Feminism Poems

Poems about feminism celebrate the unity, support, and sisterhood that emerge from women’s shared experiences and aspirations. They inspire individuals of all genders to stand as allies, challenge injustice, and create a more equitable world.

Ultimately, these poems about feminism invite readers to embrace the principles of equality, respect, and the ongoing journey toward gender parity.

These beautiful poems celebrate women’s diversity, strength, and immense contributions, reminding us that feminism is a movement that benefits all of society.

“Why did you come” (#1 from Hermetic Definition: ‘Red Rose and a Beggar’)

by Hilda Doolittle

‘Why did you come’ by Hilda Doolittle is a free-verse poem about love, self-criticism, aging, and the human inability to control judgments and desires.

Hilda Doolittle was a passionate feminist, and much of this passion bled into her poetry. As in 'Why did you come,' Doolittle often touched on the themes of love from a more complex, feminine perspective. In this case, she questions and investigates the social implications of an older woman pursuing a romantic relationship with a younger man.

Why did you come

to trouble my decline?

I am old (I was old till you came);

A Muse of Water

by Carolyn Kizer

‘A Muse of Water’ by Carolyn Kizer is a unique poem that places women as a force of nature, like water, that men attempt to control, redirect, and oppress.

'A Muse of Water' is an excellent feminist poem, and it's widely regarded as one of the best American poems from the second wave of feminism in the 1960s. It delicately and intricately handles feminism, intertwining the subject with environmentalism. Ultimately, in this poem, Kizer demands recognition and respect from men, who have destroyed the natural roles of women and replaced them with artificial obligations that suppress them.

We who must act as handmaidens To our own goddess, turn too fast, Trip on our hems, to glimpse the muse Gliding below her lake or sea,

“Take me anywhere” (from Hermetic Definition: ‘Red Rose and a Beggar’)

by Hilda Doolittle

In “Take me anywhere, anywhere;” by Hilda Doolittle, the poet-speaker addresses a lover, expressing the way in which she takes refuge in their affection.

Coded deep within the poem are Hilda Doolittle's feminist opinions, which by modern standards, are a bit unconventional. While Doolittle believed in equal rights for women, she also believed that women were the mothers and the softer, more submissive half of any relationship. Her willingness to sacrifice herself to unite with her lover is evidence of this belief, and, thus, the poem offers a thought-provoking perspective on feminism.

Take me anywhere, anywhere;

I walk into you,


To the Ladies

by Lady Mary Chudleigh

‘To the Ladies’ by Lady Mary Chudleigh talks about how marriage rids the woman of her person and attaches her importance to the one she is married to.

Lady Mary Chudleigh was a feminist, and her poem, ‘To the Ladies’, expresses her stance clearly. She stands for what is right, and for a 1703 poem, it is a remarkable feat in the fight for women's rights. Feminism is its main topic. Towards the end of the poem, the speaker encourages women to break free and go for greatness. This is a very important contribution to literature about feminism.

Wife and servant are the same,

But only differ in the name:

For when that fatal knot is tied,

Which nothing, nothing can divide:  

Phenomenal Woman

by Maya Angelou

‘Phenomenal Woman’ by Maya Angelou defies the stereotypes women are often faced with today. It is a poem filled with strength and determination.

The poem stands as a feminist anthem, advocating for women's rights to define themselves rather than being confined by patriarchal norms. It’s a declaration of independence from societal definitions of womanhood.

Pretty women wonder where my secret lies.

I’m not cute or built to suit a fashion model’s size   

But when I start to tell them,

They think I’m telling lies.

Still I Rise

by Maya Angelou

‘Still I Rise’ is an inspiring and emotional poem that’s based around Maya Angelou’s experiences as a Black woman in America. It encourages readers to love themselves fully and persevere in the face of every hardship.

Feminism is a prominent theme in 'Still I Rise,' as the poem speaks to the empowerment and resilience of women. Maya Angelou's words challenge gender norms and celebrate the strength and achievements of women who have been marginalized and silenced.

You may write me down in history

With your bitter, twisted lies,

You may trod me in the very dirt

But still, like dust, I'll rise.

Who Said It Was Simple

by Audre Lorde

‘Who Said It Was Simple’ by Audre Lorde is a powerful poem about the inequalities in various civil rights movements during the poet’s lifetime.

The poem acknowledges the strength of women in the face of societal oppression. It recognizes the power of women coming together to fight for their freedom and equality.

There are so many roots to the tree of anger

that sometimes the branches shatter

before they bear.

In Celebration of My Uterus

by Anne Sexton

‘In Celebration of My Uterus’ by Anne Sexton is an uplifting poem about the meaning of womanhood. The poem explores Sexton’s perspective on feminine identity.

