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Cries of the Spirit: More Than 300 Poems in Celebration of Women's Spirituality

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Brimming over with the inspirational words and thoughts of some of our finest writers, Cries of the Spirit is a beautiful sourcebook of poetry and prose in praise of life and all that it entails. Here women's voices fill the age-old silence about matters central to their experience-from menstruation, sexual intimacy, and childbirth to caretaking, household rituals, and dea Brimming over with the inspirational words and thoughts of some of our finest writers, Cries of the Spirit is a beautiful sourcebook of poetry and prose in praise of life and all that it entails. Here women's voices fill the age-old silence about matters central to their experience-from menstruation, sexual intimacy, and childbirth to caretaking, household rituals, and death. These writings represent a healing vision of the sacred that emerges from the particular consciousness of women-a vision that partakes of the world of earth and flesh. With contributions by Maya Angelou, Julia Alvarez, Margaret Atwood, Hildegard of Bingen, Lucille Clifton, Annie Dillard, Joy Harjo, Erica Jong, Denise Levertov, Audre Lorde, Kathleen Norris, Marge Piercy, Starhawk, Eudora Welty, Alice Walker, and others.


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Brimming over with the inspirational words and thoughts of some of our finest writers, Cries of the Spirit is a beautiful sourcebook of poetry and prose in praise of life and all that it entails. Here women's voices fill the age-old silence about matters central to their experience-from menstruation, sexual intimacy, and childbirth to caretaking, household rituals, and dea Brimming over with the inspirational words and thoughts of some of our finest writers, Cries of the Spirit is a beautiful sourcebook of poetry and prose in praise of life and all that it entails. Here women's voices fill the age-old silence about matters central to their experience-from menstruation, sexual intimacy, and childbirth to caretaking, household rituals, and death. These writings represent a healing vision of the sacred that emerges from the particular consciousness of women-a vision that partakes of the world of earth and flesh. With contributions by Maya Angelou, Julia Alvarez, Margaret Atwood, Hildegard of Bingen, Lucille Clifton, Annie Dillard, Joy Harjo, Erica Jong, Denise Levertov, Audre Lorde, Kathleen Norris, Marge Piercy, Starhawk, Eudora Welty, Alice Walker, and others.

30 review for Cries of the Spirit: More Than 300 Poems in Celebration of Women's Spirituality

  1. 4 out of 5

    Winter Sophia Rose

    Inspiring, Moving, Encouraging, Enlightening & Priceless! A Powerful Read! I Loved It!

  2. 4 out of 5

    Karyn

    Fantastic collection of poetry--don't be fooled by the sappy title. I found this book on a clearance shelf in college, and it's one of the ten books I'd never part with. I find a new poem to love every time I open the book. Fantastic collection of poetry--don't be fooled by the sappy title. I found this book on a clearance shelf in college, and it's one of the ten books I'd never part with. I find a new poem to love every time I open the book.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Eve

    I first bought this volume in the early 2000s, and back then I never read it straight through but just dipped in and out. I still had some bookmarks from that time where I'd mark poems I especially liked. Honestly my favorites after reading the whole book are mostly the same, though there's one with a bit of a clever, snarky ending that I don't appreciate as much as I did in my 20s. I first bought this volume in the early 2000s, and back then I never read it straight through but just dipped in and out. I still had some bookmarks from that time where I'd mark poems I especially liked. Honestly my favorites after reading the whole book are mostly the same, though there's one with a bit of a clever, snarky ending that I don't appreciate as much as I did in my 20s.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Nancy

    This has been a very worthwhile read with poetry and excerpts from prose written by well-known female writers. I marked lines and pieces I liked throughout the book as when Eudora Welty commented about her mother’s feelings about her chosen career: “. . . I think she was relieved when I chose to be a writer of stories, for she thought writing was safe.” (p. 76) Mary Caroline Richards writes: “Love is not a doctrine, Peace is not an international agreement. Love and Peace are beings who live as p This has been a very worthwhile read with poetry and excerpts from prose written by well-known female writers. I marked lines and pieces I liked throughout the book as when Eudora Welty commented about her mother’s feelings about her chosen career: “. . . I think she was relieved when I chose to be a writer of stories, for she thought writing was safe.” (p. 76) Mary Caroline Richards writes: “Love is not a doctrine, Peace is not an international agreement. Love and Peace are beings who live as possibilities in us.” (p. 59) Perhaps of all the writers included though, I was most inspired by Alice Walker. Her little poem, “Goodnight, Willie Lee, I’ll See You in the Morning” (pp 114-15) about the healing that comes from forgiveness is wonderful and the excerpt included from “The Color Purple” (pp 256-57) where Shug explains who God is reminds me that this is a book I need to search out and read. I’ve seen the movie, but never read her book. I marked so many places in “Cries Of The Spirit,” I’ll definitely be referring to it again and again. I recommend it to all believers in a higher power.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Donna

