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Best Famous Women Poems

Here is a collection of the all-time best famous Women poems. This is a select list of the best famous Women poetry. Reading, writing, and enjoying famous Women poetry (as well as classical and contemporary poems) is a great past time. These top poems are the best examples of women poems.

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See also: Best Member Poems

by Sappho | |

To Atthis

My Atthis, although our dear Anaktoria
lives in distant Sardis,
she thinks of us constantly, and

of the life we shared in days when for her
you were a splendid goddess,
and your singing gave her deep joy.
Now she shines among Lydian women as when the red-fingered moon rises after sunset, erasing stars around her, and pouring light equally across the salt sea and over densely flowered fields; and lucent dew spreads on the earth to quicken roses and fragile thyme and the sweet-blooming honey-lotus.
Now while our darling wanders she thinks of lovely Atthis's love, and longing sinks deep in her breast.
She cries loudly for us to come! We hear, for the night's many tongues carry her cry across the sea.

by Sylvia Plath | |

Winter Trees

The wet dawn inks are doing their blue dissolve.
On their blotter of fog the trees Seem a botanical drawing-- Memories growning, ring on ring, A series of weddings.
Knowing neither abortions nor bitchery, Truer than women, They seed so effortlessly! Tasting the winds, that are footless, Waisting-deep in history-- Full of wings, otherworldliness.
In this, they are Ledas.
O mother of leaves and sweetness Who are these peitas? The shadows of ringdoves chanting, but easing nothing.
note: 12 Ledas: Leda, the maiden who was raped by Zeus in the guise of a swan.

by | |

The Shadow

FOLLOW a shadow it still flies you; 
Seem to fly it it will pursue: 
So court a mistress she denies you; 
Let her alone she will court you.
Say are not women truly then 5 Styled but the shadows of us men? At morn and even shades are longest; At noon they are or short or none: So men at weakest they are strongest But grant us perfect they're not known.
10 Say are not women truly then Styled but the shadows of us men?

by Philip Larkin | |

A Study Of Reading Habits

 When getting my nose in a book
Cured most things short of school,
It was worth ruining my eyes
To know I could still keep cool,
And deal out the old right hook
To dirty dogs twice my size.
Later, with inch-thick specs, Evil was just my lark: Me and my coat and fangs Had ripping times in the dark.
The women I clubbed with sex! I broke them up like meringues.
Don't read much now: the dude Who lets the girl down before The hero arrives, the chap Who's yellow and keeps the store Seem far too familiar.
Get stewed: Books are a load of crap.

by Christina Rossetti | |

Beneath Thy Cross

 Am I a stone, and not a sheep, 
That I can stand, O Christ, beneath thy cross, 
To number drop by drop Thy Blood's slow loss, 
And yet not weep?

Not so those women loved 
Who with exceeding grief lamented Thee; 
Not so fallen Peter weeping bitterly; 
Not so the thief was moved;

Not so the Sun and Moon 
Which hid their faces in a starless sky, 
A horror of great darkness at broad noon-- 
I, only I.
Yet give not o'er, But seek Thy sheep, true Shepherd of the flock; Greater than Moses, turn and look once more And smite a rock.

by Tadeusz Rozewicz | |


 When all the women in the transport
had their heads shaved
four workmen with brooms made of birch twigs
swept up
and gathered up the hair

Behind clean glass
the stiff hair lies
of those suffocated in gas chambers
there are pins and side combs
in this hair

The hair is not shot through with light
is not parted by the breeze
is not touched by any hand
or rain or lips

In huge chests
clouds of dry hair
of those suffocated
and a faded plait
a pigtail with a ribbon
pulled at school
by naughty boys.

by William Henry Davies | |

A Greeting

 Good morning, Life--and all 
Things glad and beautiful.
My pockets nothing hold, But he that owns the gold, The Sun, is my great friend-- His spending has no end.
Hail to the morning sky, Which bright clouds measure high; Hail to you birds whose throats Would number leaves by notes; Hail to you shady bowers, And you green field of flowers.
Hail to you women fair, That make a show so rare In cloth as white as milk-- Be't calico or silk: Good morning, Life--and all Things glad and beautiful.

by William Henry Davies | |

The Sleepers

 As I walked down the waterside 
This silent morning, wet and dark; 
Before the cocks in farmyards crowed, 
Before the dogs began to bark; 
Before the hour of five was struck 
By old Westminster's mighty clock:

As I walked down the waterside 
This morning, in the cold damp air, 
I was a hundred women and men 
Huddled in rags and sleeping there: 
These people have no work, thought I, 
And long before their time they die.
That moment, on the waterside, A lighted car came at a bound; I looked inside, and saw a score Of pale and weary men that frowned; Each man sat in a huddled heap, Carried to work while fast asleep.
Ten cars rushed down the waterside Like lighted coffins in the dark; With twenty dead men in each car, That must be brought alive by work: These people work too hard, thought I, And long before their time they die.

