Erica Jong has never stopped writing poetry. It was her first love and it has provided inspiration for all her other books. In a dark time, she celebrates life. Her title comes from the Brazilian genius Clarice Lispector who was deeply in love with life despite many tragedies. Life challenges us to celebrate even when our very existence is threatened. Never have we needed poetry more. Jong believes that the poet sees the world in a grain of sand and eternity in a wild flower—as Blake wrote. Her work has always stressed the importance of the lives of women, women’s creativity, and self-confidence. She sees her role as a writer as inspiring future poets to come.
“Erica Jong’s new book of poetry is inspiring, uplifting, exciting, stimulating, engrossing—piercing. These new poems of Erica’s light up the page with tears and shouts, with wounds and exclamations, with yes, yes! That is it, that is what I feel, what I imagined, what I dreamed. Ms. Jong says she culled these poems from those she has written over the last decades, poems whose writing keeps her alive. That is what poetry is for, to keep us alive, to wake us up!! Erica has done that for me again today, kept me alive, breathing, weeping, shouting at the page, “Yes!!” This is what it takes to make a poem, to make a life. Right on the money, right on the edge, right on the heart, right on the breath, The World Began With Yes is the real deal. Get it and read it. You need it. We all need it. In this time of agitation and fear, you will fly with Erica Jong—she brings us back to what matters—the heart, the mind, the head, the imagination—the “Yes” of life.”—Judy Collins