Gay lady and her friendly counsel sought!*
*Revised from America: In Balance.
Amy Lowell, 1874-1925
Ancestral traits of this great family
Lived on in her, although she would have seemed
Most strange, indeed, too those who ever deemed
Accord, convention and conformity
Essential to the best society;
And this she, too, believed until she teamed
Up with those London Imagists who dreamed
A new philosophy of poetry.
Of many movements that have come and gone
With late World Wars, some traces still persist
Of one she led; and lives with some of those
That have their origin in verse of Donne.
And yet despite influence Imagist,
Keats is the best example of her prose.
Mary McCleod Bethune, 1875-
Her efforts have not had success that they
Deserve, although great progress has been made.
The type of education and the aid
She offered at Daytona Beach display
Rare understanding of the kind and way
Of training that for industry and trade
Can best prepare her people to evade
Misfortunes and mistakes of yesterday.
And through her Council by example she
Has shown how one can, too, advance her race;
How one by training only can prepare
Himself to play his part in the economy,
And find in the community his place
And in the common life his rightful share.
Willa Cather, 1876-1947
Of novelists the greatest in the sense
That much of what so swiftly disappears
In settling of the West, O Pioneers,
With other tales lives on as evidence
Of fortitude and loneliness intense
Which foreign immigrants on our frontiers,
With overtones of tragedy, in fears
Endured within their lonely land immense.
She wrote of women and the sacrifice
They had to make in building their own nest;
Of charm of character that hidden lay
Beneath their rugged strength; and of the price
A great priest paid for living loneliest
Of men midst those for whom he came to pray.
Helen Keller, 1880-
No man possessed of his five senses can
Begin to understand what she has done;
How with her rare companion she has won
Her way out of the soundless dark that ran,
A lifeless void, as when the world began.
How patiently, through touch alone, the sun
Of knowledge shone for her, inspiring, one
By one, her deeds humanitarian.
Achievement such as hers, accomplishment
Transcending mortal man's experience,
Makes one believe a miracle can be
Performed today, if man will but consent,
Believing in God's grace and providence,
And for relief pray understandingly.
What is it that we seeking never find
As great in others as Pavlova had?
'Tis not technique, nor like Bacchantes mad
With joy she danced, for others of her kind
Are likewise trained and moved; but more refined,
A greater artist, elflike, rhythm-clad,
To whom was sadness, sad, and gladness, glad,
More subtly she her subject did unwind.
We see her now in the immortal role
Which Fokine once composed for her alone,
And which once seen lives on in memory,
Where we but see the beauty of the soul
Embodied, from some sylphine region flown,
Forever struggling in captivity.
Eleanor Roosevelt, 1884-
Some men and women of great heritage,
Wealth and position gladly dedicate
Themselves with zeal to those less fortunate,
Devoting themselves daily without wage
To solving problems that their times engage.
To fail to recognize and praise her great
Accomplishments one would be an ingrate,
For none have tried to help more in this age.
Yet, though a great humanitarian,
Her party loyalty undoubtedly
Makes her an over-zealous partisan.
In controversy, therefore, frequently
She is the target of attacks more than
Seems fair for one of such warm sympathy.
*Revised from America: In Balance.
Gabriela Mistral, 1889-1957
The second of the name to win the prize
So highly coveted in letters, she bacame
Of Western women first to have this fame:
A teacher-poet to idealize
The things of spirit even more, and rise
Sometimes to heights whereto the Saints aflame
With ideal love aspire--her greatest claim,
Perhaps, to fame most critics recognize.
And as with Vasconcelos, Mexico's
Great teacher of this present century,
However practical or realist
Her aim may seem to be, there clearly flows
Through her philosophy and poetry
The traits of mystic and idealist.
Vijaya Lakshmi Pandit, 1890-[1900-1990]
A brave, great soul inspired and paved the way
For Indian independence which Nehru
And, too, his sister, followers, best knew
How to promote and profit by dismay
Of people whom the British did affray
At Amritsar. Of Indians these two
Have best known how to follow and pursue
The course where their land's independence lay.
They have served country and their Congress well;
And Madame Pandit in diplomacy
First woman of all India became:
As diplomat, except in Israel,
No parallel can be found currently
Where women have achieved so quickly fame.
Pearl Buck, 1892-
Deservedly she won the Nobel Prize
For good work and not for Good Earth alone
That would for East and West, out of her own