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

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

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by Caroline Kennedy
     
 

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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

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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.

III And on that cheek, and o’er that brow,
So soft, so calm, yet eloquent,
The smiles that win, the tints that glow,
But tell of days in goodness spent,
A mind at peace with all below,
A heart whose love is innocent!

CAROLINE KENNEDY is the author and editor of seven bestselling books on constitutional law, American history, politics, and poetry. A graduate of Harvard University and Columbia Law School, Kennedy is the Vice Chair of the New York City Fund for Public Schools. She is the President of the John F. Kennedy Library Foundation.

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Editorial Reviews

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

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781401341459
Publisher:
Hyperion
Publication date:
04/05/2011
Pages:
352
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 8.30(h) x 1.20(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

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