Sunday, September 8, 2013

The Heart of a Woman

Thomas Waterman Wood (American artist, 1823-1903)  Sherry, Sir

The Heart of a Woman
by Georgia Douglas Johnson

The heart of a woman goes forth with the dawn,
As a lone bird, soft winging, so restlessly on,
Afar o'er life's turrets and vales does it roam
In the wake of those echoes the heart calls home.
The heart of a woman falls back with the night,
And enters some alien cage in its plight,
And tries to forget it has dreamed of the stars
While it breaks, breaks, breaks on the sheltering bars. 

Georgia Douglas Johnson was born in Atlanta, Georgia, on September 10, 1880. A prolific member of the Harlem Renaissance, Johnson wrote poetry that explored romantic and sentimental traditions and ideas. Johnson died in 1966.  The first poem in her volume of the same name, "The Heart of a Woman," imagines a type of feminist liberation through metaphor. Maya Angelou's fourth autobiography, The Heart of a Woman, takes its title from this Johnson poem.