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Celebrating World Poetry Day: Empowering Poetesses Worldwide

This post commemorates World Poetry Day by celebrating the rich legacy and enduring contributions of poetesses throughout history. By examining the lives, works, and impact of notable female poets, it underscores the significance of their voices in shaping the literary landscape. World Poetry Day, observed on March 21st, serves as a poignant reminder of the power of poetry to inspire, provoke thought, and evoke emotion. Through exploration of diverse themes such as identity, love, resilience, and activism, poetesses have offered unique perspectives that resonate with audiences worldwide. This post highlights the importance of recognizing and empowering poetesses, advocating for their inclusion and amplification in the literary world on this auspicious occasion. Drawing from a variety of sources including books, articles, and websites, it presents a comprehensive overview of the remarkable achievements of women poets and their ongoing relevance in contemporary society.

"Home" by Warsan Shire

no one leaves home unless

home is the mouth of a shark

you only run for the border

when you see the whole city running as well

your neighbors running faster than you

breath bloody in their throats

the boy you went to school with

who kissed you dizzy behind the old tin factory

is holding a gun bigger than his body

you only leave home

when home won’t let you stay.

no one leaves home unless home chases you

fire under feet

hot blood in your belly

it’s not something you ever thought of doing

until the blade burnt threats into

your neck

and even then you carried the anthem under

your breath

only tearing up your passport in an airport toilet

sobbing as each mouthful of paper

made it clear that you wouldn’t be going back.

you have to understand,

that no one puts their children in a boat

unless the water is safer than the land

no one burns their palms

under trains

beneath carriages

no one spends days and nights in the stomach of a truck

feeding on newspaper unless the miles traveled

means something more than a journey.

no one crawls under fences

no one wants to be beaten


no one chooses refugee camps

or strip searches where your

body is left aching

or prison,

because prison is safer

than a city of fire

and one prison guard

in the night

is better than a truckload

of men who look like your father

no one could take it

no one could stomach it

no one skin would be tough enough


go home blacks


dirty immigrants

asylum seekers

sucking our country dry

niggers with their hands out

they smell strange


messed up their country and now they want

to mess ours up

how do the words

the dirty looks

roll off your backs

maybe because the blow is softer

than a limb torn off

or the words are more tender

than fourteen men between

your legs

or the insults are easier

to swallow

than rubble

than bone

than your child body

in pieces

i want to go home,

but home is the mouth of a shark

home is the barrel of the gun

and no one would leave home

unless home chased you to the shore

unless home told you

to quicken your legs

leave your clothes behind

crawl through the desert

wade through the oceans



be hunger


forget pride

your survival is more important

no one leaves home until home is a sweaty voice in your ear



run away from me now

i don't know what i’ve become

but i know that anywhere

is safer than here

As we commemorate World Poetry Day on March 21st, we are reminded of the profound impact of poetry on our lives. Poetry has the remarkable ability to transcend boundaries, ignite emotions, and provoke thought. It is a medium through which voices are amplified, stories are shared, and perspectives are illuminated. In celebrating this day, we not only honor the artistry of poetry but also recognize the vital role of poetesses in shaping the literary landscape.

Throughout history, poetesses have defied norms, challenged conventions, and fearlessly expressed their truths through verse. From the ancient musings of Sappho to the contemporary works of Amanda Gorman, poetesses have contributed richly to the tapestry of human experience. Yet, despite their undeniable talent and resilience, poetesses have often faced barriers and marginalization within the literary world.

On this World Poetry Day, it is imperative that we amplify the voices of poetesses and strive to create a more inclusive and equitable space for their artistry to flourish. It is a day to celebrate their achievements, acknowledge their contributions, and empower them to continue shaping the narrative of our shared humanity.

We delve into the significance of World Poetry Day as a platform to uplift and empower poetesses worldwide. Through exploration of their works, experiences, and the challenges they may face, we aim to highlight the importance of supporting and championing poetesses in their creative endeavors. Let us embark on a journey to celebrate the resilience, creativity, and indomitable spirit of poetesses on this auspicious occasion of World Poetry Day.

There are several remarkable poetesses who have made enduring contributions to literature and have left a profound impact on the world. Some of the most celebrated poetesses in history include:

1. Sappho (c. 630 – c. 570 BCE) - An ancient Greek poetess from the island of Lesbos, known for her lyric poetry, especially her love poems. She is often referred to as the "Tenth Muse" and is highly esteemed for her emotional depth and vivid imagery.

2. Emily Dickinson (1830–1886) - An American poetess known for her innovative and unconventional poetry style. Dickinson's works explore themes of death, nature, love, and the human experience. Her unique use of punctuation and syntax has made her one of the most influential poets in American literature.

3. Maya Angelou (1928–2014) - An American poetess, memoirist, and civil rights activist. Angelou's poetry reflects her experiences as an African American woman, addressing themes of identity, resilience, and empowerment. Her most famous work, "I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings," is a testament to her literary talent and cultural impact.

