Boston Public Radio is celebrating Women's History Month with this week's installment of "Village Voice," a recurring conversation about how poetry can help us understand the news of the day.

This week, poet Richard Blanco highlighted works by two eminent female poets: "Her Kind" by Anne Sexton and "The Journey" by Mary Oliver.

In "Her Kind," Sexton looks at the stereotypes passed down in history and myth about women, particularly about those who buck society's conventions.

"[Sexton]'s playing a lot here with references to fairy tale figures, historical figures, and stereotypes about women in how they're seen throughout history and even to this day," Blanco said.

The poem can be read autobiographically, Blanco explains. Sexton married at young age, and took up poetry at the suggestion of her therapist as a way of dealing with her mental illness. Throughout her life, she struggled to juggle the role she felt society wanted her to play — that of a suburban housewife — with her identity as an artist.

"Her themes read a lot about trying to live this ... everyday, normal suburban lifestyle with all this rage in her mind," Blanco said. 

Oliver's "The Journey," on the other hand, tells the story of "trying to find and fight for your own unique journey, your own path, your own story, your unique identity," Blanco said.

"In contrast to Sexton — who shows us all the stuff that's put on women, all those stereotypes that are defining our journey or path — [Oliver] is breaking free of that and saying, 'I'm done here. I'm finding my own person,'" Blanco said.