Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Poetry for Women’s History Month

March is National Women’s History Month, an opportunity to seek out poetry by or about girls and women. Of course “girlpower” poems can be fun to share any day of the year, but we deserve our month, too. Here’s one of my favorite poems for the tired feminists out there, young and old. Told from the point of view of a feisty girl named Kate, she knows her own potential, but chooses to take a day off, so to speak. Even activists need a break now and then!

by Jean Little

TODAY I will not live up to my potential.
TODAY I will not relate well to my peer group.
TODAY I will not contribute in class.
I will not volunteer one thing.
TODAY I will not strive to do better.
TODAY I will not achieve or adjust or grow enriched
or get involved.
I will not put my hand up even if the teacher is wrong
and I can prove it.

TODAY I might eat the eraser off my pencil.
I’ll look at clouds.
I’ll be late.
I don’t think I’ll wash.


[from Hey, World, Here I Am!]

Children’s poetry books that feature poems about strong girls and women:
Adoff, Arnold. 1979. I Am the Running Girl. Harper.
Bush, Timothy. 2000. Ferocious Girls, Steamroller Boys, and Other Poems in Between. Orchard.
Franco, Betsy. 2001. Things I Have to Tell You: Poems And Writing by Teenage Girls. Candlewick.
Glaser, Isabel Joshlin. 1995. Dreams of Glory: Poems Starring Girls. Atheneum.
Grimes, Nikki. 1994. Meet Danitra Brown. Lothrop, Lee & Shepard.
Hollyer, Belinda. 2006. She's All That! Poems About Girls. Kingfisher.
Hopkins, Lee Bennett. 1973. Girls Can, Too! A Book of Poems. Franklin Watts.
Lewis, J. Patrick. 2005. Heroes and She-roes: Poems of Amazing and Everyday Heroes. Dial.
Lewis, J. Patrick. 2005. Vherses: A Celebration of Outstanding Women. Creative Editions.
Little, Jean. 1990. Hey, World, Here I Am! HarperTrophy.
Mora, Pat. 2001. Love to Mama: A Tribute to Mothers. Lee & Low.
Morrison, Lillian. 2001. More Spice Than Sugar. Houghton Mifflin.
Nye, Naomi Shihab. 2005. A Maze Me; Poems for Girls. Greenwillow.
Paul, Ann Whitford. 1999. All by Herself: 14 Girls Who Made a Difference. Harcourt Brace.
Philip, Neil, comp. 2000. It’s a Woman’s World: A Century of Women’s Voices in Poetry. Dutton.
Singer, Marilyn. 1996. All We Needed to Say: Poems About School from Tanya and Sophie. Atheneum.
Smith, Charles R., Jr. 2003. Hoop Queens. Candlewick.
Williams, Vera B. 2001. Amber Was Brave, Essie Was Smart. Greenwillow.


Jane said...

Hi, I did a post today on poetry books I use in my classroom. I think I am going to add a link to your site. This list is impressive!

Elaine Magliaro said...


Great list of poetry books! Kelly is doing the Poetry Friday roundup at Big A, little a today.