Poems about Women's Strength

Who in One Lifetime by Muriel Rukeyser

‘Who in One Lifetime’ by Muriel Rukeyser is a poem about resistance in the face of war and suffering. The speaker asserts that a woman referred to only as “she” is standing strong despite what she’s seen. 

Who in One Lifetime by Muriel Rukeyser Visual Representation

Singapore by Mary Oliver

‘Singapore’ by Mary Oliver is a highly relatable poem that speaks about life’s struggles and the beauty of mundane and graceful work. It is set in an airport bathroom in Singapore. 

Singapore by Mary Oliver Visual Representation

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 Language of the Brag by Sharon Olds Visual Representation

A Woman Waits for Me by Walt Whitman

Formerly known as ‘Poem of Procreation,’ Whitman’s ‘A Woman Waits for Me’ is all about the power of regeneration, procreation, and creativity.

A Woman Waits for Me by Walt Whitman Visual Representation

To a Dark Girl by Gwendolyn Bennett

‘To a Dark Girl’ by Gwendolyn Bennett is a moving and inspiring poem that seeks to uplift Black girls and women and remind them of their beauty and strength. 

To a Dark Girl by Gwendolyn Bennett Visual Representation

Fragment by Angelina Weld Grimké

‘Fragment’ by Angelina Weld Grimké is a short and powerful poem in which a woman discusses, in simple terms, who she is and how she toils on a day-to-day basis.

Fragment by Angelina Weld Grimké Visual Representation

The Mechanic by Diane Wakoski

‘The Mechanic’ by Diane Wakoski discusses men’s intuitive powers and the complexity of women’s hearts. The poet uses an extended metaphor comparing men to mechanics and women to the complex engines of cars. 

The Mechanic by Diane Wakoski Visual Representation

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. 

'I Shall Paint My Nails Red’ by Carole Satyamurti

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 Poem as Mask by Muriel Rukeyser Visual Representation

The Window by Diane di Prima

‘The Window,’ an interesting poem is written by the Beat poet Diane di Prima, compares poetry to a “window” to a writer’s soul. It showcases how poetry captures the very essence of the poet and her thoughts.

The Window by Diane di Prima Visual Representation

i am water by Rupi Kaur

‘i am water’ by Rupi Kaur is a thoughtful poem that uses water as a metaphor. The speaker sees their soft and tough qualities. 

i am water by Rupi Kaur Visual Representation

Legacy by Rupi Kaur

‘Legacy,’ also sometimes known as ’I stand on the sacrifices’ is one of Rupi Kaur’s best-known poems. It is about the sacrifices women have made throughout time to improve the lives of women who followed.

Legacy by Rupi Kaur Visual Representation

to my last period by Lucille Clifton

‘to my last period’ by Lucille Clifton is a thoughtful poem. In it, the speaker mourns for her lost youth and acknowledges further changes to come. 

to my last period by Lucille Clifton Visual Representation

Women by Alice Walker

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

Women by Alice Walker Visual Representation

One Girl by Sappho

‘One Girl’ by Sappho is a beautiful and moving poem. In the two short stanzas, readers can explore imagery Sappho relates to marriage and the loss of freedom for a young woman. 

One Girl by Sappho Visual Representation

Postfeminism 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.

Postfeminism by Brenda Shaughnessy visual representation

Harriet Tubman by Eloise Greenfield

‘Harriet Tubman’ by Eloise Greenfield is a moving and simple piece of poetry about Tubman’s life. The poet explores her bravery and determination in the face of impossible odds.

Harriet Tubman by Eloise Greenfield Visual Representation

Your One Good Dress by Brenda Shaughnessy

‘Your One Good Dress’ by Brenda Shaughnessy is a compelling poem about choosing the right dress. The one dress “you” choose should represent you in a clear and powerful way.

your One Good Dress by Brenda Shaughnessy

Two Women by Marcus Wilcox

‘Two Women’ by Marcus Wilcox is a thoughtful and complex poem about identity. The speaker spends the text discussing the lives of two different women.

two women by marcus wilcox

When You Come by Maya Angelou

‘When You Come’ by Maya Angelou is a powerful piece about a past love. The poet uses figurative language to emphasize the experience of reliving the past.

When You Come by Maya Angelou Visual Representation

Farewell, Ungrateful Traitor! by John Dryden

‘Farewell, Ungrateful Traitor!’ by John Dryden swears off men and relationships. The speaker asserts that men are incapable of being truthful or loving as much as women.

Farewell Ungrateful Traitor by John Dryden visual representation

Circe by Carol Ann Duffy

‘Circe’ by Carol Ann Duffy is a poem about Circe’s reassertion of control over her life and how she now considers men. 

Cinderella by Anne Sexton

‘Cinderella’ by Anne Sexton tells the story of Cinderella while also engaging with the theme of feminism and focusing on a very different ending.

Power by Adrienne Rich

‘Power’ by Adrienne Rich is a memorable poem that focuses on the power of Marie Curie and the impact she made on her field.

A Mark of Resistance by Adrienne Rich

‘A Mark of Resistance’ by Adrienne Rich is a poem about individual resistance. The poet voices her solidarity with those who face discrimination from society.

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