Works of Poetry Every Girl Needs on Her Bookshelf

There’s something undeniably powerful about a well-read woman. Learning from other women’s experiences and empowering one another through our words is a longstanding tradition that found an early platform in poetry. As a modern feminist, here are the poetic works that you’ll definitely want on your bookshelves.

Milk & Honey by Rupi Kaur (Click Here)

While you can’t go wrong with either of Kaur’s works, there’s something magical about this collection in particular. It may be the way that Kaur makes poetry accessible, or perhaps it’s simply the way in which she takes relatable experiences and transforms them into absolute beauty.

Whatever it is, Milk & Honey is a must-have for all feminists, whether you’re a fan of poetry or not. The book has four chapters—titled “the hurting,” “the loving,” “the breaking,” and the healing”—and each section houses a plethora of poetry to move you endlessly.

Phenomenal Woman: Four Poems Celebrating Women by Maya Angelou (Click Here)

No catalog of feminist poetry would be complete without Maya Angelou. While again, it’s difficult to go wrong with this poet, Phenomenal Woman can sell any feminist on the title alone. Published in 1995, this collection focuses on generational femininity and strength, beauty, and other topics that, while specific to women, transcend gender constraints and can be equally appreciated by all.

The Witch Doesn’t Burn in This One by Amanda Lovelace (Click Here)

There’s something undeniably powerful about bold women in control. In The Witch Doesn’t Burn in This One, Amanda Lovelace does exactly that: emboldens women.

Her poems are not only relatable, but are also encouraging, in that they call for women to stand up for themselves and counteract society’s oppression by moving forward anyway. Any woman that’s a fan of female power is going to walk away from this one even stronger in her convictions.

Poisoned Apples: Poems for You, My Pretty by Christine Heppermann (Click Here) (Ebook)

Who doesn’t love a good fairytale? More than that, who isn’t aware that fairytales aren’t real life? Until now, that is.

This collection of 50 fairytale-themed poems by Christine Heppermann doesn’t follow the typical tropes. Instead, with a modern twist that equates classic fairytales to modern teenage femininity, these poems are relatable, enjoyable and powerful.

The Black Unicorn: Poems by Audre Lorde (Click Here)

Audre Lorde’s work is going to take us back to the 70s, but it’s a retro trip you’ll be overwhelmingly glad you took. The Black Unicorn is feminist poetry at its best. Its rhythms and roots reach back to ancient mythology while still making relevant insights into current politics. It’s all-encompassing.

These poems are her most acclaimed works, and span a variety of subjects regarding what it is to be female. If Rupi Kaur is an accessible poet, Lorde is anything but. Her poems are layered, deep, and sometimes the meaning is slightly convoluted, requiring further analysis to decipher. Putting in the work is well worth it, though, as these works get at the core of the layered, deep, and convoluted beings we are as women.

Poetry is captivating, emotional, and an easy habit to fit into a busy schedule. Both past and present poets have taken the female experience and penned it into artwork that transcends time. As you round out your home libraries, consider these works, as they’ll be ones you return to, again and again.

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