Image courtesy of Warner Bros. Television
Since fall is in full swing, chances are that you’ve already ventured back into Gilmore Girls—and the heart-warming, quirky setting of small-town Stars Hollow. With its delightful cast of supporting characters, fast and unexpected dialogue, pop culture references, and, of course, the unbreakable mother-daughter relationship at its core, Gilmore Girls is many fans’ steady, unabashed comfort show. And the near-constant allusions to literature, which even inspired a Rory Gilmore reading challenge, make it a natural companion to poetry. Here are some collections to pick up between your favorite Gilmore Girls episodes.
1. The Four Seasons: Poems edited by J.D. McClatchy
From Lorelai’s magical and continually referenced adoration of snow to fall scenes depicting hayrides and four unique Thanksgiving dinners, seasons play a big role in characterizing both Stars Hollow and its inhabitants. The vivid seasonal imagery in The Four Seasons, which includes poems by Mary Oliver, Elizabeth Bishop, and many other favorites, will incite the same feelings readers get when they see fallen leaves on the gazebo or watch Rory and Lorelai go to a summer carnival.
2. Letter to My Daughter by Maya Angelou
While Gilmore Girls depicts a wide range of themes—including first love, ambition, failure, and friendship—they’re all depicted through the lens of motherhood and daughterhood. Similarly, in Letter to My Daughter, a multi-genre work by Maya Angelou, the famed author and activist strives to inspire, comfort, mentor, and empathize with the daughter she never had but who she continually thinks about.
3. The Apricot Memoirs by Tess Guinery
In Gilmore Girls, Lorelai’s offbeat and unconventional lifestyle and humor come to define both her approach to motherhood and the show overall. Viewers see Lorelai throw campy, large-scale movie nights with an outrageous amount of snacks, enthusiastically participate in town dance marathons and historical reenactments, and take a spontaneous trip to an Alice in Wonderland-themed bed and breakfast. These and other plot lines showcase the playfulness and creativity with which she raises Rory. It’s likely Tess Guinery, author of the poetry collection The Apricot Memoirs, has had parallel experiences, as her collection details becoming an artist and approaching motherhood with similar experimentation.
4. Hoarders by Kate Durbin
Pop culture serves as a familiar, engrossing language and beat throughout Gilmore Girls, so much so that viewers can find articles counting and decoding them throughout the show’s seven seasons. These allusions to movies, books, music, and—above all—television, stand out as a major way that Lorelai and Rory bond, as well as process and discuss the world around them. Hoarders by Kate Durbin is a collection of poems about the reality TV show of the same name. While a collection about reality TV could easily rest on solely humor or camp, Hoarders uses pop culture to arrive at deeper, more fascinating themes about humanity, much like Gilmore Girls.
5. Complete Poems by Dorothy Parker
Dorothy Parker is one of the many poets and writers referenced throughout Gilmore Girls’ run. In fact, in the fan-favorite episode “Rory’s Dance,” Dean notes that Rory has brought a Dorothy Parker poetry collection to her school dance in her purse. Later, they fall asleep at Miss Patty’s dance studio while reading it, a major source of conflict and tension that highlights some of the central themes of the show. As for why Rory chose to read Dorothy Parker, the literary icon’s blend of humor and social commentary will instantly resonate with Gilmore Girls fans.