4. Elizabeth Barrett Browning (1806–1861) - An English poetess of the Victorian era, known for her romantic poetry and sonnets. Barrett Browning's most famous work, "Sonnets from the Portuguese," explores themes of love, faith, and the human condition. She was highly respected during her lifetime and continues to be celebrated for her poetic prowess.

5. Sylvia Plath (1932–1963) - An American poetess known for her confessional style and exploration of themes such as mental illness, gender roles, and the search for identity. Plath's most famous work, "Ariel," is considered a masterpiece of modern poetry and has had a profound influence on subsequent generations of poets.

These are just a few examples, and there are many other talented poetesses throughout history who have left an indelible mark on literature and culture.

In modern times, there are numerous talented poetesses who continue to contribute to the world of poetry with their unique voices and perspectives. Some notable contemporary poetesses include:

1. Warsan Shire (1988 -)  A British-Somali poetess whose work often explores themes of identity, migration, womanhood, and trauma. Shire gained widespread recognition for her poetry collection "Teaching My Mother How to Give Birth" and her collaboration with Beyoncé on the visual album "Lemonade."

2. Rupi Kaur (1992.-) A Canadian poetess known for her minimalist style and deeply personal poetry. Kaur's poetry collections, such as "Milk and Honey" and "The Sun and Her Flowers," have resonated with millions of readers worldwide, addressing themes of love, loss, healing, and feminism.

3. Amanda Gorman (1992- )An American poetess and activist who gained international acclaim for her performance at the inauguration of President Joe Biden in January 2021. Gorman's powerful poem "The Hill We Climb" captured the spirit of hope and resilience, earning her widespread praise for her eloquence and insight.

4. Ada Limón( 1998-)  An American poetess known for her evocative imagery and lyrical style. Limón's poetry often explores themes of nature, grief, love, and the complexities of human emotions. She has received numerous awards for her work, including the National Book Critics Circle Award for Poetry.

5. Nayyirah Waheed - A poetess known for her minimalist poetry style, characterized by short verses and powerful imagery. Waheed's poetry collections, including "salt." and "nefertiti," address themes of self-love, healing, and the immigrant experience, resonating with readers around the world.


the ocean

can calm itself,

so can you.


are both

salt water

mixed with


Nayyirah Waheed

In commemorating World Poetry Day and celebrating the talents of poetesses worldwide, we are reminded of the power and significance of their voices. Through their words, poetesses illuminate the human experience, challenge societal norms, and inspire change. From addressing themes of identity, migration, and trauma to exploring love, healing, and resilience, poetesses offer a unique perspective that enriches our understanding of the world.

As we reflect on the contributions of poetesses like Warsan Shire, Rupi Kaur, Amanda Gorman, Ada Limón, and Nayyirah Waheed, it becomes evident that their voices are essential in shaping the literary landscape and driving social progress. Their courage to speak truth to power, to embrace vulnerability, and to advocate for change serves as a beacon of hope for generations to come.

On this World Poetry Day and beyond, let us continue to uplift and empower poetesses, providing them with the platforms and opportunities to share their stories and amplify their voices. By doing so, we not only honor their creativity and resilience but also pave the way for a more inclusive and equitable world where every voice is heard and celebrated. As we celebrate the diversity of voices in the world of poetry, let us remember the words of Maya Angelou: "We may encounter many defeats but we must not be defeated." Let us rise together, hand in hand, and empower poetesses to continue shaping our shared narrative with their indomitable spirit and unwavering passion.

Creating a bibliography specifically for the topic of poetesses or women poets would involve referencing sources that provide information about the lives, works, and contributions of female poets throughout history. Here's a sample bibliography for such a topic:

Curator munllonch at nomoremuses


1. Gilbert, Sandra M., and Susan Gubar. "The Madwoman in the Attic: The Woman Writer and the Nineteenth-Century Literary Imagination." Yale University Press, 2000. (This book examines the role of women writers, including poets, in the 19th century.)

2. Greene, Gayle. "The Poetics of Women's Autobiography: Marginality and the Fictions of Self-Representation." Indiana University Press, 1989. (Explores autobiographical writings by women, which may include poets.)

3. McDowell, Paula. "The Women of Grub Street: Press, Politics, and Gender in the London Literary Marketplace, 1678-1730." Oxford University Press, 1998. (Focuses on the lives and work of women writers, including poets, in 17th and 18th-century London.)


(A collection of biographies and poems by women poets from various periods and cultures.)

2. Smith, Bonnie H. "Women Poets in the Nineteenth Century." The Cambridge History of American Poetry, edited by Alfred Bendixen and Stephen Burt, Cambridge University Press, 2014, pp. 53-79. (An academic analysis of the role and contributions of women poets in 19th-century America.)


1. Academy of American Poets - Women's History Month: (Features articles, poems, and resources celebrating women poets during Women's History Month.)

2. - Women's Poetry: (A collection of poems by women poets available on the website of the Academy of American Poets.)



Poetesses ;  Women poets ; World Poetry Day ; Literature ; Empowerment ; Identity ; Diversity ; Feminism ; Activism ; Resilience


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