Poems That Make Grown Women Cry

Poems That Make Grown Women CryPoems that Make Grown Women Cry

Edited by Anthony and Ben Holden

Amnesty International

Contributors to the book were asked to write a little about why they chose a certain poem.

Ursula K. Le Guin:

I chose Robinson Jeffers’ “Hurt Hawks” because it always makes me cry. I’ve never yet got through the last lines without choking up. Jeffers is an uneven poet, and this is an uneven pair of poems, intemperate and unreasonable. Jeffers casts off humanity too easily. But he was himself a kind of maimed, hurt hawk, and his identification with the birds is true compassion. He builds pain unendurably so that we can know release.

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The introduction:

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3 Responses to Poems That Make Grown Women Cry

  1. Pingback: Pixel Scroll 4/5/16 If You Pixel Us, Do We Not Recommend? If You Scroll Us, Do We Not Read? | File 770

  2. damigiana says:

    “I told you in the course of this paper that Shakespeare had a sister;
    but do not look for her in Sir Sidney Lee’s life of the poet. She died
    young–alas, she never wrote a word. She lies buried where the omnibuses
    now stop, opposite the Elephant and Castle. Now my belief is that this
    poet who never wrote a word and was buried at the cross-roads still
    lives. She lives in you and in me, and in many other women who are not
    here to-night, for they are washing up the dishes and putting the
    children to bed. But she lives; for great poets do not die; they are
    continuing presences; they need only the opportunity to walk among us in
    the flesh. This opportunity, as I think, it is now coming within your
    power to give her. For my belief is that if we live another century or
    so–I am talking of the common life which is the real life and not of
    the little separate lives which we live as individuals–and have five
    hundred a year each of us and rooms of our own; if we have the habit of
    freedom and the courage to write exactly what we think; if we escape a
    little from the common sitting-room and see human beings not always in
    their relation to each other but in relation to reality; and the sky,
    too, and the trees or whatever it may be in themselves; if we look past
    Milton’s bogey, for no human being should shut out the view; if we face
    the fact, for it is a fact, that there is no arm to cling to, but that
    we go alone and that our relation is to the world of reality and not
    only to the world of men and women, then the opportunity will come and
    the dead poet who was Shakespeare’s sister will put on the body which
    she has so often laid down. Drawing her life from the lives of the
    unknown who were her forerunners, as her brother did before her, she
    will be born. As for her coming without that preparation, without that
    effort on our part, without that determination that when she is born
    again she shall find it possible to live and write her poetry, that we
    cannot expect, for that would be impossible. But I maintain that she
    would come if we worked for her, and that so to work, even in poverty
    and obscurity, is worth while.”

    I don’t know if this counts as a poem, but it has made me cry consistently for 30+ years.

  3. –Virginia Woolf
    A Room of One’s Own