    This is a book of poetry. Poetry expressing all that is sacred about life; thus everything there is about life. It is a compilation of women authors' myriad thoughts and feelings on all aspects of life as it effects woman. There are many, here is one: Prayer for a Tenspeed Heart by Barbara Hendryson Let the fire of my body propel and warm me and let each darkness reveal its plenitude. Let the hills flatten under my wheels and let the eloquent curves yield up their good surprise. Let my heart This is a book of poetry. Poetry expressing all that is sacred about life; thus everything there is about life. It is a compilation of women authors' myriad thoughts and feelings on all aspects of life as it effects woman. There are many, here is one: Prayer for a Tenspeed Heart by Barbara Hendryson Let the fire of my body propel and warm me and let each darkness reveal its plenitude. Let the hills flatten under my wheels and let the eloquent curves yield up their good surprise. Let my heart be obstinate when I need to climb and let my lowliest gears restrain my spinning down. Let there be flatland, too, and into that glittering place let me stretch with the heart of a lover, at full speed, blind and intent.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Annie

    this anthology was gifted to me by my sister tracy after she read it in a college course. though i was only 13 the first time i read selected poems, the anthology remains one of my favorites. sewell is fearless in confronting issues surrounding women's lives. from the physical (the ravages upon the female body over time), to the mental (the discipline and determination it takes to keep a family together), to the spiritual (the gift of a long love at the end of life), this truly is a celebration o this anthology was gifted to me by my sister tracy after she read it in a college course. though i was only 13 the first time i read selected poems, the anthology remains one of my favorites. sewell is fearless in confronting issues surrounding women's lives. from the physical (the ravages upon the female body over time), to the mental (the discipline and determination it takes to keep a family together), to the spiritual (the gift of a long love at the end of life), this truly is a celebration of womanhood. her selections walk you through first love, pregnancy, miscarriage, abortion, divorce, death, and -- lust. i feel very complete, somehow, each time i finish.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Kathy

    This is not a read cover to cover book. It is a book that I return to again and again as I find myself being drawn to a particular poet or source of inspiration. Contributors to this collection of poems include Susan Griffin, Margaret Atwood, Nikki Giovanni, Anne Sexton and Alice Walker. Divided into sections including Owning Self, Death and Lesser Losses and Re-Mything. Women's voices "sing out" diversity, healing and the sacredness of the ordinary. These words offer comfort, compassion and ins This is not a read cover to cover book. It is a book that I return to again and again as I find myself being drawn to a particular poet or source of inspiration. Contributors to this collection of poems include Susan Griffin, Margaret Atwood, Nikki Giovanni, Anne Sexton and Alice Walker. Divided into sections including Owning Self, Death and Lesser Losses and Re-Mything. Women's voices "sing out" diversity, healing and the sacredness of the ordinary. These words offer comfort, compassion and insight in the extraordinary range of remarkable writers.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Brittany

    This is an amazing collection of poetry! There's so much I could say but don't have the time. I highly recommend though. This is an amazing collection of poetry! There's so much I could say but don't have the time. I highly recommend though.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Lis

    What I have read so far makes me want to read more. Wonderful collection of women authors and poems. Love that they are organized thematically.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Ellen Keener

    One of my most treasured books. Met her at Fountain St.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Ellen

    This is truly my favorite complilation of poetry. This is a book I would take with me if I were to move out to the mountains and become a goat lady....

