Sylvia Valevicius's Reviews > The Woman in this Poem: Women's Voices in Poetry

The Woman in this Poem by Georgia Heard
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Jan 09, 2016

it was amazing

Notwithstanding our digital world, how I love the physical feel of this poetry book! 'The Woman in this Poem': Women's Voices in Poetry - an anthology published by Plumleaf Press and edited by Georgia Heard.

The cover is gorgeous - a woman's profile of head and bare shoulders - chin raised, mouth open emitting a stream of life's emotional experience, raw and beautiful. The artwork in this anthology is stunning in its bold colours, tranquil patterns, and pages of splendid simplicity. The volume is worthy of elegant coffee-table display, but even more so, it beckons to be picked up and cherished for the verses inside.

In her Introduction, Heard states that she chose poems "that might affirm our experiences and feelings and make us feel less alone." This book is structured by themes, and as Heard intends, there are remarkable pieces of emotion therein which remind us of our shared humanity. I also loved the diversity of talent and reading the biographies of the authors, several whose works are familiar to me, but greatly enjoyed being introduced to poets new to me, as well. Some in translation. Simply lovely.


'Possibilities' by Wislawa Szymborska: "I prefer not to ask how much longer and when."

'Laundry' by Ruth Moose: "There is joy in clean laundry
All is forgiven
in water, sun, and air."

'You Can't Have It All' by Barbara Ras: "You can't bring back the dead,
but you can have the words forgive and forget
hold hands as if they meant to spend a lifetime together."

So many poems have become my new 'favourites'. Rachel Hadas in 'The Red Hat', about watching your child begin independence will put a lump in your throat, whether you are a parent or grandparent of either gender, reading this verse. Or 'Bedecked' by Victoria Redel. Pierces the heart.

A stanza on 'Happiness' by Jane Kenyon offers such hope:

"It even comes to the boulder
in the perpetual shade of pine barrens,
to rain falling on the open sea,
to the wineglass, weary of holding wine."

Be prepared to laugh, or weep, unashamedly, at some of the images in this volume that sear into your heart. What a smorgasbord of delight, elegance, and truth.

And as a surprise, check out the haunting refrain in Georgia Heard's own poem:
'Can Women Have It All?' (p. 72)

This anthology is such a treat! THE WOMAN IN THIS POEM. Resonates. I am she. So are you.
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Reading Progress

January 7, 2016 – Started Reading
January 9, 2016 – Shelved
January 9, 2016 – Finished Reading

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Sylvia Valevicius Thank you, Lily, for your positive response.

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