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Friday, August 03, 2018

Poetry Friday--Forgotten Women

I attended the Massachusetts Poetry Festival in May and went to a reading by contributors to an anthology, Forgotten Women: A Tribute in Poetry edited by Ginny Lowe Connors. I was so impressed by the readers and their poems that I ordered a copy of the book for the Library's collection [811.008 FOR].

The poems give a voice to women, some whose names you may know, but mostly those without a name, who found their contributions to the world were dismissed or never appreciated. Here is one:
My Mother Comes Home Crying from GE
by Ann Clark

My father, who works swing shift
and makes Campbell’s Tomato Soup
and grilled cheese for me every day
when I get home from kindergarten,
asks what’s wrong hon, what’s wrong,
why are you back early, are you sick,
but she is still going oh, oh, oh, out
loud like me or my brother when we cry,
as if she has skinned her knees,
and I sit at the white and silver
kitchen table and swing my legs
and wait for soup, and she says
he took my idea, he took it and said
it was his after he promised to present
it to engineering, he didn’t give me credit;
they gave him a thousand shares
in the company and when I told him
he stole my idea, he just smiled
and said sure I did, how are you
going to prove it you little, oh, oh,
and her knees are hurt again so
she can’t say the words, and smoke
is choking the kitchen because
my grilled cheese is burned
so I know my soup will have
a thick, dark skin like a scab.
Mary Lee is hosting the Poetry Friday Round-Up today at A Year of Reading--be sure to stop by!


  1. What a powerful poem Diane–I'll have to look for this book, thanks for sharing it!

  2. SO very powerful, Diane. If this is any indication of the quality of the rest of the book, it is amazing.

  3. Oh, wow. The emotion in this poem is PALPABLE!!

  4. Such a well-written poem, so much technique and emotion, narrated by a child who is taking in trauma from the way the world treats her mother. That last line. Wow.

  5. That's a wow of a poem. This is crafted beautifully, translated through the lens of a child. It pulses with pain and that ending line/image is so powerful. Thanks for sharing. I'm definitely going to keep an eye out for this book.

  6. Oh the power a poem can have. Deeply painful, that one.

  7. Wow--what a poem. Have you seen the obituary series that the NYT is doing to give long overdue tribute to women whose contributions were overlooked at the time of their life and death? I may have to go look at some of them again for poetry inspiration!

  8. Nice ending. That book sounds right up your alley.

  9. Oh how heartbreaking, it just boils my blood, and makes me so, so thankful to all those brave, strong, determined women who paved the way for future generations of women. We are still far from a fair world, but they did so much and changed so much.