My Poetry Anthology
It is very difficult for a poet to separate his writing from his personal life. You will see how the lives and experiences of these women had helped them to see the world with different eyes and transfer this to their writing
Born in the USA, Sandra Cisneros is the only daughter in a family of six brothers. She belongs to the Chicana movement, a feminist movement that analyses the historical, the social, the political and the economic role of Mexican American women in the United States. Because of the constant migration of her family from Mexico to the USA, she always felt she did not belong to any of the two cultures.This is one of her poems Old Maids. This poem challenges the deeply rooted patriarchal values of both Mexican and American cultures.The biological destiny of every woman seems to be reaching womanhood and getting married. However, in this poem the narrator refuses to accept that destiny since she knows about marital disillusionment. She had studied marriages through reading and also through the cases in her family and she had realized that a woman can be happy just by being nobodys wife.In 1990 when Pilar E. Rodrguez Aranda asked Cisneros in an interview why she has never married or started a family, "I've never seen a marriage that is as happy as my living alone," Cisneros replied. "My writing is my child and I don't want anything to come between us.This is what she talks about in this poem.
No longer nudge--You're next. Instead-- What happened in your childhood? What left you all mean teens? Who hurt you, honey? But we've studied marriages too long-- Aunt Ariadne, Tia Vashti, Comadre Penelope, querida Malintzin, Senora Pumpkin Shell-- lessons that served us well.
Old MaidsMy cousins and I, we don't marry. We're too old by Mexican standards. And the relatives have long suspected we can't anymore in white. My cousins and I, we're all old maids at thirty. Who won't dress children, and never saints-- though we undress them. The aunts, they've given up on us.
Maya Angelou was born in St. Louis Missouri. Shes a feminist and a civil rights activist. She experienced the brutality of racial discrimination, but she also absorbed the unshakable faith and values of traditional African-American family, community, and culture. This poem is phenomenal in itself. The narrator of the poem is self-confident because she has understood that she is unique. The other women wish to reach this potential but they also want to fit in according to society standards which highly value womens beauty . The narrator claims that this aim is useless since an attractive personality is far more important than an attractive body.
Pretty women wonder where my secret lies.I'm not cute or built to suit a fashion model's sizeBut when I start to tell them,They think I'm telling lies.I say,It's in the reach of my armsThe span of my hips,The stride of my step,The curl of my lips.I'm a womanPhenomenally.Phenomenal woman,That's me.I walk into a roomJust as cool as you please,And to a man,The fellows stand orFall down on their knees.Then they swarm around me,A hive of honey bees.I say,It's the fire in my eyes,And the flash of my teeth,The swing in my waist,And the joy in my feet.I'm a womanPhenomenally.Phenomenal woman,That's me.
Men themselves have wonderedWhat they see in me.They try so muchBut they can't touchMy inner mystery.When I try to show themThey say they still can't see.I say,It's in the arch of my back,The sun of my smile,The ride of my breasts,The grace of my style.I'm a womanPhenomenally.Phenomenal woman,That's me.Now you understandJust why my head's not bowed.I don't shout or jump aboutOr have to talk real loud.When you see me passingIt ought to make you proud.I say,It's in the click of my heels,The bend of my hair,the palm of my hand,The need of my care,'Cause I'm a womanPhenomenally.Phenomenal woman,That's me.
Sara Teasdale 1884-1933Im not yours
Sara Teasdale was also an American writer who was born in St. Louis Missouri. Her life and marital experience influenced her writing since her husband was most of the time away on business and she felt very lonely. She divorced in 1929.In this poem there narrator is struggling against her deepest desires. She wishes to be with someone who really loves her but she cant take that risk. Probably because shes married, we dont know. We may find a relationship between this poem and Teasdales life. She had a friend who loved her; Vachel Lidsay. However, she married somebody else and so did Vachel, but it is said that she loved him too and the idea of him with somebody else haunted her.
I am not yours, not lost in you,Not lost, although I long to beLost as a candle lit at noon,Lost as a snowflake in the sea.You love me, and I find you stillA spirit beautiful and bright,Yet I am I, who long to beLost as a light is lost in light.Oh plunge me deep in love -- put outMy senses, leave me deaf and blind,Swept by the tempest of your love,A taper in a rushing wind.
Robert BrowningElizabeth Barret BrowningElizabeth Barret Browning is the only English poet of this anthology. Shes a Victorian poet. Her husband Robert Browning played an important role in her life. He encourage his wife to publish her work. They married secretly because she knew that her father would disapprove and she was right. When her father found out, he disinherited her as he did with each of his children who married. Her brothers also disapprove of her marriage because they thought Robert was a gold-digger. Elizabeth and Robert loved passionately and her popularity increased after the publication of her sonnets. This sonnet describes an unconditional love similar to the one that the author and her husband had.
How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.I love thee to the depth and breadth and height My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight.For the ends of Being and ideal Grace. I love thee to the level of everyday's Most quiet need, by sun and candle-light. I love thee freely, as men strive for Right; I love thee purely, as they turn from Praise. I love thee with the passion put to use In my old griefs, and with my childhood's faith. I love thee with a love I seemed to lose With my lost saints, I love thee with the breath, Smiles, tears, of all my life! and, if God choose,I shall but love thee better after death.