Catholic Poetry – Coventry Patmore – A Poem Every Young Woman Should Read

Coventry Patmore

I was never one to read much poetry growing up. I liked it, but just was never captivated by it. To this day, there is only certain poetry that I enjoy. Much poetry, I humbly admit, I don’t understand. However, I have stumbled upon some great poets that have completely captivated my heart. My first love (don’t tell my husband!) was Coventry Patmore. Ok, you can tell my husband. Coventry Patmore lived over 100 years ago!

I remember working at the library at the small Catholic college that I attended. I would look and look for not-so-well known treasures. At that particular library, it wasn’t very hard. Many of the books were over 100 years old themselves. It was a treasure of a library!

I fell head-over-heels when I found a book of poems by Coventry Patmore. I willing admit  I don’t like all of his poems and I understand only about 25% of them. He was very well-educated and a lot of his poems are written on a metaphysical and theological level that I never mastered.  BUT, my favorite poem of all time, in the whole world, is super easy to understand!

Not only is it easy to understand, but necessary to understand. I think every young woman in every Catholic school in the entire world should have to memorize this poem. It is a poem that speaks to any and every young woman who is seeking love on any level. It was completely Divine Providence that I found the poem just as I was starting to think about finding a husband.

This poem shows what sadness it can be if a woman loses her modesty around men. It also shows the great power modesty lends to a woman. Imagine! Women CAN and Should set a high price on themselves, which Coventry Patmore points out, men are willing to “pay” if they see they are required to. In other words: Save yourself and a true man will respect that and love you all the more for it.

I truly hope you love it as much as I do. It is beyond lovely in the sense that it elevates the value and worth of a woman in a manner that I have never come across before. Please, pass this poem on to all the women in your life.


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