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She Walks in Beauty: A Woman's Journey Through Poems Hardcover – April 5, 2011
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About the Author
Caroline Kennedy is the author and editor of twelve bestselling books on American history, politics and poetry. She is the current United States Ambassador to Japan.
Top customer reviews
She Walks In Beauty, just happens to be one of my favorite poems. To me it speaks to the woman who doesn't stand out in a crowd, until you get to know her. She doesn't shine with light, but instead, reflects light as does the moon. The poem is about a woman who stands behind someone she loves, supporting them so that they can shine. Did Caroline choose this title because it's as if Byron wrote it for her mother, Jacqueline?
She Walks In Beauty is divided into the various periods of a woman's life, from falling in love, to making love, to clothes, to death and grief, friendship, growing old, and finally, how to live. Before each section Caroline speaks of her own moving through of a particular phase of her life. She's so well-spoken, and intelligent, but then what would you expect from a child who was born of two extraordinary parents?
Having grown up privileged, Caroline comes across as sensitive and compassionate, with a willingness to share the pain and joy of her life, through her love of poetry. Why poetry? To me, poetry condenses the emotions of our life, distilling them into celebration of life that doesn't always seem possible while we're living through our troubles.
This is a book I'll keep by my bedside to revel in the sheer beauty that the writers have managed to put down on paper. And what's especially wonderful about this book, is that I can go straight to the part of my life that needs some joy, or just the knowledge that someone else is going through the same thing as I am.
It's beautifully laid out with lots of white space and lots of photographs (alas, black and white) of peonies. Caroline Kennedy introduces each section, and her comments quite inspire a love and respect for poetry. While there aren't "representative" poems to excerpt, here are two (of several dozen) I liked:
"The Emperor" by Matthew Rohrer
She sends me a text
she's coming home
the train emerges
I light the fire under
the pot, I pour her
a glass of wine
I fold a napkin under
a little fork
the wind blows the rain
into the windows
the emperor himself
is not this happy
"We know this much" by Sappho
Death is an evil;
we have the gods'
word for it; they too
would die if death
were a good thing