Books: A Room of Their Own

A BOOK OF WOMEN POETS FROM ANTIQUITY TO NOW Edited by Aliki Barnstone & Willis Barnstone; Schocken; 612 pages; $29.95

In the 6th century B.C. Sappho foretold it all:

Someone, I tell you,

will remember us.

We are oppressed by fears of oblivion

yet are always saved

by judgment of good men.

The poem was chosen as the epigraph for this splendid, pioneering collection of verse by women. Sadly, Sappho's fears of oblivion have proved valid. For each poet represented in this anthology there are uncounted others whose work has been diminished, dispersed or utterly lost. In A.D. 1073, virtually all existing copies of Sappho's...

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