activist, writer, and founder of the Feminist Press

Florence in Words


March 17, 2011

Tags: family, visiting, Japan, Florence (granddaughter)

It’s the day of my 82nd birthday and I feel privileged to have had so many good wishes from friends and from my constructed, chosen families. What does it feel like to be 82? Not much different from a score of years preceding this one. But physically I realize that I no longer have that light step with which I once walked—and danced. I can step. I can walk long distances without pain or discomfort and usually my balance is decent. But as I look at young people walking, I try to remember what it was like not to think about the act itself, not to focus on the act itself to keep my balance from wandering.

But I am not complaining. The weather in New York, after a winter that seemed more dreadful than usual, is enchanting, sunny and 60 degrees: who could ask for anything more? Granddaughter Doctor Florence came, she said, to spend my birthday with me, and we walked arm-in-arm and bought shoes together. Who could ask for a better birthday present than Florence’s company?

And then I think about Japan, the snow in the north covering up the wreckage of hundreds of thousands of homes and boats and bodies, most of all, bodies. Or were they swept to sea and will they be returning? And then I think that so many of these bodies were my age, for life expectancy in Japan is higher than in the U.S. (except for catastrophe). And I feel totally useless here, blogging. . . .

Select Works

"Everyone concerned about global feminism, women’s contributions, and humanity’s future will be enhanced and enchanted by A Life in Motion.”—Blanche Wiesen Cook, author of Eleanor Roosevelt: Volume I and Volume II
Lecture delivered by Florence Howe on January 8, 2011, at the Modern Language Association Annual Convention
“It is impossible to imagine women’s studies without Florence Howe. Myths of Coeducation shows her vision and courage, insight and dauntlessness.”–Catharine R. Stimpson, Rutgers University
A revised and expanded edition of the classic groundbreaking anthology of 20th-century American women's poetry, representing more than 100 poets from Amy Lowell to Anne Sexton to Rita Dove.

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