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

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4.01  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,512 Ratings  ·  237 Reviews
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 eloquen ...more
Hardcover, 332 pages
Published April 5th 2011 by Hachette Books
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Jacqueline
Apr 06, 2013 Jacqueline rated it really liked it
possibly my favorite book passage ever:
"When I was younger, I thought my task was to forge ahead and succeed as an individual. But growing older has helped me realize that our success lies in our relationships - with the family we are born into, the friends we make, the people we fall in love with, and the children we have. Sometimes we struggle, sometimes we adapt, and at other times we set a course for others to follow. We are all leaders and followers in our lives. We are constantly learning
...more
Judy
May 24, 2011 Judy rated it really liked it
I first heard about this book when I watched Caroline Kennedy mix it up, poetry-wise, with Stephen Colbert on The Colbert Report. Intrigued, I was glad to see the book appear on the new book shelves at my local library. Checked it out and loved it. Caroline Kennedy edited this book and wrote the introductions for each of the sections of poems. Included in this volume are poems about the various phases of women's lives--Falling in Love, Breaking Up, Marriage, Work, Motherhood, Friendship, Growing ...more
Sidna
Dec 06, 2011 Sidna rated it really liked it
What a delightful book! I'm not into poetry and would never have chosen to read this book if my book discussion group had not selected it. I almost always buy our book club selections, but I didn't want to spend $25 for this one so I got it a few days ago from the public library. I thought I would read Caroline's comments and read a few of the poems, but I read the entire book in almost one sitting.

For people of a certain age, Caroline seems like one of our children. I was in high school when he
...more
Lisa N
Oct 11, 2012 Lisa N rated it really liked it
A collection of poems compiled by Caroline Kennedy based on the stages of a woman’s life. I liked the layout of this book. She begins each section with some personal reflections that I really enjoyed. This is a very diverse collection with classics from Shakespeare, the Bible, etc., as well as many contemporary selections.

Kennedy started this project around the time she turned 50. She said, “Reading poems can help bring clarity and insight to emotions that can be confusing or contradictory.” Be
...more
Kathleen
Oct 31, 2011 Kathleen rated it it was ok
I would have given this book one and a half stars, but just before the end, I found "Love" by Roy Croft included in the poems. My husband and I had Croft's poem read at our wedding, along with "The Love Chapter in Corinthians" which is also in this book. Croft's "Love" is the single best description of the way two people in love should feel about each other. Every time I read "Love" I am reminded of that old adage about marriage, "Be friends first." It is so true!
Kennedy compiled poems that she
...more
Carmen
Apr 28, 2015 Carmen rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Anyone
This is a collection of poems from Caroline Kennedy. Each 'chapter' includes an introduction by her, and then a smattering of poems covering a single topic. They are: Falling in Love; Making Love; Breaking Up; Marriage; Love Itself; Work; Beauty, Clothes and Things of This World; Motherhood; Silence and Solitude; Growing Up and Growing Old; Death and Grief; Friendship; and How to Live. It was a very good collection of poems. Some were familiar classics, and some I had never heard before. All wer ...more
Abby Lyn
Apr 15, 2011 Abby Lyn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This collection of poems celebrating womanhood has surprised me, since I am not particularly enamoured of either the Kennedys or of the artform of poetry in general. This is a lovely balance of Biblical, classic and modern poems, of lines that are familiar ("I love you, not only for what you are, but for what I am when I am with you") and those that were not but struck me all the same ("Are those your children? Yes."). It has poems after my own heart, from an ode to the sexy red dress, to a trib ...more
Judy Croome
May 14, 2015 Judy Croome rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I nearly did not buy this collection of poems - I have issues with publisher's exploiting celebrity names to sell books (and the Kennedy name is about as "celebrity" as you can get, even to a non-American!), but I'm glad I did! While at times the introductory notes were too maudlin (and, at times, slipped into condescension), this ended up being a wonderful collection of poetry to relax with.

From the short, deeply profound words of Rumi & Lao Tzu, to the magnificent "The Summer Day" by Mary
...more
Alarie
Jul 16, 2015 Alarie rated it liked it
There were certainly some stellar poems in this collection. A few, particularly “The Journey” by Mary Oliver, covered the theme beautifully. For me, however, this collection didn’t deliver on its promise. Women throughout history have been defined by men, by culture, and by government. I was hoping for more modern poems about the lives of modern women, grappling with the demands of jobs and home, primarily written by women. I don’t mind reading poems by Byron, Keats, Shelley, Tennyson, Marlowe, ...more
Emily
Aug 06, 2013 Emily rated it it was amazing
I'll admit that I felt sheepish buying this book. I mean, I saw it in an Anthropologie store; it's subtitled, "A woman's journey through poems" (does it get more mawkish than that?); and the art design is just gorgeous throughout (beautiful paper, images, etc). Everything about this book was designed to appeal to me, like a flower does to a bee, and although my stubborn instinct was to resist, I could tell there was something of substance inside.

