She Walks In Beauty ~ Beauty Of A Woman Blogfest

Last year August McLachlan had an idea that seems to be growing into a movement in 2013 … a strong, positive, brilliant celebration of what it is to be a woman. I’m proud to be a part of it.

boaw-2013

Make a note to spend some time over on August’s blog to find links to the posts that are being contributed this year. Click right here to get started! It is so much fun, so meaningful … and even powerful … to see the variety of perspectives that come together in this extraordinary collection from women and men.

In my post last year, I mentioned how the aging process  sneaks up on us and how important it is to celebrate every day, wrinkles and all! I also talked about the pleasures of being a grandmother and how I think it is our joyful duty to help our grandchildren grow up in a world that is moving forward with equality for everyone, regardless of gender. Everyone should feel beautiful, male or female.

8747308This year I want to introduce you to She Walks In Beauty, a book described as “ a priceless resource for anyone, male or female, who wants a deeper understanding and appreciation of what it means to be a woman.” Compiled and edited by Caroline Kennedy and published in 2011, this diverse collection of poetry contains selections from the Bible and Shakespeare to contemporary selections.

The first time I heard of the book was when I saw Caroline Kennedy on The Colbert Report discussing (?) poetry with Stephen Colbert. Very cool!

This fine anthology examines many of the stages most of us experience: 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; how to live.

Each selection was personally chosen by Kennedy. Each section is prefaced by her insightful reflections and at times she shares intimate family memories.

I slowly enjoyed this excellent assortment of poems over a period of time, liking some and not caring for others. That’s how words are, right? They don’t all hit the spot in the same way with each of us. However I felt one constant throughout:  the older we get, the more comfortable we are with the notion that our beauty comes from within. This is a book to be savoured at your leisure and many times over.

I was reminded more than once of the words of Kahlil Gibran ~ Beauty is not in the face; beauty is a light in the heart.

She Walks in Beauty makes a fabulous gift for any woman, any time. It’s beautiful! And you are beautiful! Remind yourself of that every single day.

Here’s a taste of what awaits you. This poem lends its title to the book and is found at the beginning.

She Walks in Beauty

BY LORD BYRON (GEORGE GORDON)

She walks in beauty, like the night
   Of cloudless climes and starry skies;
And all that’s best of dark and bright
   Meet in her aspect and her eyes;
Thus mellowed to that tender light
   Which heaven to gaudy day denies.
One shade the more, one ray the less,
   Had half impaired the nameless grace
Which waves in every raven tress,
   Or softly lightens o’er her face;
Where thoughts serenely sweet express,
   How pure, how dear their dwelling-place.
And on that cheek, and o’er that brow,
   So soft, so calm, yet eloquent,
The smiles that win, the tints that glow,
   But tell of days in goodness spent,
A mind at peace with all below,
   A heart whose love is innocent!
About Patricia Sands

Family, writing and travel are my passions … okay, and chocolate … and I’m seldom without a camera. I write women’s fiction and keep in touch with readers by a monthly newsletter that also has giveaways and contests. Come and join us by signing up on the right. See you there!

Comments

  1. fransiweinstein says:

    I am definitely going to buy the book. Thanks for blogging about it.

  2. Thank you for the uplifting post, I’m looking forward to reading She Walks in Beauty.

  3. Always one of my favourite poems. So fitting.

  4. Thanks for sharing all this beauty, Patricia. August’s blogfest, Caroline’s collection, Byron’s poem, and your personal beauty, inside and out.

  5. Ah, Lord Byron, how I do love thee. I took a moment to savor the poem, then jumped over to order the book before coming back to comment. Lovely, lovely idea Patricia. Sharing with us Caroline’s book so that we can be reminded again and again how truly marvelous women are. As with August, who did such an incredible job with this year’s blogfest, you are one of the most beautiful women I know. Inside and out, your spirit lights the way for others. I consider it an honor to call you my friend.

    • And Tameri, how do I love thee? You have been such a special friend since our early WANA days, I simply cannot wait to finally meet you in person in Atlanta this summer. I love how the BOAW is blossoming into something quite spectacular, isn’t it?

  6. Thanks for sharing the lovely poem. I know so many woman who take themselves for granted and for me, that poem is a good reminder of who we are as women and why we are special and should never be taken for granted.

    I’m so glad you participated in this blogfest. I’ve enjoyed reading so many good posts today. I feel like we’re all going on a cyber march with large picket signs.

    Patricia Rickrode
    w/a Jansen Schmidt

    • August’s blogfest idea is truly blossoming into something truly special. It’s brilliant to read all the different perspectives on beauty, isn’t it? I’m still working my way through the posts and should hit yours soon. Thanks for stopping by and taking the time to comment.

