She Walks in Beauty: A Woman's Journey Through Poems

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Overview

In She Walks in Beauty, Caroline Kennedy has once again marshaled the gifts of our greatest poets to pay a very personal tribute to the human experience, this time to the complex and fascinating subject of womanhood. Inspired by her own reflections on more than fifty years of life as a young girl, a woman, a wife, and a mother, She Walks in Beauty draws on poetry’s eloquent wisdom to ponder the many joys and challenges of being a woman. Kennedy has divided the collection into sections that signify to her the most...
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She Walks in Beauty: A Woman's Journey Through Poems

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Overview

In She Walks in Beauty, Caroline Kennedy has once again marshaled the gifts of our greatest poets to pay a very personal tribute to the human experience, this time to the complex and fascinating subject of womanhood. Inspired by her own reflections on more than fifty years of life as a young girl, a woman, a wife, and a mother, She Walks in Beauty draws on poetry’s eloquent wisdom to ponder the many joys and challenges of being a woman. Kennedy has divided the collection into sections that signify to her the most notable milestones, passages, and universal experiences in a woman’s life, and she begins each of these sections with an introduction in which she explores and celebrates the most important elements of life’s journey.

The collection includes works by Elizabeth Bishop, Sharon Olds, Edna St. Vincent Millay, Mary Oliver, Pablo Neruda, W. H. Auden, Adrienne Rich, Sandra Cisneros, Anne Sexton, W. S. Merwin, Dorothy Parker, Queen Elizabeth I, Lucille Clifton, Naomi Shahib Nye, and W. B. Yeats. Whether it’s falling in love, breaking up, friendship, marriage, motherhood, or growing old, She Walks in Beauty is a priceless resource for anyone, male or female, who wants a deeper understanding and appreciation of what it means to be a woman.

She walks in beauty
George Gordon, Lord Byron

I

She walks in beauty, like the night
Of cloudless climes and starry skies;
And all that’s best of dark and bright
Meet in her aspect and her eyes:
Thus mellow’d to that tender light
Which heaven to gaudy day denies.

II

One shade the more, one ray the less,
Had half impair’d the nameless grace
Which waves in every raven tress,
Or softly lightens o’er her face;
Where thoughts serenely sweet express
How pure, how dear their dwelling-place.

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble

Caroline Kennedy's anthology takes its title from a poem by Lord Byron, but her selection of poems about women travels far beyond enthroned Romantics. To convey the breadth of female experience, editor Kennedy includes verse by Mary Oliver, Elizabeth Bishop, Edna St. Vincent Millay, Pablo Neruda, Sandra Cisneros, Anne Sexton, W.S. Merwin, Sharon Olds, W.H. Auden, William Butler Yeats, and others. A treasure to peruse at random or by whim.

Library Journal
For Kennedy, poetry has the great gift of "shap[ing] an endless conversation about the most important things in life." She learned that when she turned 50 and three friends sent her poems that afforded her both comfort and guidance. Thereafter she began creating this anthology of nearly 200 poems addressing the various stages of a woman's life, among them "Falling in Love," "Motherhood," "Death and Grief," and, yes, "Beauty, Clothes, and Things of This World." Many of the poems here are expected, e.g., Elizabeth Barrett Browning's "How Do I Love Thee," but others are delightful discoveries or reminders. Consider Kim Addonizio's "What Do Women Want?": "I want a red dress/ I want it flimsy and cheap/ I want it too tight/ I want to wear it/ until someone tears it off me." Or Paneshia Jones's "Bra Shopping": "At sixteen I am a jeans and t-shirt wearing tomboy who can think/ a few million more places to be…." Or Anna Swir's "The Greatest Love": "Her dear one says: You have hair like pearls.'/ Her children say:/ Old fool.' " The poets range from Sappho to Shakespeare to Plath, and Kennedy has the nerve to open with Gertrude Stein. VERDICT All in all, a warm and comfortable anthology for anyone (men, too) seeking solace in verse. [See the Q&A with Kennedy on p. 74.—Ed.]—Barbara Hoffert, Library Journal
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781401326296
  • Publisher: Hachette Audio
  • Publication date: 4/3/2012
  • Format: CD
  • Edition description: Unabridged
  • Pages: 320
  • Product dimensions: 5.28 (w) x 5.66 (h) x 0.78 (d)

Meet the Author

Caroline Kennedy

Caroline Kennedy is the editor of eight New York Times bestselling books on American history, politics, constitutional law and poetry, including She Walks in Beauty: A Woman's Journey Through Poems and A Family of Poems.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3
( 72 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(21)

4 Star

(9)

3 Star

(5)

2 Star

(12)

1 Star

(25)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 72 Customer Reviews
  • Posted April 13, 2011

    Every Mother, Daughter, Sister, BFF needs to have this book!

    Again, Bless your Heart Caroline for signing my book with the personalization to my my 5 month pregnant daughter Shannon who was in the process of loosing her first baby as I was standing there before you. When your children are small you can kiss their boo-boo's,give them a cookie, tell them that everything is going to be alright,and somehow they always feel much better. I've never felt more helpless or been at more of a loss for words towards one of my children more than I was yesterday. I felt so empty because I felt as though I had exhausted everything that could possibly be said over and over again, I love you, I'm praying hard for you to have a miracle outcome. But this time Mommy could not make it better. I had already been through the most waring hellacious week of ups and mostly downs as I heard her in her desperate despair. I was completely exhausted at the signing which I'm sure you could see all over my face. This book will be given to my Shannon this month on her own 35th birthday as she will surely be continuing her recovery. I know that she will feel that it was written especially for her and will easily find comfort within the pages. She has traveled many a long road and yet she always finds her way back. It is true that every Woman is unique...but all Women are one of a kind! This book is a reflection of our Sista Womanhood. Respectfully, Inner Season Ceremonies

    7 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 10, 2011

    Excellent, inspiring, encouraging...

    This collection of poems is one which will be read over and over again.

    5 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 13, 2012

    One of the best poetry collections!!!

    Every woman on the planet needs this book! It is affirming, comforting, and makes you thankful to be in this glorious sisterhood! Such a great variety of poems as well from old classics to fresh,new voices. Caroline's writings that preface each section are alone worth buying the book. A gem.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 23, 2011

    Beautiful

    Every woman, no matter how old she is, should have this book in their permanent library. I read with tears in my eyes. Found some of my favorite poems and ones that will become my favorites. Thank you Ms. Kennedy.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 21, 2011

    Caroline Kennedy...You sure do 'walk in beauty" WOW!

    Wow, "she walks in beauty" that discribes you Caroline. I waited my whole adult life to meet you and finally I did at your book signing. You were so gracious to let us all take unless photos of you. I love this book and I want to give it to all of my girlfriends that are turning 50. This is the most amazing collection of poems ever gathered for women. The timing is perfect, thank you for doing this.

    Mostly, thank you for being such a inspiration for all of us trying to survive in this crazy world. You are such a class act!

    Your Soul Sister

    Kelly Kennedy

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 20, 2013

    Lovely Anthology

    I was given this book by a friend and have now given it to several of my other friends. It is a beautifully curated collection. A must for poetry lovers and anyone with a heart.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 20, 2013

    Thoughtful

    This is a really excellent collection of poetry for any woman who enjoys poetry. The selections range from the bible to the classic romantic poets to current poets. They are all touching and really do cover most of a woman's life expreiences. I really enjoyed it.

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