by William Henry Davies | |

The Sluggard

 A jar of cider and my pipe, 
In summer, under shady tree; 
A book by one that made his mind 
Live by its sweet simplicity: 
Then must I laugh at kings who sit 
In richest chambers, signing scrolls; 
And princes cheered in public ways, 
And stared at by a thousand fools.
Let me be free to wear my dreams, Like weeds in some mad maiden's hair, When she believes the earth has not Another maid so rich and fair; And proudly smiles on rich and poor, The queen of all fair women then: So I, dressen in my idle dreams, Will think myself the king of men.

by Edwin Arlington Robinson | |


 Oh for a poet—for a beacon bright 
To rift this changless glimmer of dead gray; 
To spirit back the Muses, long astray, 
And flush Parnassus with a newer light; 
To put these little sonnet-men to flight
Who fashion, in a shrewd mechanic way, 
Songs without souls, that flicker for a day, 
To vanish in irrevocable night.
What does it mean, this barren age of ours? Here are the men, the women, and the flowers, The seasons, and the sunset, as before.
What does it mean? Shall there not one arise To wrench one banner from the western skies, And mark it with his name forevermore?

by Edwin Arlington Robinson | |

Reuben Bright

 Because he was a butcher and thereby 
Did earn an honest living (and did right), 
I would not have you think that Reuben Bright
Was any more a brute than you or I; 
For when they told him that his wife must die, 
He stared at them, and shook with grief and fright, 
And cried like a great baby half that night, 
And made the women cry to see him cry.
And after she was dead, and he had paid The singers and the sexton and the rest, He packed a lot of things that she had made Most mournfully away in an old chest Of hers, and put some chopped-up cedar boughs In with them, and tore down the slaughter-house.

by Edwin Arlington Robinson | |

The Clerks

 I did not think that I should find them there
When I came back again; but there they stood,
As in the days they dreamed of when young blood
Was in their cheeks and women called them fair.
Be sure, they met me with an ancient air,— And yes, there was a shop-worn brotherhood About them; but the men were just as good, And just as human as they ever were.
And you that ache so much to be sublime, And you that feed yourselves with your descent, What comes of all your visions and your fears? Poets and kings are but the clerks of Time, Tiering the same dull webs of discontent, Clipping the same sad alnage of the years.

by Edwin Arlington Robinson | |

Vain Gratuities

 Never was there a man much uglier 
In eyes of other women, or more grim: 
"The Lord has filled her chalice to the brim, 
So let us pray she's a philosopher," 
They said; and there was more they said of her-- 
Deeming it, after twenty years with him, 
No wonder that she kept her figure slim 
And always made you think of lavender.
But she, demure as ever, and as fair, Almost, as they remembered her before She found him, would have laughed had she been there, And all they said would have been heard no more Than foam that washes on an island shore Where there are none to listen or to care.

by Algernon Charles Swinburne | |

Blessed Among Women --To The Signora Cairoli

 Blessed was she that bare,
Hidden in flesh most fair,
For all men's sake the likeness of all love;
Holy that virgin's womb,
The old record saith, on whom
The glory of God alighted as a dove;
Blessed, who brought to gracious birth
The sweet-souled Saviour of a man-tormented earth.

by David Herbert Lawrence | |

To Women As Far As Im Concerned

 The feelings I don't have I don't have.
The feeling I don't have, I won't say I have.
The feelings you say you have, you don't have.
The feelings you would like us both to have, we neither of us have.
The feelings people ought to have, they never have.
If people say they've got feelings, you may be pretty sure they haven't got them.
So if you want either of us to feel anything at all You'd better abandon all ideas of feelings altogether.

by David Herbert Lawrence | |

Service of all the Dead

 Between the avenues of cypresses, 
All in their scarlet cloaks, and surplices 
Of linen, go the chaunting choristers, 
The priests in gold and black, the villagers.
And all along the path to the cemetery The round, dark heads of men crowd silently And black-scarved faces of women-folk, wistfully Watch at the banner of death, and the mystery.
And at the foot of a grave a father stands With sunken head, and forgotten, folded hands; And at the foot of a grave a woman kneels With pale shut face, and neither hears not feels The coming of the chaunting choristers Between the avenues of cypresses, The silence of the many villagers, The candle-flames beside the surplices.

by Lucy Maud Montgomery | |


 A hundred generations have gone into its making,
With all their love and tenderness, with all their dreams and tears;
Their vanished joy and pleasure, their pain and their heart-breaking,
Have colored this rare blossom of the long-unfruitful years.
Their victory and their laughter for this have strong men given, For this have sweet, dead women paid in patience which survives­ That a great soul might bring the world, as from the gate of heaven, All that was rich and beautiful in those forgotten lives.

by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe | |


 IN the drizzling mist, with the snow high-pil'd,
In the Winter night, in the forest wild,
I heard the wolves with their ravenous howl,
I heard the screaming note of the owl:

Wille wau wau wau!

Wille wo wo wo!