  7. Really lovely, and I love the lasting aspect of recommending a beautiful book to remind us that we are beautiful. Couldn’t agree more about the years allowing us to feel more & more comfortable in our own skin. Nicely done.

  8. Great post, great poem. The blog fest does sound great. i will take a look at it.

  9. What a fantastic book, Patricia! I love this part of the poem you shared in particular: “The smiles that win, the tints that glow” Joy seems counterpoint to beauty, IMO and many of the BOAW festers. Thanks for contributing and for your wonderful support!

  10. What a lovely contribution to the blog fest. The poem is perfect.

  11. Ooh I like the sound of that poetry book :0)

  12. Oh my goodness, I will have to check this one out! Also, I love that poem (it’s get a mention in my novel :)).

  13. One of my favorite poems of all time, Patricia. Thank you for that and for writing about the book — I’d not hear of it!

    • patriciasands says:

      Thanks, Debra. I am really happy to introduce readers to this book. It has a special place in my life.

  14. I had to stare at your header for over 30 seconds…sigh

  15. Sounds like a great collection! I have a book of Rumi poems and I love his work. I should pull it off the shelf this weekend because there’s lots of poems about love and loved ones in it. Kind of fitting for the BOAW fest! Cheers, Patricia!

  16. I thought I commented on this already! Whaaat?! I love Caroline Kennedy, and I think she is the portrait of grace and beauty. I’ll have to make a note to check out her anthology of poems.

  17. I gave that book to my daughter a few years ago when it first came out. She loved it, and so did I.

  18. I am adding this book to my amazon books to buy list. Thank you for sharing.

  19. Caroline Kennedy is such a class act and a completely cool woman. A friend and I got to meet her 12 years ago when she came to my then place of employ, ABC News, to sign the book, “The Best-Loved Poems of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis”. She and I had a brief exchange about writing; she was so kind and gracious. Then, my friend sucks every molecule of air out of the room wanting to yammer her ear off about her father. I later told him that he was lucky that security wasn’t called to escort him off the premises in handcuffs for being so obnoxious. He was that embarrassing.

    • OMG – you must have wanted to stick a sock in his mouth. Isn’t it amazing how some folks simply forget to think? He was probably so excited being in her presence that he lost control. I hope he apologized to you at least!

  20. Just put the book on hold. Sounds great–thanks for the recommendation, Patricia!

  21. Patricia – I’ve been reading blogs during my recovery but felt the pull to say thank you. From my left hand to you – beautifully written and thanks for recommending the book.

  22. Oops – I meant to include a mention of ‘The Best Loved Poems of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis’ selected and introduced by Caroline Kennedy. It’s one of m favorites.

  23. Oh, what a rush… I was first introduced to Lord Byron’s “She Walks in Beauty” by Ron Perlman, when he played the role of Vincent in the 1980s television series BEAUTY AND THE BEAST. As I read the poem, I heard his voice (there is a recording of music from the show, mixed with poetry read by Perlman), and remembered how it touched me in that context. It touches me still. I will be adding Ms. Kennedy’s book to my wish list. Thank you for the introduction, and for this lovely post.

  24. Thanks for the tip. Sounds like an awesome collection to bring along with me on life’s journey. 🙂 Love the Byron poem. Happy to be a part of the BOAW BlogFest with you! 🙂

  25. Thanks, Kourtney! I enjoyed your post about Grandma H! She sounds like a real cracker! Lucky you to have her.

  26. I am going to need to get that book. 🙂

  27. Love this! I ran into, almost literally, Caroline Kennedy with her son at an Apple Store in Soho a few years ago. She seemed like the most unpretentious woman. And so beautiful!
    I loved Byron’s poem. Ah, if only I were a woman, “Where thoughts serenely sweet express, How pure, how dear their dwelling-place.” Mine are all over the place! Hahaha!
    Wonderful post. I was in Wisconsin celebrating my dad’s 87th bday. I had horrid internet and really needed to focus on my parents..Next year!

    • LOL – I know what you mean about those scattered thoughts, Susie! Thanks for taking the time to come by after your trip to Wisconsin. Lucky you to still be able to celebrate your dad’s birthdays! Here’s to many more!

  28. Sounds wonderful Patricia. That poem was part of our literature syllabus in high school and remains a favourite 🙂 Thanks for the review.

  29. The Summer Day by Mary Oliver is my favorite poem in the book. Glad you posted about this collection 🙂
    Kennedy did an interview with her a few years back, worth hunting it down on YouTube or via Oprah the magazine. Toni

  30. patriciasands says:

    Thank you for the info about the YouTube interview. I will definitely look for it.

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