10 Inspirational Poems for Women’s History Month 2023
“Celebrating Women Who Tell Our Stories”
March is Women’s History Month, a time to celebrate the achievements and contributions of women throughout history. Poetry has been a powerful medium for women to share their stories and experiences. This year the theme is “Celebrating Women Who Tell Our Stories” and here at the #lisquad we love doing just that not just in March, but year round. But in case you’re new here, we’ve highlighted 10 inspirational poems for Women History Month who have used their words to make a difference.
1- “Phenomenal Woman” by Maya Angelou
Angelou is an American poet, memoirist, and civil rights activist known for her powerful and inspiring works. This empowering poem celebrates the beauty and strength of women of all shapes, sizes, and backgrounds.
2- “Still I Rise” by Maya Angelou
Taking spot 1 and 2, Maya Angelou not only inspires women but implores them to use their womanhood to their advantage and be proud. This powerful poem speaks to the resilience and determination of women in the face of adversity. She’s had a lot to say and really became an icon with 36 book and poetry collections.
3- “A Litany for Survival” by Audre Lorde
Audre Lorde is not a stranger on little infinite but that doesn’t mean we will seclude her from this inspirational list. Furthermore, it shows how much we look to her in times like this, when women need to share their voice and hear our stories. As black lesbian feminist poet, Andre Lorde wrote extensively about the intersection of race, gender, and sexuality. “A Litany of Survival” poem is a call to action, urging women to stand up and fight for their rights and freedom.
4- “The Mother” by Gwendolyn Brooks
As the first African American author to win the Pulitzer Prize, Gwendolyn is a great example of a women who has endured hardship but persevered. This heartbreaking poem explores the pain and loss of a mother who has had to give up her child.
5- “Aurora Leigh” by Elizabeth Barrett Browning
A groundbreaking poet who challenged societal norms and advocated for women’s rights through her work. This poem tells the story of a woman’s journey to find her place in the world and pursue her passion for writing.
6- “The Country Girls” by Edna St. Vincent Millay
Again, an inspirational woman for her unapologetic expression of sexuality and feminist ideals. Though Edna St. Vincent Millay is no ordinary writer. She’s won many awards from a being the first woman to win the Pulitzer Prize, Frost Medal, and many more. This poem celebrates the strength and independence of women who choose to live their lives on their own terms.
7- “The Heart Asks Pleasure First” by Emily Dickinson
A bold and unconventional poet especially for her time, Emily Dickinson, challenging the literary norms. We owe her our gratitude for breaking so many boundaries for women. This poem explores the human desire for happiness and the importance of following one’s heart. Equally important, her collection, The Complete Poems of Emily Dickinson, is on our top 5 poetry books of all time!
“The Heart Asks Pleasure First”
The Heart asks Pleasure—first—
And then—Excuse from Pain—
And then—those little Anodynes
That deaden suffering—
And then—to go to sleep—
And then—if it should be
The will of its Inquisitor
The privilege to die—
8- “Diving Into the Wreck” by Adrienne Rich
An empowering feminist writer, Adrienne Rich, explored issues of identity, sexuality, and social justice. Rich’s poem is a metaphor for the feminist movement, exploring the process of uncovering and reclaiming lost or hidden aspects of women’s history and experience. It’s no surprise this piece of art has made the list for Top Inspirational Poems National Women’s History.
9- “The Speed of Darkness” by Muriel Rukeyser
Next, we invite you to take a listen to the strong words shared in, “The Speed of Darkness” by Muriel Rukeyser in the above link. She is an American poet and political activist known for her commitment to social justice causes. This poem speaks to the importance of acknowledging and confronting the darkness and pain in our lives and finding strength and resilience in the face of adversity. In additional, Muriel’s poems naturally do not hold back and calls even the uncomfortable things out so they can be discussed. This particular poem, we do advise you to listen to but give a warning for language.
10- “The Moon is Always Female” by Marge Piercy
Marge Piercy likes to highlight the beauty and intensity internally and externally through her poems. As American poet, novelist, and social activist she has focused most her work to extensively write about feminist and political issues. Last on our top list, Piercy’s feminist poem, “The Moon is Always Female” celebrates the power and beauty of women and calls for a world in which women are free to express themselves and their creativity fully.
These ten poems by inspirational women throughout history are just a small sample of the powerful words and experiences that women have shared through their poetry. This Women’s History Month, let’s continue to celebrate and uplift the voices of women in poetry, women who have broken barriers, shattered stereotypes, and inspired generations of readers and writers with their powerful words and beautiful gifts!
We hope you enjoyed our top Inspirational Poems Women’s History 2023. If you want to continue sharing stories like these women, #lisquad always has poetry contests where you can express yourself! Win prizes, vote, read other’s poetry, and be a part of a community! Check it out here.