“The true poem is not that which the public read. There is always a poem not printed on paper, coincident with the production of this, stereotyped in the poet’s life. It is what he has become through his work. Not how is the idea expressed in stone, or on canvas or paper, is the question, but how far it has obtained form and expression in the life of the artist. His true work will not stand in any prince’s gallery.”
-Henry David Thoreau

Of course Thoreau speaks of men (specifically himself), but this passage from A Week on the Concord and Merrimack Rivers (1849) strikes a chord with me as I reflect on the anonymous lives and deaths of the many sisters of Shakespeare. Consider the strengths, joys, passions and sufferings of would-be women artists whose works were never realized or worse still, lost. For far too many women, survival alone has been an art form.

I recommend the varied and provocative writings of Linda Nochlin, Virginia Woolf, Camille Paglia, and Alice Walker for more on women artists. All of these, especially Woolf’s A Room of One’s Own, have been indispensable to the development of my feminist consciousness.

My posting, Marilyn Monroe: Genius is somewhat related to this subject matter for those interested.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go for a stroll and be all profound.