SO--I'm proud to say that at the age of 32, I fina
...more
Barbara P
Jul 27, 2011 Barbara P rated it it was amazing
I have always been intrigued with Jacqueline Kennedy, the wife of President Jack Kennedy and mother of Caroline Kennedy (author of this book). In this book Kennedy draws on poetry's eloquent wisdom to ponder the many joys and challenges of being a woman. The chapters are about love, falling in love, growing old, friendships, family, work, etc.

Reading these poems brought me to a reflective and contemplative place to simply take in the beauty of these poems, the thoughts, the laughter and sadness,
...more
Carol
Oct 26, 2015 Carol rated it it was amazing
Caroline Kennedy's book of poetry is saturated with first love, time in the orchards picking Macoun apples, beautifully sweet. But as the wind draws colder and the sky becomes dark, everyone runs to the barn. It is filled with warmed cider, and eating sweet apple cider donuts, both staring at each other with big smiles. My memories.

Song
By John Keats

O blush not so! O blush not so!
Or I shall think you knowing;
And if you smile the blushing while,
Then maidenheads are going.

There's a blush for won't,
...more
DW
Sep 05, 2015 DW rated it liked it
I had no idea the author was the daughter of JFK (the bio inside the back cover doesn't mention it at all) until I saw one brief mention that "my mother wore it at my father's Inaugural Ball." Not many fathers have Inaugural Balls.

Some poems I liked:
Unfortunate Coincidence by Dorothy Parker (oh, so cynical)
may i feel said he by e. e. cummings (evokes a lot in so few words, though I don't understand his use of parentheses)
Bra Shopping by Parneshia Jones (so accurate)
Vietnam by Wislawa Szymborska
...more
Stephanie
Feb 25, 2016 Stephanie rated it it was ok
Book #14 of the 2016 Reading Challenge. Theme: A poetry book.

Although this was a beautifully written book, I still will never enjoy reading poetry. It was hard to get through a lot of the poems. The introduction to each grouping of poems was beautifully written by the author and that was actually my favorite portion of the book.

"When I was younger, I thought my task was to forge ahead and succeed as an individual. But growing older has helped me realize that our success lies in our relationships
...more
Carol
May 14, 2011 Carol rated it liked it
Poems about love and life. Not many familiar to me in the newer poets. Probably because I don't read much poetry. I do like 'Madam and Her Madam' by Langston Hughes.

Sections of the book:
Falling in Love, Making Love (some rather steamy), Breaking Up, Marriage, Work, Beauty, Clothing, Things of the World, Silence and Solitude, Growing Up and Growing Old, Friendship, How to Live.
Amy Paget
Jun 13, 2015 Amy Paget rated it really liked it
She Walks in Beauty: A Women’s Journey Through Poems is a perceptively chosen anthology selected and introduced by Caroline Kennedy. Kennedy has grouped the poems according to life-stages: falling in love, making love, breaking up, marriage, work, beauty, clothes and things of this world, silence and solitude, growing up and growing old, death and grief, friendship, how to live. While many of the poems will be very familiar to poetry readers, their thematic groupings create a special symmetry. I ...more
Mary Scott
Aug 11, 2011 Mary Scott rated it it was amazing
What a treat to read poetry again!! A nicely curated (um, edited?) collection - I really enjoyed that the poems are arranged thematically and they were from multiple time-periods. A nice book to flip through ocassionally for a little reflective me-time.
Amanda Kay
Aug 02, 2011 Amanda Kay marked it as to-read
I recieved this book as a surprise when i got a book i won from goodreads. i wasn't expecting this book at all so a thanks to the company who sent it out. i can't wait to read this!
Kathy
May 08, 2011 Kathy rated it it was amazing
I love anything Caroline Kennedy does. This collection of poems does not disappoint. I will probably read it over and over again. It is poignant, fun, thought-provoking.
Ruth
Jul 25, 2015 Ruth rated it liked it
Shelves: poetry
Unexciting rehash. Good poems, but I wanted more exploration.
Catherine
Jan 12, 2016 Catherine rated it it was amazing
I love poetry and have a collection of poetry books. Some are antiques that belonged to my great-grandmother. Some are tomes I studied in college. I turn to poetry in times of deep emotion and it helps me walk through those times. Well, for my birthday last year I received a Barnes & Noble gift card. I decided I wanted a current volume of poetry. I remembered seeing a small “Poetry” section in our local B&N. When I went there, that section had disappeared, but a few poetry books were sq ...more
Aeron
Sep 27, 2011 Aeron rated it really liked it
This was a well put together anthology of poetry, chronicling the phases in a woman's life. Each grouping of poems (Falling in Love, Making Love, Marriage, Breaking Up, Love Itself, Work, Beauty, Motherhood, Growing Old, etc.) has an introduction that is basically a short essay by Caroline Kennedy. Certainly, you can pick up on some of her favorite poets who make repeat appearances through the sections, including Elizabeth Bishop and Elizabeth Barrett Browning, although not all the poets are wom ...more
TheRLPL Rice Lake Public Library
Page Turner's met July 12th to discuss Caroline Kennedy's She Walks in Beauty Overall Review was a 4 Rating out of possible 5.
Individual Reviews are as follows:

