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Tag Archives: poetry

“On Virtue”

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Allegory of Virtues by Antonio da Correggio

Sometimes the virtues we strive for seem like they are impossibly out of reach. No matter how hard we try to make ourselves patient, wise, or forbearing, we constantly fall short of our expectations.

Part of self-reflection is learning to know our own short-comings. To recognize the things that try our patience the most. To predict the times our tempers are likely to flare.

But knowing that we are flawed doesn’t excuse us from trying to be better. Virtue is closer and more attainable than we might think. Phillis Wheatley, a black slave and the first African-American woman to publish a book, writes a beautiful allegory about just how easy virtue is to find for those that go looking for it.

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“The Female of the Species Is More Deadly Than the Male”

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Some have called Rudyard Kipling’s poem sexist, but I think “The Female of the Species Is More Deadly Than the Male” celebrates some of the greatest gifts biology gave me as a woman.

Women have that great power, not just because we are necessary for bearing and raising children, but also because we are the ones responsible for defending the family. And I’m proud to be the member of a sex that I have observed, time and again, look for practical solutions to keep our families fed, warm, and safe where men look for abstract principals. Read the rest of this entry

“The New Colossus” by Emma Lazarus

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The French gave the State of Liberty to the United States in 1886. The two countries built the statue together to serve as a memorial of their difficult, revolutionary struggles. But, in 1903 Emma Lazarus’ sonnet “The New Colossus” made the Statue into more than just a symbol of the two nations’ independence. Her poem, and the epigraph from it now engraved at the Statue’s base, turned the Statue of Liberty into a welcoming mother and a symbol of hope to immigrants from all over the world.

To celebrate American independence, Experimental Wifery shows you how to really read a poem that reminds us not only what it means to be American, but also of the role all women should play in welcoming strangers and tending to the down-trodden. Read the rest of this entry

How to Really Read a Poem

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A great poem takes someone’s personal experience or perceptions and makes them real for the rest of the world. When we read one of these great poems, we begin to understand the world outside of ourselves. That’s why poetry is so important to those of us striving to be better women and wives—through poetry, we enter into the world’s cultural heritage and make ourselves a part of it.

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How to Memorize a Poem

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When my son was a newborn, he loved it when we sang him songs. He loved it so much, in fact, that all those cherished lullabies I’d painstakingly memorized didn’t lull him to sleep at all—they kept him rapt with attention. So I fell back on reciting him poetry.

Lewis Carroll’s “The Jabberwocky” was Thomas’ favorite. It made me so happy to talk to my “beamish boy” as I gently rocked him to sleep. With the perfect poem in mind, I was able to share the gift of poetry with someone I cared about at just the right moment. Read the rest of this entry