4 Poets Women Should Read And Enjoy

During the hectic, over stimulating times of 2017, I find myself yearning for some kind of escape. This year I have found myself seeking sanctuary between the covers of books by some of my favorite poets. It’s become my ritual to read poetry when I’m feeling overwhelmed, stressed, or if I’m aching to feel a bit more present.

So here are some of my recommendations for you badass women. Recommendations that you can find me carrying in my bag on my morning commute.  

Milk and Honey by Rupi Kaur

Photo taken byphotographer: Prabh Kaur / art direction: Rupi Kaur

Photo taken byphotographer: Prabh Kaur / art direction: Rupi Kaur

Now I am sure you’ve heard of this one. Every woman should own a copy of ‘Milk and Honey’. It is a New York Times Best Seller. Kaur, “the instagram poet”, has brought comfort and relatability to women through her poems in her books and on her social media.

The poetry tears you open and heals the broken parts of you as you progress through the book which is what I believe Kaur intends. She deals with themes such as femininity, sexual assault, and the joys and aches of being a woman.

“the night after you left
i woke up so broken
the only place to put the pieces
were the bags under my eyes”
- Rupi Kaur

Read if you need to find yourself or heal yourself. If you need a good cry or a best friend. 

Lullabies by Lang Leav

Photo taken from Instagram

Photo taken from Instagram

Lang Leav is also one of this generation’s proclaimed “social media poets” beginning her journey on Tumblr before becoming an international best selling author.

“Lullabies” submerges us in a world of the overwhelming whirlwind of true love and the heartaches and heartbreaks in between. Leav writes with a little girl quality surrounding us with whimsical fantasy and grounding us with grown up relatable content about lost loves. It is easy to see that Leav loves hard, leaving behind a lingering taste of the Brontë sisters. When love seemed like life and death before the convenience of swiping right. I suggest getting lost with Lang Leav.

Over My Head By Lang Leav

“I count his breaths,
in hours unslept,
against hours of him,
I have left.
With him lying there,
with him unaware,
I am out of my depth.”

Read when you feel romantic or lovesick. Disheartened or curious.

Dirty Pretty Things by Michael Faudet

Photo taken from Instagram

Photo taken from Instagram

I would have to say that this book was one of my gateway books to discovering my love affair with poetry. “Dirty Pretty Things” is filled with short stanzas of provocative ideas and inspiration. It revolves around the ideas of sex, foreplay, and the love of the written word. The book waits for you as if with a bow on top, ready to be unwrapped. Faudet switches from the male and female perspective effortlessly appealing to your dominant and submissive impulses and fantasies.

(Fun fact: Faudet is in a long term relationship with Lang Leav. They first bonded over their love for art and their similar writing styles. I find it fun to alternate between the poets and find secrets they hide for each other in their work.) 

Foreplay By Michael Faudet

Your words touch me in a way I find difficult to
describe, she said, although whenever I read
them it feels a lot like foreplay.

Read when you are feeling sexy. When you want to feel yourself or feel empowered. 

Thirst by Mary Oliver

Photo taken by Barbara Savage Cheresh, from Our World (Beacon Press, 2007)

Photo taken by Barbara Savage Cheresh, from Our World (Beacon Press, 2007)

Mary Oliver is a Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award Winning poet who’s been around far longer than the 2000 and teens. Her work is transcendent through decades. “Thirst,” published in 2006 is one of my favorite compilations from Oliver. It revolves around the themes of grief, love, art, and time.

Her poems are simple but create a powerful impact. It also creates perspective. Oliver’s poems reveal what is truly important in life and what we choose to reflect on in times of silence.

The Uses of Sorrow By Mary Oliver

(In my sleep I dreamed this poem)

Someone I loved once gave me
a box full of darkness.
It took me years to understand
that this, too, was a gift.

Read when you are seeking perspective and longing to feel grounded in a world that sometimes feels filled with trivial details.