The Feminist Project
of recovering lost women writers has become increasingly important to me. My mother told me that a friend of hers, a retiring high school English teacher, had never heard of Anne Bradstreet. This means that generations of students have graduated from her classroom never having heard of Bradstreet. I know that compared to world hunger this is not a catastrophe, but I hate it. Then, yesterday I discovered a woman I had never heard of. Me. My specialty is hearing of women no one else knows — how could I not know Anna Barbauld? In her time, she was More distinguished than her younger friends, Wordsworth and Coleridge who admired her so much that they took most of their ideas from her ideas. They decided to re-shape poetry, because she said that was what poets should be doing. Later in life, they repudiated her for being too radical. Yes, too radical. Sadly, because they became the anointed ones, their opinions are the ones we have inherited. So, they made it. She didn’t. I am going to read her and see what I think. I would like to make up my own mind and not swallow the ideas of famous men. I hope I love her.