It's a Woman's World: A Century of Women's Voices in Poetry

It's a Woman's World: A Century of Women's Voices in Poetry

by Neil Philip
     
 

Sixty poems by fifty-five different twentieth-century women poets have been selected in this remarkable anthology celebrating the power and strength of women. Drawing on poets both familiar (Gwendolyn Brooks, Adrienne Rich, Dorothy Parker, Lucille Clifton, Sylvia Plath) and less well-known, this collection traces women's diverse experiences through the turbulent years… See more details below

Overview

Sixty poems by fifty-five different twentieth-century women poets have been selected in this remarkable anthology celebrating the power and strength of women. Drawing on poets both familiar (Gwendolyn Brooks, Adrienne Rich, Dorothy Parker, Lucille Clifton, Sylvia Plath) and less well-known, this collection traces women's diverse experiences through the turbulent years of this century and represents voices from many different cultures, including Native American, African-American, Korean, Japanese, Chinese, Indian, and Nigerian.

Quirky, moving, surprising, amusing--these poems let women speak for themselves about love and war, work and play, marriage and family, power and ambition. With striking black-and-white photographs, a preface, and a handy index of titles and first lines, this elegant compilation makes the ideal introduction to poetry, women's studies, and history for young-adult readers.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
This anthology of 20th-century women's poems contains an impressive sampling from poets of diverse cultures. However, Philip's (Singing America) organizing principle, how poetry of this era "shows an attitude to love and marriage that would have been unthinkable in previous generations," necessarily results in a selection that is not representative. The poems here are heavily weighted toward pessimism and discontent, with little humor or joy. Eavan Boland's "It's a Woman's World," citing women's staying power; Judith Rodriguez's "Eskimo Occasion," which celebrates the joy of a new day; and May Sarton's "On a Winter Night," in which a woman contemplates her own burning desire to live and grow as she stares into a hearth fire, are the exceptions. More common are sentiments such as those expressed in Elizabeth Riddell's bleak "News of a Baby," which opens the section on childhood. After welcoming the baby "to the world of swords/ and deadlier words" and promising other horrors, the poet concludes, "Welcome, baby, no dread thing will be omitted./ We are your eager hosts." Marvelous black-and-white photographs of intriguing women from various countries preface each section, but they sometimes belie the contents of the poems to follow. The section on falling in love and getting married, for instance, features a cheery photograph of an embracing couple to usher in such poems as Dorothy Parker's sardonic "Chant for Dark Hours": "(All your life you wait around for some damn man!)." A narrow view of 20th-century women's voices. Ages 11-up. (Feb.) Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.|
Children's Literature - Children's Literature
This book introduces readers to women poets who chose not to conform to the traditionally ideal themes of innocence, unrequited love, and religious devotion. The poets featured in this volume speak their minds about themselves, their relationships, and other women. Collected into chapters with such titles as "Power," "A Freedom Song," and "I Live with a Bullet;" the primarily free verse poems speak forthrightly about contemporary female issues. Teachers of contemporary literature will find a varied and uncommon collection here. Others who may find pleasures here are introspective young adults who want to read about their womanhood as well as live it. 2000, Dutton Children's Books, Ages 13 up, $17.99. Reviewer: Judy Katsh
VOYA - Voya Reviews
Philip declares in his introduction that the poems in this collection share a "spirit of freedom and self-possession." Tackling an enormous subject, Phillip has gathered a unique collection. Sixty poems by women from six continents span the twentieth century and deal with war and women's rights, love and birth, growing up and domestic life, all with a consciously female voice. Although American poets such as Sandra Cisneros, Linda Hogan, Lucille Clifton, Gwendolyn Brooks, Nellie Wong, May Sarton, and Adrienne Rich are included, most of the names will be new to readers. The poems are laid out nicely on white paper, focusing attention on the words. Well-reproduced, full-page black-and-white photographs from different countries and decades head each section. There are indexes of titles and first lines and of poets, listing the ethnicity and birthdate of each writer. Similar in format and tone to Philip's earlier collection, War and the Pity of War (Clarion, 1998/VOYA February 1999), this simply adorned book may not catch many eyes, but it is a browseable collection for poetry readers or for students with an assignment. The breadth of subject and voice promises something for most readers. Index. Photos. VOYA CODES: 4Q 2P M J (Better than most, marred only by occasional lapses; For the YA with a special interest in the subject; Middle School, defined as grades 6 to 8; Junior High, defined as grades 7 to 9). 2000, Dutton, Ages 12 to 15, 93p, $17.99. Reviewer: Nina Lindsay
A symphony of women's voices beckons the reader to the world of the Twentieth Century where female poets use the power of language to describe the "woman's world." The poems are arranged around the themes of birth, childhood, awareness, falling in love, homemaking, developing a sense of oneself, and growing old. Well-known poets like Gwendolyn Brooks, Sandra Cisneros, Adrienne Rich weave their words with lesser-known voices of women from multicultures, including Nigeria, India, Africa, Japan, and China. Their poems speak of political repression, economic domesticity, inner strength, and power and control. No longer are women poets expected to write only about love, children, and nature. Rather, the poems in this collection form a melody where various themes underscore the freedom and power that women have earned over time. All the voices seem to be saying, "Take your power and fly." Genre: Women's Poetry 2000, The Albion Press Ltd, 93 pp., $17.99. Ages 12 up. Reviewer: Jeanne M. Gerlach; Arlington, Texas
School Library Journal
Gr 8 Up-The elegant cover photo (from 1939) shows a model on top of the Eiffel Tower, yards of fabric in her dress billowing gracefully in the breeze. The lives of the women who speak through these poems are generally more prosaic than this but often just as compelling. The collection of 20th-century poems has an international scope and includes both unfamiliar and well-known writers such as Gertrude Stein, Dorothy Parker, Edna St. Vincent Millay, and Gwendolyn Brooks. It is divided into seven sections: "Dear Female Heart," "News of a Baby," "A Freedom Song," "Domestic Economy," "Power," "I Live with a Bullet," and "The Old Women Gathered." Most of the poems are complete but some excerpts from longer works are included; subjects range from the political to the personal. Beautifully reproduced black-and-white photos introduce each section. Overall, this book is dense, challenging, and provocative, and many students will appreciate the sophisticated look and subject matter. Philip's introduction is interesting. It is unfortunate that there is no biographical information about the poets, since many of them will be new to readers.-Lauralyn Persson, Wilmette Public Library, IL Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.|

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780525463283
Publisher:
Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
02/28/2000
Edition description:
1 AMER ED
Pages:
96
Product dimensions:
7.75(w) x 10.31(h) x 0.50(d)
Age Range:
11 - 17 Years

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