I shot, one day, a cat in a ditch--
The dear black cat of Anna the witch;
Upon me, at night, seven were-wolves came down,
Seven women they were, from out of the town.
Wille wau wau wau! Wille wo wo wo! Wito hu! I knew them all; ay, I knew them straight; First, Anna, then Ursula, Eve, and Kate, And Barbara, Lizzy, and Bet as well; And forming a ring, they began to yell: Wille wau wau wau! Wille wo wo wo! Wito hu! Then call'd I their names with angry threat: "What wouldst thou, Anna? What wouldst thou, Bet?" At hearing my voice, themselves they shook, And howling and yelling, to flight they took.
Wille wau wau wau! Wille wo wo wo! Wito hu! 1772.

by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe | |


 I AM the bard known far and wide,
The travell'd rat-catcher beside;
A man most needful to this town,
So glorious through its old renown.
However many rats I see, How many weasels there may be, I cleanse the place from ev'ry one, All needs must helter-skelter run.
Sometimes the bard so full of cheer As a child-catcher will appear, Who e'en the wildest captive brings, Whene'er his golden tales he sings.
However proud each boy in heart, However much the maidens start, I bid the chords sweet music make, And all must follow in my wake.
Sometimes the skilful bard ye view In the form of maiden-catcher too; For he no city enters e'er, Without effecting wonders there.
However coy may be each maid, However the women seem afraid, Yet all will love-sick be ere long To sound of magic lute and song.
[Da Capo.
] 1803.

by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe | |


 THOUGH tempers are bad and peevish folks swear,
Remember to ruffle thy brows, friend, ne'er;
And let not the fancies of women so fair
E'er serve thy pleasure in life to impair.

by James Henry Leigh Hunt | |


 Death is a road our dearest friends have gone;
Why with such leaders, fear to say, "Lead on?"
Its gate repels, lest it too soon be tried,
But turns in balm on the immortal side.
Mothers have passed it: fathers, children; men Whose like we look not to behold again; Women that smiled away their loving breath; Soft is the travelling on the road to death! But guilt has passed it? men not fit to die? O, hush -- for He that made us all is by! Human we're all -- all men, all born of mothers; All our own selves in the worn-out shape of others; Our used, and oh, be sure, not to be ill-used brothers!

by Arthur Hugh Clough | |

Across the Sea Along the Shore

 Across the sea, along the shore,
In numbers more and ever more,
From lonely hut and busy town,
The valley through, the mountain down,
What was it ye went out to see,
Ye silly folk Galilee?
The reed that in the wind doth shake?
The weed that washes in the lake?
The reeds that waver, the weeds that float?
A young man preaching in a boat.
What was it ye went out to hear By sea and land from far and near? A teacher? Rather seek the feet Of those who sit in Moses' seat.
Go humbly seek, and bow to them, Far off in great Jerusalem.
From them that in her courts ye saw, Her perfect doctors of the law, What is it came ye here to note? A young man preaching in a boat.
A prophet! Boys and women weak! Declare, or cease to rave; Whence is it he hath learned to speak? Say, who his doctrine gave? A prophet? Prophet wherefore he Of all in Israel tribes? He teacheth with authority, And not as do the Scribes.

by Mary Elizabeth Coleridge | |

The Witch

 I HAVE walked a great while over the snow, 
And I am not tall nor strong.
My clothes are wet, and my teeth are set, And the way was hard and long.
I have wandered over the fruitful earth, But I never came here before.
Oh, lift me over the threshold, and let me in at the door! The cutting wind is a cruel foe.
I dare not stand in the blast.
My hands are stone, and my voice a groan, And the worst of death is past.
I am but a little maiden still, My little white feet are sore.
Oh, lift me over the threshold, and let me in at the door! Her voice was the voice that women have, Who plead for their heart's desire.
She came--she came--and the quivering flame Sunk and died in the fire.
It never was lit again on my hearth Since I hurried across the floor, To lift her over the threshold, and let her in at the door.

by Marilyn L Taylor | |

At the End

 In another time, a linen winding sheet
would already have been drawn
about her, the funeral drums by now

would have throbbed their dull tattoo
into the shadows writhing 
behind the fire’s eye

while a likeness
of her narrow torso, carved
and studded with obsidian

might have been passed from hand
to hand and rubbed against the bellies
of women with child

and a twist of her gray hair
been dipped in oil
and set alight, releasing the essence

of her life’s elixir, pricking
the nostrils of her children
and her children’s children

whose amber faces nod and shine
like a ring of lanterns
strung around her final flare--

but instead, she lives in this white room
gnawing on a plastic bracelet
as she is emptied, filled and emptied.

by Sara Teasdale | |


 If I should see your eyes again,
 I know how far their look would go --
Back to a morning in the park
 With sapphire shadows on the snow.
Or back to oak trees in the spring When you unloosed my hair and kissed The head that lay against your knees In the leaf shadow's amethyst.
And still another shining place We would remember -- how the dun Wild mountain held us on its crest One diamond morning white with sun.
But I will turn my eyes from you As women turn to put away The jewels they have worn at night And cannot wear in sober day.