3/5
“I liked the poems that were straight forward with little or no metaphors. Good
narrative was interesting.”
Favorite poem : Bra Shopping by Parneshia Jones

4 / 5
“I liked the variety in style and topics. The anthology was well arranged.”
Favorite poem : September, 1918 by Amy Lowell

4 / 5
“I liked how each section was organized by a theme, e
...more
AnandaTashie
Sep 05, 2012 AnandaTashie rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2012, poetry
Poetry divided into the following sections: falling in love; making love; breaking up; marriage; love itself; work; beauty, clothes, and things of this world; motherhood; silence and solitude; growing up and growing old; death and grief; friendship; how to live.

Each section is introduced by Caroline Kennedy, usually in about 1-3 pages. While her sentiments were nicely written and I read them all, I was more in it for the actual poetry.

And poetry I read. A really beautiful assortment, a good mix
...more
Jessica
Aug 10, 2011 Jessica rated it it was amazing
I found this book to be quite enchanting. I especially liked the editing of the book; how the poems were broken up into sections of life... marriage, work, growing up, etc. It made it easy to open the book and find some encouraging words. There were some beauties in here for sure... classical, Biblical, modern... I liked having them all in one volume. I was very pleased to see "I am my beloved" from Song of Songs and St. Paul's thoughts on love from First Corinthians. Lots of my mushy favorites ...more
Heather
Jul 28, 2011 Heather rated it really liked it
This a valuable collection, thoughtfully arranged. It contains such a variety of authors, something is sure to be found to please everyone. I liked the poems more often than not, although there are a few I was indifferent to. There was enough well-written, substantive poetry that I read it cover to cover, instead of flipping through and picking at random, as I usually do with poetry books. This reading method is also encouraged by Kennedy's organization, which gently guides us through the poems ...more
C.C. Thomas
Oct 15, 2011 C.C. Thomas rated it it was amazing
Shelves: nonfiction
What a beautiful book! From the front cover to the color and fonts and even the inside shadow pictures of flowers-every detail is so meticulous. It is an absolutel delight to the senses from sight to sound. This book of poems was hand selected by Caroline Kennedy. While she didn't write any of the poems, seeing the ones that she selected as her favorites gives me an insight into a person I have always looked up to.

The poems are divided up into the different eras of a woman's life and include: Fa
...more
Lisa
Jul 13, 2011 Lisa rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Lisa by: Caiti Hawkins
This is a wonderful book for those who enjoy poetry, especially women. This is the answer to "What do you want for your birthday/anniversary/Mother's Day?" or just to read next, although I recommend owning a copy so you can savor the book over time. (Thanks, Caiti!) Caroline Kennedy has compiled a variety of thought-provoking, excellent poems that evoke the stages and feelings of life. Each section (e.g., Falling in Love; Breaking Up; Beauty, Clothes, and Things of This World; Friendship; How to ...more
Sharla
Jul 23, 2013 Sharla rated it liked it
This was a nice change of pace from my standard reads -- it's very rare for me to read poetry more than a few online here and there. It was nice going through a collection purposed specifically for women, and I think the themes were organized quite nicely to matters pertinent to most women. While there were several poems I enjoyed, I also encountered many that I didn't, so it was a bit hit or miss, but I just shuffled past those that didn't speak to me. Poetry is such rich, beautiful language th ...more
Lacey Louwagie
May 12, 2013 Lacey Louwagie rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry
I listened to this one as part of my immersion in poetry in April. The subtitle of the anthology is, "A woman's journey through poems," which made me think that it was going to be a collection of women poet's giving voice to women's lives. Instead, it has at least as many male poets writing ABOUT women as women speaking to their own experiences, and many of these poems fall prey to romanticizing womanhood, seeing women once more through "the male gaze." As such, it contained a lot more platitude ...more
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Librarian’s note: There is more than one author in the Goodreads database with this name.

Caroline Bouvier Kennedy is an American author and attorney. She is the daughter and only surviving child of U.S. President John F. Kennedy and his wife, Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy Onassis. An older sister, Arabella, died shortly after her birth in 1956. Brother John F. Kennedy, Jr. died in a plane crash in 19
...more
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“Our mothers are our first teachers, and we teach others the same lessons we learn from them. As a child, when your mother believes in you, you believe in yourself, and when that happens, there is nothing you can’t do. As a mother, that is the greatest gift we can give to a child.” 1 likes
“Falling in love is a series of moments in which the ordinary becomes extraordinary. Those moments are not continuous, but the sense of union with another person is just about the best thing there is.” 0 likes
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