Poetic Baby Names for Girls: Ancient to modern inspiration
By Linda Rosenkrantz
We’ve talked before about the fact that —whether by destiny or serendipity—some of our most famous poets happen to have eminently usable surnames, from Auden to Cullen to Dove to Frost to Lorca to Tennyson to Wylie. But today we’d like to dig a bit deeper and take a wider international and historic perspective. So here are some of the more unusual and exotic female poets’ first names we’ve discovered, ranging from ancient Greek to contemporary Australian.
Akka Mahadevi, often called simply Akka, eminent 12th century Indian poet who lived the life of a wandering poet-saint. The term Akka, which means ‘elder sister’ was an honorific bestowed on her.
Aphra Behn was not only a British Restoration era poet but an influential playwright and fiction writer, considered one of the first English-speaking women to earn a living by her writing.
Berlie Doherty— versatile English poet, playwright and novelist
Cai Wenji–a very early Chinese poet and composer
Eavan Aisling Boland is a contemporary Irish poet and literary critic whose verse explores women’s issues. Eavan (EE-van) is the Anglicization of Aoibheann, the name of several ancient Irish princesses
Florbela Espanca–Portuguese poet born in 1894—you might want to add another L to this ‘beautiful flower’ name
Giannina Braschi—a contemporary Puerto Rican poet/novelist who chronicles the Latin American immigrant experience
Kassia—a 9th century Byzantine poet and composer
Lale Müldür is an influential, eccentric Turkish poet; Lale means tulip in Turkish.
Nandini Sahu, a contemporary Indian poet
Praxilla of Sicyon—a Greek lyric poet of the fifth century BC
Salomé Ureña de Henríquez—a 19th century poet from the Dominican Republic
Sarojini Naidu—a well known Indian poet born in 1879, an advocate for women’s rights and follower of Gandhi
Sheema Kalbasi,– a modern Iranian poet and human rights advocate
Silvina Ocampo—a noted Argentinian poet of the 20th century
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on April 25th, 2016 at 11:59 pm
So many gorgeous names on this list! I would use Antigone, Kassia (with a C), Sarojini (WOW!), and Salomé. Dulce, Lucrezia, Nandini, Samina, Silvina, and Vendela are beautiful as well.
on April 26th, 2016 at 3:28 am
Other female poet names from Turkey
on April 26th, 2016 at 8:43 am
Another name I’d like to add is Alfonsina, like Alfonsina Storni, another great female poet from Argentina. I think Silvina’s sister, Victoria, who was also a writer and whose full name was Ramona Victoria Epifanía Rufina, deserves a spot too!
on April 27th, 2016 at 2:38 pm
It’s worth mentioning that Cai Wenji’s given name was Wenji. Cai was her family name.
on April 27th, 2016 at 10:27 pm
As for brazilian poets, I’d like to add:
(Both widely acclaimed)
Lygia Fagundes Telles – nominated for 2016’s literarure Nobel
Maria Luisa Bombal
on April 27th, 2016 at 10:28 pm
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