CRADLE & ALL, Women Writers on Pregnancy and Birth
Faber & Faber, 1989

It is no surprise that we see in this collection the ability to describe that which is almost indescribable, that most “ordinary miracle” we all share—being born.

Having a child is one of the most significant and profoundly mysterious events in human life, and no one is better qualified to describe the joys and pains of birth and motherhood than women writers.

Not giving opinions or advice, but offering personal versions of the truth, this moving anthology brings together over 90 voices, including Margaret Atwood, Laurie Colwin, Anais Nin, Tillie Olsen, and Adrienne Rich.

Excerpt From: Song of Being Born

It was the deepest sleep It was sleeping in the low note of a big bell
That held and held
I was wrapped in slow motion
wrapped in the fluid gel body a berry sunk down
I opened my eyes it was blurry warm
The feather fern swayed
I’d turn to the steady two-beat pounding
to the rhythm of the blood gong deep distance
Couldn’t even feel my skin it was that perfect
in my bag on my back with my hands tossed
over my head that’s how I liked it
feet touching soles that’s how I felt open…