Outside The Lines

May 1, 2015 by Marcia Diane

Good heavens it will be the height of our long hot summer when this comes out. Whew, what a fast year so far, hmmmm. Let’s see today I’d like to feature an outstanding woman poet from Chile. Outstanding is certainly not a prerequisite for being a very good poet, but it does seem familiar territory to many.

Gabriela Mistral is the pen name she used. Her given name is Lucila Godoy Alcayaga. She was a poet-diplomat, educator and feminist. She was, as are many of the Latin American poets we’ve featured here, deeply involved in the sculpting of her culture, her country and the times. Gabriela was a dedicated teacher, then administrator and woman of great political influence. She was completely self-taught having only attended school until age twelve…she would later receive honorary doctorate from Mills College in Oakland, CA in 1947 and was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1945.

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Pine Forest

Let us go now into the forest.

Trees will pass by your face,

and I will stop and offer you to them,

but they cannot bend down.

The night watches over its creatures,

except for the pine trees that never change:

the old wounded springs that spring

blessed gum, eternal afternoons.

If they could, the trees would lift you

and carry you from valley to valley,

and you would pass from arm to arm,

a child running

from father to father.

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This poem is but a tease by way of the breath of her work. She led a hard, complex life and was no stranger to tragedy and yet she found time, energy and inspiration to record for us to read now…her unique views of the world.

Join us at m.diane.writeon@gmail.com for our on-line writers group, submissions the second Friday of each month. We would love to see your views of the world.

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