets-required club, now herded together and pushed through the doors all at once to their dismay. But in Poems from the Women's Movement, the poems are linked with a real thread, a socio-political movement, making this anthology It’s debatable whether collections of work by “women poets” (or, shudder, “poetesses”) are legitimate groupings. I tend to regard these types of collections with a raised eyebrow, imagining a group of women having an outdoor party, having been shut out of some stuffy jackets-required club, now herded together and pushed through the doors all at once to their dismay. But in Poems from the Women's Movement, the poems are linked with a real thread, a socio-political movement, making this anthology a historical, artistic, and literary record of the consciousness of the movement in both its broadness and diversity. In a concise, warm introduction that places the poems in a context of not just the movement, but the greater American poetry landscape, Editor Honor Moore, explains that the scope of the volume begins with Plath, whose posthumous Ariel was published in 1966, and ends with the early 1980s. The first poem in the volume, Plath’s “The Applicant,” is a shudder-inducing representation of what the movement fought against: the repeated manipulation of a woman-object in morphing professional and marital tests ending with a repetition of “marry it, marry it, marry it” that is frightening as hell. With anthologies always come quibbles of overrepresentation or exclusion (and those more widely read than I can take it up below in the comments), but the former doesn’t seem possible with this smallish volume—under 250 pages all told—and it seems that Moore has taken great care to include poems on diverse topics and poets with varied perspectives. There are poems on previously taboo subjects like abortion, pregnancy, and rape, as well as those that arise from a collective female and simply human conscience. Marge Piercy, whose “Secretary Chant” is anthologized all over, is represented not by that poem, but by the more serious “Rape Poem” and the resonant “The Nuisance”—“I want you to want me/as simply and variously/as a cup of hot coffee.” This theme, the want of a woman to be wanted—probably a want of men, too, but perhaps they’re historically less likely to say it—and a can’t live with/without ’em scenario also appears in Maureen Owen’s “Wanting You”: “this need I have to sleep beside you / that has caused all the trouble in my life.” And I can’t stop thinking about the feeling of collective motherhood expressed in Audre Lorde’s “To My Daughter the Junkie on the Train”: Little girl on the nod if we are measured by dreams we avoid then you are the nightmare of all sleeping mothers . . . My corrupt concern will not replace what you once needed Reading the poems in this volume feels familial: the secrets and stories within them are directly responsible and continue to nurture the privileges I exercise today, without serious conflict, as a woman, writer, wife, and mother. This great little volume is well designed and full of wisdom, and I’m thankful to have it in hand. Review by Jonelle Seitz

  3. 4 out of 5

    Leslie

    I very much enjoyed this small collection of poetry. I had not previously contemplated the movement through the lens of poetry, nor considered its impact on the movement. The poems are very diverse and provide a quick snapshot into each one's historic moment in time.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Melissa

    “What would happen if one woman told the truth about her life? / The world would split open.” ~ Muriel Rukeyser In this collection of poetry, one woman doesn’t tell the truth about her life. Many women do. And if the poets represented in this collection aren’t speaking about personal experience, they’re writing about the collective experience of so many women throughout the generations. These poems are raw but truthful. Uncomfortable but honest. They take no prisoners and have a no-holds-barred men “What would happen if one woman told the truth about her life? / The world would split open.” ~ Muriel Rukeyser In this collection of poetry, one woman doesn’t tell the truth about her life. Many women do. And if the poets represented in this collection aren’t speaking about personal experience, they’re writing about the collective experience of so many women throughout the generations. These poems are raw but truthful. Uncomfortable but honest. They take no prisoners and have a no-holds-barred mentality. They deal with subjects that today are still, in some circles, taboo to discuss. This is not an easy collection of poems to read, but for those interested in women’s history and women writers, it’s a worthy one.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Julie Ehlers

    Poems from the Women's Movement came out eight years ago, but I wasn't in any rush to read it, because the title made me think it collected work by second-wave activists—i.e., mostly amateur poets. That turned out not to be the case at all! Instead, this book is filled with the writing of women who changed the face of poetry as activists were changing the place of women in the larger world: Sylvia Plath, Anne Sexton, Audre Lorde, Adrienne Rich, Alice Walker, and many other well-known poets grace Poems from the Women's Movement came out eight years ago, but I wasn't in any rush to read it, because the title made me think it collected work by second-wave activists—i.e., mostly amateur poets. That turned out not to be the case at all! Instead, this book is filled with the writing of women who changed the face of poetry as activists were changing the place of women in the larger world: Sylvia Plath, Anne Sexton, Audre Lorde, Adrienne Rich, Alice Walker, and many other well-known poets grace its pages, and the poems chosen are mostly excellent. I was excited to get a sampling of some poets I've always meant to read, including Sonia Sanchez, Eileen Myles, and Muriel Rukeyser. In college, my twin sister was obsessed with Judy Grahn's epic 20-page poem "A Woman Is Talking to Death," and I was glad to see it here where I could finally experience it for myself (verdict: it was really good, if disturbing). Most happily, I discovered some poets I really want to read more of, particularly Maxine Kumin and Denise Levertov. I would have given this collection five stars, except there was a strange dropoff in quality as the book neared its end. Those poets were less well-known than the ones from earlier in the volume, and frankly I can see why. I would still recommend this to any poetry lover who wants to get an overview of a notably revolutionary moment in American letters.

