In She Walks in Beauty, Caroline Kennedy has put together a fantastic collection of poetry. I read this book slowly so that I could savor the journey of a woman’s life through poetry. I read it so slowly, in fact, that some of you may remember me reading this book back in August.
The organization of this collection is what first drew me to it. Kennedy breaks the collection into sections and precedes each with an introduction that she has written. I enjoyed her introductions as much as I enjoyed the poems. Each section represents a stage in a woman’s life. The sections are: Falling In Love, Making Love, Breaking Up, Marriage, Love Itself, Work, Beauty Clothes and Things of This World, Motherhood, Silence and Solitude, Growing Up and Growing Old, Death and Grief, Friendship, and How to Live. What makes this collection so wonderful is that it can be returned to over the years and different sections will stick out at different times. At this point in my life, the final two sections resonated with me the most. I wanted to pass on the final section of this collection to a few friends of mine as I felt that they might benefit from it too.
Kennedy introduced me to some new poets and reacquainted me with some favorites. I’m sure other lovers of poetry would find the same thing. For new readers of poetry, a collection like this would be a great introduction as it truly runs from some of the earliest poetry to most recent. It gives the reader a taste of what each poet is like and I believe they’d be able to find some names in order to continue their exploration of the genre.