Sexton never called 'In Celebration of My Uterus' a feminist poem. However, this poem inspires a lot of feminists today in its unabashed celebration of the female identity and encouraging tone.

Sweet weight,

in celebration of the woman I am

and of the soul of the woman I am

and of the central creature and its delight


Flying Inside Your Own Body

by Margaret Atwood

‘Flying Inside Your Own Body’ by Margaret Atwood speaks on the freedom one can achieve in the dream world, verses the restrictions of reality. 

Although the poem does not explicitly address feminism, the imagery of weightlessness and freedom can be interpreted as a metaphor for women's liberation from societal constraints. Breaking free from earthly bounds can represent breaking free from traditional gender roles and expectations.

Your lungs fill & spread themselves,

wings of pink blood, and your bones

empty themselves and become hollow.

Lady Lazarus

by Sylvia Plath

‘Lady Lazarus’ is one of the best poems of Sylvia Plath and an ideal example of Plath’s diction. This poem contains Plath’s poetic expression of her suicidal thoughts.

The poem also addresses issues of gender and femininity. Plath uses the image of the Holocaust to draw parallels between the persecution of Jews and the oppression of women.

I have done it again.

One year in every ten

I manage it——

Explore more poems about Feminism

A Valediction Forbidding Mourning

by Adrienne Rich

Adrienne Rich’s ‘A Valediction Forbidding Mourning’ describes a speaker’s inability to express her thoughts in conventional poetic decorum. Rich wrote this piece in 1970.


by Louise Glück

‘Anniversary’ by Louise Glück contains the words of a cold male speaker to his female partner. These lines, taking place on their anniversary, convey a troubling relationship dynamic.

I Shall Paint My Nails Red

by Carole Satyamurti

‘I Shall Paint My Nails Red’ by Carole Satyamurti is a poem about why a female speaker painted her nails. The simple premise is made more complicated as she lists out the reasons why she painted her nails red. 

Because a bit of colour is a public service.

Because I am proud of my hands.

Because it will remind me I'm a woman.

Because I will look like a survivor.

I Taste a Liquor Never Brewed

by Emily Dickinson

‘I tasted a liquor never brewed’ by Emily Dickinson celebrates life. The poet uses natural imagery, such as that of berries, and pearls, to depict it.

I taste a liquor never brewed –

From Tankards scooped in Pearl –

Not all the Frankfort Berries

Yield such an Alcohol! 


by Sylvia Plath

‘Metaphors’ by Sylvia Plath is an autobiographical piece. It was written during Plath’s pregnancy and discusses the meaning of motherhood.

I'm a riddle in nine syllables,

An elephant, a ponderous house,

A melon strolling on two tendrils.

My Wicked Wicked Ways

by Sandra Cisneros

‘My Wicked Wicked Ways’ is the cover poem of the 1987 poetry collection by the same title. This piece is written by the Chicano poet Sandra Cisneros and it centers on an old photograph of a speaker’s family.


by Brenda Shaughnessy

‘Postfeminism’ by Brenda Shaughnessy is a powerful poem that uses imagery to depict a woman’s experience in the world while alluding to the phases of feminism.

She rose to His Requirement—dropt

by Emily Dickinson

‘She rose to His Requirement – dropt’ by Emily Dickinson speaks to the lack of freedom and respect women had in Dickinson’s time. It emphasizes the confining nature of marriage and society’s expectations for a married woman.

She rose to His Requirement—dropt

The Playthings of Her Life

To take the honorable Work

Of Woman, and of Wife—

The Hour is Come

by Louisa Lawson

‘The Hour is Come’ offers a heroic view of womanhood and celebrates those who are willing to fight for their rights and beliefs.

The Language of the Brag

by Sharon Olds

‘The Language of the Brag’ by Sharon Olds is an unforgettable poem about the strength and exceptionality of women’s bodies. It is set against the backdrop of giving birth. 

The Poem as Mask

by Muriel Rukeyser

‘The Poem as Mask’ by Muriel Rukeyser is a powerful, feminist poem that speaks to the poet’s experiences in life and with her poetry. 

The Ruined Maid

by Thomas Hardy

"O 'Melia, my dear, this does everything crown!

Who could have supposed I should meet you in Town?

And whence such fair garments, such prosperi-ty?" —

"O didn't you know I'd been ruined?" said she.

Women and Roses

by Robert Browning

‘Women and Roses’ by Robert Browning conveys a man’s perspective on women throughout time. They are represented by three apples on his metaphorical apple tree.

I dream of a red-rose tree.

And which of its roses three

Is the dearest rose to me?


by Alice Walker

‘Women’ is a short poem praising previous generations of African American women who fought for the education of girls.

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