  6. 4 out of 5

    David

    Really a wonderful collection, I'm glad I read it. Because of the title, I was half-expecting something akin to a collection of protest chants, which was stupid of me. Instead it is really a rich selection, many by poets I recognized, but certainly plenty I did not as well. Happy to encounter both the work by poets I already admired and those whose names were not familiar. Go see if your library has it, you'll be glad you did. I came across this book because I'm following a Facebook group about D Really a wonderful collection, I'm glad I read it. Because of the title, I was half-expecting something akin to a collection of protest chants, which was stupid of me. Instead it is really a rich selection, many by poets I recognized, but certainly plenty I did not as well. Happy to encounter both the work by poets I already admired and those whose names were not familiar. Go see if your library has it, you'll be glad you did. I came across this book because I'm following a Facebook group about Druid Heights, the "unintentional community" Elsa Gidlow co-founded near Muir Woods in Marin County (the website is about trying to save the remarkable structures there from neglect by the Park Service, to preserve the wonderful history of the place for future visitors). Anyway, I thought I'd try to track down some of her work at the local library here in Ohio, and the only thing they had was the one poem of her included in this book. Looks like I'll have to wait until I get back to California to track down more of her work, but for now, I'm glad she led me to this book. Here's the four-line poem included here: You say I am mysterious. Let me explain myself: In a land of oranges I am faithful to apples.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Nina

    “What would happen if one woman told the truth about/her life? The world would split open” These lines from Muriel Rukeyser sum up the anthology. Honor Moore has gathered work that “seeks to mark how women poets made a poetry that, in two decades, altered the face of American poetry forever.” (from the introduction). The issues the poems speak to are as broad as the issues of the 60s and 70s, reflective of the huge cultural changes sweeping through America. Many of us marched in protest and solida “What would happen if one woman told the truth about/her life? The world would split open” These lines from Muriel Rukeyser sum up the anthology. Honor Moore has gathered work that “seeks to mark how women poets made a poetry that, in two decades, altered the face of American poetry forever.” (from the introduction). The issues the poems speak to are as broad as the issues of the 60s and 70s, reflective of the huge cultural changes sweeping through America. Many of us marched in protest and solidarity, advocating for equal rights, for recognition and acknowledgment of our very existence. This collection contains the lived history of the women’s movement. Reading these poems as one unit, one collection, is a stunning, overwhelming experience. Passion and conviction rise from the pages like a heat wave. As Michelle Cliff concludes her poem “Women’s Work:” There’s a need for rage in this work.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Marilyn

    Another of my favorites in poetry dept. If you're a Baby Boomer and/or feminist, this will truly speak to you Have used some of these poems as writing prompts.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Karen

    Yet another book required for my literature class. I enjoyed the poems in this book that recognizes women from all over the world and does not discriminate gender orientation. Honor Moore selected poems, by women, that reflect three decades of historical and cultural shifts. The voices of women are riddled with various themes, including gender preferences, life, death, inner thoughts, etc., through generations. The poems are still relevant today, and speaks volumes in how far women have come in Yet another book required for my literature class. I enjoyed the poems in this book that recognizes women from all over the world and does not discriminate gender orientation. Honor Moore selected poems, by women, that reflect three decades of historical and cultural shifts. The voices of women are riddled with various themes, including gender preferences, life, death, inner thoughts, etc., through generations. The poems are still relevant today, and speaks volumes in how far women have come in society, and the struggles that still remain.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Ethan Russell

    Fascinating views on feminine issues! This series of poems elucidates, in feminine discourse, the nuance and breadth of theory that constitutes a potent New Historicism view on power relations regarding patriarchy and women's bodies; as, the former sought to maintain dominance over the subject-polity composing the group, categorized by sovereign power, as ladies. Additionally, the tone was often parodying of public preconceptions of the character "woman." The laughs were welcome: The poignant as Fascinating views on feminine issues! This series of poems elucidates, in feminine discourse, the nuance and breadth of theory that constitutes a potent New Historicism view on power relations regarding patriarchy and women's bodies; as, the former sought to maintain dominance over the subject-polity composing the group, categorized by sovereign power, as ladies. Additionally, the tone was often parodying of public preconceptions of the character "woman." The laughs were welcome: The poignant assertions were edifying.

