Celebrating mothers and daughters, mothers and sons, grandmothers and grandchildren, Motherhood is a glorious, wonderfully intimate tribute to the first love in every reader’s life.
From tenth-century Japan’s Izumi Shikibu, colonial America’s Anne Bradstreet, and Victorian England’s Elizabeth Barrett Browning to Israel’s Yehuda Amichai, Ireland’s Paul Muldoon, and Russia’s Anna Akhmatova, poets across the centuries and around the world have immortalized this elemental relationship. Among the more than seventy poets in this anthology, Audre Lorde recalls “How the days went / While you were blooming within me”; Jorie Graham muses on her mother’s sewing box; Allen Ginsberg says goodbye in “Kaddish”; and Langston Hughes invokes a mother’s empowering example: “Don’t you fall now— / For I’se still goin’, honey, / I’se still climbin’, / And life for me ain’t been no crystal stair.” From Emily Brontë’s “Upon Her Soothing Breast” and Seamus Heaney’s “Mother of the Groom” to Sylvia Plath’s “Morning Song” and Frank O’Hara’s “Ave Maria,” the more than one hundred poems collected here enshrine the miracle of motherhood and the richness of feeling and experience it inspires.
About Carmela Ciuraru
Carmela Ciuraru is the editor of the anthology First Loves: Poets Introduce the Essential Poems That Captivated and Inspired Them, and the former editor of the Journal of the Poetry Society of America. A graduate of Columbia University's School of Journalism, she lives in New York City.