  12. 4 out of 5

    Suzanne Singman

    Poems by women about life. What could be better.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Thomasin Propson

    Since it’s borrowed, I couldn’t annotate and don’t have record of which works most strongly caught my attention, but I was drawn to many of the contributions, and found it a more diverse and exciting anthology than I was expecting for a 1990s publication.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Marjorie Jensen

    This diverse collection of poems by women introduced me to writers I hadn't read before as well as reminded me of past moments of reading poetry. The words were familiar or startling--sometimes both at the same time. I felt a strong kinship with the editor, Marilyn Sewell, because I too have collected spiritual verses. And her love for the work and the poets in this book mirrored my love for the work and poets in my book. The poetry inspired me to think about, and feel, the role of women in divi This diverse collection of poems by women introduced me to writers I hadn't read before as well as reminded me of past moments of reading poetry. The words were familiar or startling--sometimes both at the same time. I felt a strong kinship with the editor, Marilyn Sewell, because I too have collected spiritual verses. And her love for the work and the poets in this book mirrored my love for the work and poets in my book. The poetry inspired me to think about, and feel, the role of women in divinity, love, universality, worship, and change. I didn't connect with all the poems, but I found a good number of profound connections. Finishing this book was a great way to begin my summer solstice.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Kitty

    A collection of poems by women published in 1991. Themes: Mothering, Death and lesser losses. Songs of Brokenness and Alienation The Will Toward the Good: How does change come? Poems of witnss and deed. The spirit and the Flesh are One (the hairshirts of yore have become the exercise bikes of today. ) The Unity of All That Is: the lack of separation of the mystic tradition. Images of the Divine Re-Mything: We are defined by our stories. The Word : power of language in speaking truth, giving courage. Na A collection of poems by women published in 1991. Themes: Mothering, Death and lesser losses. Songs of Brokenness and Alienation The Will Toward the Good: How does change come? Poems of witnss and deed. The spirit and the Flesh are One (the hairshirts of yore have become the exercise bikes of today. ) The Unity of All That Is: the lack of separation of the mystic tradition. Images of the Divine Re-Mything: We are defined by our stories. The Word : power of language in speaking truth, giving courage. Naming carries weight and definition. concepts shift. **

  16. 5 out of 5

    Kelli Pearson

    Beautiful poems written by contemporary women, about women's experience, for other women. I expected this to be more about spiritual experience, but really it's broadly about all the many ways women interact with their world and the people around them. Poetry sometimes makes me restless, but this is one book I could come back to again and again and not get tired of it. I hear there are sequels also by Marilyn Sewell and I'd be interested in checking them out as well. Beautiful poems written by contemporary women, about women's experience, for other women. I expected this to be more about spiritual experience, but really it's broadly about all the many ways women interact with their world and the people around them. Poetry sometimes makes me restless, but this is one book I could come back to again and again and not get tired of it. I hear there are sequels also by Marilyn Sewell and I'd be interested in checking them out as well.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Erica

    Wonderful poetry anthology! Most useful, in my mind, is a subject index with everything from the very specific -- masectomy, miscarriage, Immaculate Conception -- to the vastly broad -- self-identity, poverty, peace. I return to this quite often, along with its companion volume of sorts, Claiming the Spirit Within.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Faith

    I stumbled across this work of art in B&N and it spoke to my spirit indeed. The selection of poetry and thoughts that are shared are intimate stories of the everyday life of a woman's struggle, joy, love,and glory celebrated. I stumbled across this work of art in B&N and it spoke to my spirit indeed. The selection of poetry and thoughts that are shared are intimate stories of the everyday life of a woman's struggle, joy, love,and glory celebrated.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Liesa

    ahhhhh, its like a breath of fresh air. with so little time for mediation, this book has really helped me connect to that little part in me that comes in last place these days behind kid-work-school-house-dog-cat-cat-running. . . .you get my drift.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Karen

    This is a beautifully executed anthology. Wonder selections. Nicely organized. It's definitely a book I will keep handy and dip into from time to time when I need validation, inspiration and some sister talk. My only negative is that there might have been a few humorous pieces. This is a beautifully executed anthology. Wonder selections. Nicely organized. It's definitely a book I will keep handy and dip into from time to time when I need validation, inspiration and some sister talk. My only negative is that there might have been a few humorous pieces.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer

    I find myself picking up this book again and again and discovering something new each time.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Julia

    Amazing collection of poetry and prose about women's spirituality. Never far from my hand. Amazing collection of poetry and prose about women's spirituality. Never far from my hand.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Ellen

    This is my favorite book when I need comfort, spirituality, or just when I need to know that I am ok.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Amy Russell

    One of my favorite poetry books. Women's poetry of the spirit. One of my favorite poetry books. Women's poetry of the spirit.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Helen Roll

  26. 4 out of 5

    Khalilah

  27. 5 out of 5

    Willow Croft

  28. 5 out of 5

    Linda McDaniels

  29. 5 out of 5

    Cathy

  30. 5 out of 5

    Niki Elaine

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