  11. 4 out of 5

    sevdah

    A collection of poems written between the 60s to the 80s by women who had just started realizing gender oppression and had just started picking their battles. Do not just keep this book on your shelves, opening up here and there at random (as I did for nearly ten years). It's better experienced as a whole, maybe consumed in a single afternoon, to allow it to make its point. (One of the points being, stuff can be funny, I thank you for that especially, Honor Moore) A collection of poems written between the 60s to the 80s by women who had just started realizing gender oppression and had just started picking their battles. Do not just keep this book on your shelves, opening up here and there at random (as I did for nearly ten years). It's better experienced as a whole, maybe consumed in a single afternoon, to allow it to make its point. (One of the points being, stuff can be funny, I thank you for that especially, Honor Moore)

  12. 5 out of 5

    Spencer Adams

    Poetry is not always my thing, but the content and imagination behind these poems seemed imperative, and kept my attention solidly held over the couple of days I read them Some poems went over my head no matter how many times I reread them, but others hit me where it hurt A very important book that helps understand the role poetry played as a catalyst in the women’s movement of the 60-70s.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Patti

    There is a lot of anger and frustration expressed in these poems, among with a heavy dose of sexual awareness and choice.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Sarah

    beautiful book to read while walking through the woods with your sweetie

  15. 5 out of 5

    Alexis

    I feel like I could read this 1,000 times and still enjoy each read. A great selection of poems.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Tabi

    Read the title as: poetry by women, from this time period.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Kim

    Many of these poems really resonated with me. I found some new poets to invest my time in.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Peggy

    Reading these poems is like taking a walk through history. How it once seemed so revolutionary to read a poem about a woman's body or from a woman's point of view. It was exhilarating to realize that there was an ocean of shared experiences among us and that we could define ourselves rather than be defined by others. An excellent selection of poetry that still shimmers with the energy of that time, when poetry announced the vanguard, the next stage of women, who would smash stereotypes and expec Reading these poems is like taking a walk through history. How it once seemed so revolutionary to read a poem about a woman's body or from a woman's point of view. It was exhilarating to realize that there was an ocean of shared experiences among us and that we could define ourselves rather than be defined by others. An excellent selection of poetry that still shimmers with the energy of that time, when poetry announced the vanguard, the next stage of women, who would smash stereotypes and expect everything from life. The poems don't speak to me with quite the same urgency that they did when I discovered some of them in college, but then, what does? I borrowed this via inter-library loan from another library, but I want to buy it and pull it out and remember anger and power and what it was like to be young and hopeful. --- After rereading this in August 2016, I'm more impressed by the selections made by editor Moore. She identified important poets in the broader sense as well as those who helped define the women's movement.

  19. 5 out of 5

    giuseppe manley

    I don't read nearly enough women, though that isn't necessarily the reason I picked this up. I had never seen these LOA published American Poets Project series books and they are quite stylish. My only complaint was that, in a book like this, the lack of dates after respective poems could be a bit disorienting. For this relatively brief anthology, the uniformity of purpose was both a boon and limiting factor. Honor Moore was able to collect some really tremendous work, but I also felt that some o I don't read nearly enough women, though that isn't necessarily the reason I picked this up. I had never seen these LOA published American Poets Project series books and they are quite stylish. My only complaint was that, in a book like this, the lack of dates after respective poems could be a bit disorienting. For this relatively brief anthology, the uniformity of purpose was both a boon and limiting factor. Honor Moore was able to collect some really tremendous work, but I also felt that some of the poets I was already familiar with had stronger work that wouldn't necessarily have fit in thematically, or could think of a few poets that would have felt at home alongside these others but couldn't necessarily fit the neat and easy label. Still, a great read, at times very enjoyable and at other times very unpleasant, but usually whichever it intended to be.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Deborah

