The best short poems by women writers
These are ten of the best short poems by women poets from over three centuries of English poetry. We’ve interpreted ‘short’ here to mean very short: only one is as long as 13 lines, and none of the other poems is longer than ten lines, which we feel is pretty short for a poem. We hope you enjoy this selection. Click on the title of each short poem to read it.
Lady Mary Wortley Montagu, ‘A Summary of Lord Lyttleton’s “Advice to a Lady”’. Montagu (1689-1762) was not just a leading female poet of the Augustan era in English poetry (which is most famously typified by the work of Alexander Pope): she also helped to introduce a process of inoculation against smallpox, decades before Edward Jenner’s more successful breakthrough with vaccination. Her poetry is frequently witty and urbane, as this rhyming couplet (the…
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