    "THE WOMEN 19S MOVEMENT OF THE 1960s, 70s, AND 80s generated an extraordinary outpouring of poetry that captured an age of expectancy, of defiant purpose, and exuberant exploration" I am not a huge fan of poetry but since remember life in the 60's, etc., and the greatest part of this is that these writers said what no one had said 'out loud' before! I remember growing up thinking 'what do you mean women weren't allowed to vote!?" I thought that was the craziest thing I had ever heard. Men can vot "THE WOMEN 19S MOVEMENT OF THE 1960s, 70s, AND 80s generated an extraordinary outpouring of poetry that captured an age of expectancy, of defiant purpose, and exuberant exploration" I am not a huge fan of poetry but since remember life in the 60's, etc., and the greatest part of this is that these writers said what no one had said 'out loud' before! I remember growing up thinking 'what do you mean women weren't allowed to vote!?" I thought that was the craziest thing I had ever heard. Men can vote but women can't? That's just wrong on SO many levels! Anyway, I liked a lot of these poems.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Zuska

    This is an extraordinary collection of poems that gives the reader a sense of what it was like living in the moment these poems were emerging and women's lives were changing. I loved so many of these poems fiercely. I could mention so many of them, but Irena Klepfisz's "They Did Not Build Wings For Them" is the one on my mind today. It is almost a novella contained within a poem, perfectly crafted, carrying the reader along from the cramped space of an old maid's room in the attic to the wide ra This is an extraordinary collection of poems that gives the reader a sense of what it was like living in the moment these poems were emerging and women's lives were changing. I loved so many of these poems fiercely. I could mention so many of them, but Irena Klepfisz's "They Did Not Build Wings For Them" is the one on my mind today. It is almost a novella contained within a poem, perfectly crafted, carrying the reader along from the cramped space of an old maid's room in the attic to the wide range of an independent woman running a small farm, an experimental orchard, growing flowers, and dancing bare-breasted under the moon. It is rapturous.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Robin

    Thankfully, this anthology was full of gems, rather than being full of filler poems with a few gems thrown in. I mostly read women's poetry, because it resonates so strongly with me. Some lines just jump off the page and grip you, like this passage from one of Alta's poems: write your own commandments. i am only a person like you. “burn this & memorize yourself.” Boom! Memorize yourself indeed, Alta. Love it! Now I need to go read some other works by all the poets featured in this collection. One of Thankfully, this anthology was full of gems, rather than being full of filler poems with a few gems thrown in. I mostly read women's poetry, because it resonates so strongly with me. Some lines just jump off the page and grip you, like this passage from one of Alta's poems: write your own commandments. i am only a person like you. “burn this & memorize yourself.” Boom! Memorize yourself indeed, Alta. Love it! Now I need to go read some other works by all the poets featured in this collection. One of these days I'll get around to reading men's poetry, too.

  23. 5 out of 5

    cubierocks

    Favorites "10 commandments for liberation" - Alta "Miscarriage - Alta "At the End of the Affair" - Maxine Kumin "I Like to Think of Harriet Tubman" - Susan Griffin "An Answer to a Man's Question, 'What Can I Do About Women's Liberation?'" - Susan Griffin "For My Sister Molly Who in the Fifties" - Alice Walker "You say I am Mysterious" - Elsa Gidlow "Eat Rice Have Faith in Women" - Fran Winant "A Woman is Talking to Death" - Judy Grahn "Don't Cheapen Yourself" - Jana Harris "Women's Work" - Michelle Clif Favorites "10 commandments for liberation" - Alta "Miscarriage - Alta "At the End of the Affair" - Maxine Kumin "I Like to Think of Harriet Tubman" - Susan Griffin "An Answer to a Man's Question, 'What Can I Do About Women's Liberation?'" - Susan Griffin "For My Sister Molly Who in the Fifties" - Alice Walker "You say I am Mysterious" - Elsa Gidlow "Eat Rice Have Faith in Women" - Fran Winant "A Woman is Talking to Death" - Judy Grahn "Don't Cheapen Yourself" - Jana Harris "Women's Work" - Michelle Cliff "Among Women" - Marie Ponsot "Joan" - Eileen Myles

  24. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer

    Inspiring and challenging (for a female who now lives in a world where her choices feel limitless).

  25. 5 out of 5

    Leonard

    Edgy informative poems by women who have been on the cutting edge of trying to make women first class citizens of this country, and address the injustices and mistreatment they face. Very worthwhile.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Leah

    I enjoyed this book a lot, but then I usually enjoy most poetry books. It's definitely one I would like to own.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Betty Mccook hosack

    Allows you to understand some of the woes during their life and the time.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Jai Danielle

    4.0 "I am an instrument in the shape of a woman trying to translate pulsations into images for the relief of the body and the reconstruction of the mind."

  29. 5 out of 5

    Allison

    Perfectly fine. It's a bit difficult to judge poetry anthologies, isn't it? It's like rating a history textbook.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Sasha

    A time capsule of a zeitgeist, a great curation of a moment in literary history.

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